Power of biology: The UK is engineering biology for global good

The UK has never been afraid to forge ahead in emerging science, but also offers a strong and supportive policy and regulatory landscape for responsible innovation. From being the birthplace of the first cloned mammal Dolly the sheep, to being the first country in the world to regulate mitochondrial donation, the UK has a longstanding track record of supporting innovation in engineering biology. The UK government is intent on building the country’s excellent science base to form the world’s most innovative economy. In 2021, engineering biology was listed by the Government as one of the seven key technology families of UK strength and opportunity.

The areas of application for engineering biology are vast, spanning healthcare, agriculture, energy, and various industries. This means engineering biology as an enabling technology is influenced by multiple government policies, strategies, legislations and regulations, and shapes these in turn.

"In order to thrive, scientific research, development and manufacturing needs sustained collaboration across borders to ensure knowledge and talent are shared, and companies can access the finance and partnership opportunities that they need to grow. I hope that this booklet has given you some insight into the vibrancy of the UK engineering biology ecosystem and encouraged you to look at how you and your organisation could become part of it.

The BIA has been networking and promoting UK synthetic biology companies for many years. We are proud to see the community grow and thrive and are keen to make connections for those interested in partnering.

The UK biotech ecosystem is open for business and the links below give further information on how you can be part of the UK engineering biology revolution." - Steve Bates, CEO, BioIndustry Association

Trade and investment opportunities

Whether you are looking to discover, develop, make or deliver engineering biology solutions - global innovators, companies, buyers and investors can connect with the UK’s vibrant ecosystem with the support of the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and through peer industry resources such as the BIA. You’ll find engineering biology talent and expertise spread across the UK.

Looking to buy from the UK?

UK engineering biology businesses and other organisations have a range of offerings for international customers and collaborators, from research to business partnering or commercial solutions. Check out the case studies in this booklet or contact [email protected] to request an accompanying company directory and to discuss your needs to matchmake with the UK opportunity.

Looking to invest in the UK?

The DIT network provides a global reach in 170 countries. Staff work to ensure global businesses can invest successfully in the UK, whether directly creating a UK entity, or indirectly investing capital in a UK business or development. Get in contact to start your investment journey.

This brochure was produced by the DIT in association with the BioIndustry Association (BIA). 

We would like to thank the following individuals and organisations for contributing their time and expertise to this publication:
  • Bit.bio/Meatable
  • Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC)
  • Knowledge Transfer Network – Synthetic Biology
  • Prokarium
  • Touchlight
  • Steve Bagshaw

More within