A report from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) into Industrial Biotechnology (IB) in the UK highlights the great work being carried out by The Centre for Process Innovation and underlines the need for continued government investment to ensure a sustainable future.
NESTA commissioned the report to look at the state of financing in the UK’s IB sector and to suggest ways in which early-stage and growth funding might be improved. It details the importance of IB but also suggests why the UK has been faltering in relation to the US and other European rivals: the estimated cost of successfully entering the sector is £75-100m, with returns taking 4-8 years. This is a substantial barrier to entry and major negative for potential investors, but demonstrates the vital role of The Centre for Process Innovation’s (CPI) National Industrial Biotechnology Facility (NIBF).
The Government’s Industrial Biotechnology Innovation and Growth Team (IB-IGT) has identified IB as a key driver of wealth creation, estimating that IB could add £4-12 billion per year to the UK economy by 2025. The NESTA report underlines the importance of utilising existing development and scale-up facilities to encourage the development of IB technologies and entry into this key market. Both the report writers and customers of the facility cite CPI’s NIBF as an excellent example that is key to the UK, stating, “The £12 million National Industrial Biotechnology Facility (NIBF) at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) was built in order to capture these benefits and is widely applauded as an excellent use of public funds.”
CPI has recently been confirmed as a key part of the Government’s first elite technology innovation centre (TIC), in the area of high value manufacturing (HVM). Receiving an investment of more than £140m over the next six years, the HVM TIC can continue to expand in line with the NESTA report findings and provide a key development and scale-up resource for companies and research organisations.
The report highlights the importance of facilities such as the NIBF, and CPI will remain key to developing these centres and maintaining its work with Universities, SMEs, collaborations and EU-partnerships, such as its work with France-based biotechnology and bio-based chemistry research and development centre ARD-BioDémo, Europabio and in the EU EIBI Bioenergy Initative
"CPI welcomes the report findings from NESTA, and are encouraged that we are championed as not only being integral to the development of current IB technologies, but to working towards a more sustainable future. CPI will continue to expand its facilities in support of this vital industry."
Chris Dowle, Director of Sustainable Processing at CPI