Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 93

of commercialisation support. The fund provides kick-start finance to
technology start-ups that spin-out of publicly funded research institutes
and are based on a partner’s campuses or involved in very early stage
commercialisation of synthetic biology. Since 2002, the fund has
invested in around 30 start-ups and provided early commercialisation
funding for many other projects.
BioSyntha Technology is one example of a successful start-up. It is a young
company working with multinationals and using its proprietary systems
in IB to create novel fuels and other high value chemicals, thus helping to
reduce the UK’s reliance on petrochemicals. The Rainbow Seed Fund led
to the formation of the company as a spin-out from an existing Rainbow
investment, negotiating the terms of the derivative, recruiting the incoming
chief executive and co-ordinating the new investors.
Business partnership
Industry collaboration is key, and the BBSRC invests in collaborative
research and research training with industrial partners. This action
includes support for collaborative projects instigated jointly by
researchers in academic and industrial laboratories, as well as joint
funding from the BBSRC and industrial consortia. Our research industry
clubs operate by establishing funding pots with industrial partners. The
Bioprocessing Research Industry Club, for example, is a partnership
between the BBSRC, EPSRC and a consortium of leading companies to
support innovative bioprocess-related research, including the
manufacture of complex biopharmaceuticals.
collaborative ‘networks in industrial
biotechnology and bioenergy’ to boost
interaction between the academic research
base and industry, promoting the translation of
research into benefits for the UK.
Working with Innovate UK and the country’s
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Council (EPSRC), the BBSRC has also invested
in the IB Catalyst to support businesses and
researchers in developing innovative solutions
to challenges in IB and bioenergy and helping
to commercialise UK biotechnology. The 13
networks in IB and bioenergy connect the
catalyst with the academic base. They are
designed to support interactions between
academics and businesses in supply and value
chains, as well as encourage innovation through
proof-of-concept funds and to use the different
funding streams of the catalyst to help translate
the best ideas into new products and services.
Commercialising IB
In addition to partnerships with Innovate UK, the
BBSRC also has a range of other programmes
designed to boost the translation of research into
new products, processes and services. A range
of initiatives offer researchers at any stage of
their career a chance to explore the commercial
potential of their research, to acquire the
business skills to develop the concept, and to
take it towards commercialisation.
Part of the strategy is linking academics to new
environments and skills. The BBSRC offers
programmes that enable academic and
industrial researchers the opportunity to
exchange ideas and experiences by moving
between different environments and cultures
and to gain access to specialist facilities and
equipment. There are also ‘Follow-on Fund’
schemes – a proof-of-concept model where
further work on an idea will take it through to
the stage where the route to application is clear,
which may include a spin-out or licensing
opportunity. The programme enables activities
essential to preparing a robust business plan
and securing, where appropriate, the further
funding and support necessary to progress.
For bigger start-up investments, the BBSRC
has introduced initiatives like the Rainbow
Seed Fund. The BBSRC is a core partner in the
fund, which is an important part of our portfolio
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
93
B I O T E C H N O L O G Y
The BBSRC has funded
13 UK industrial
biotechnology and
bioenergy partnerships
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