SAMS news room

SAMS partner in successful biotech innovation project

£700,000 committed to Industrial Biotechnology innovation projects


The first successful projects in a funding competition run by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) have been announced with total funding of over £700,000 committed and two Scottish SME’s leading the way.

The Exemplar Project Competition aims to support the development of new products and manufacturing processes to bring them closer to commercial realisation.

The successful projects aim to develop improved methods for the manufacture of a number of different products using both bacterial and micro-algal systems. IBioIC is contributing almost £400,000 to the first three projects with a further contribution of almost £350,000 being made by the academic and industrial partners. The first two projects announced here are now underway whilst the third project will commence in the near future.

The first two applicants that have been successful in the first IBioIC Exemplar Project Competition following a review process include;

  • a project led by GlycoMar, a Scottish biotechnology company developing products and services for the human healthcare and personal care markets. Their project will use a microalga, a single-celled species found in sea water, to produce an active ingredient for the, cosmetic sector. If successful, it will deliver the first example of a new high value product from UK marine biotechnology, using microalgae for sustainable IB production. The project also involves the Scottish Association for Marine Science (University of the Highlands and Islands), the University of Strathclyde, the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership at The University of Edinburgh and Norwegian-based company MicroA A/S.
  • a project led by Ingenza, a worldwide leader in applying industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology to the manufacture of chemicals, biologics, pharmaceuticals and biofuels, from renewable sources. The project will use engineered bacteria for the scalable biosynthesis of products traditionally made from petrochemical starting materials. The resulting bioprocess will deliver sustainable manufacturing of valuable industrial chemicals. The project is a collaboration between Ingenza and University of Strathclyde.

Charlie Bavington, Managing Director of GlycoMar said: "IBioIC funding has offered GlycoMar & MicroA an opportunity to work with SAMS, University of Strathclyde, and University of Edinburgh to solve some of the problems we have encountered while scaling up the production of our microalgal cosmetic product. The outcomes of this project are likely to be very important to the commercial viability of the product."

Ian Fotheringham, Managing Director of Ingenza, said: "This collaboration with Strathclyde University, supported by IBioIC, will help us determine why some of our engineered microbes show superior productivity over others. We can then apply that learning to increase both speed and predictability in achieving optimised industrial processes. IBioIC is a critical enabler in the Scottish biotechnology community."

Roger Kilburn, CEO of IBioIC, said: "This is a key milestone in the delivery of the IBioIC Vision to achieve the commercial development of industrial biotechnology in Scotland. It is very exciting to see these first projects underway and especially to see these two Scottish SME companies benefitting from this collaborative approach."

The second Exemplar Project Competition is open for applications until 30 September 2014. Further information can be found at

Notes to editors

M: 07776 206451

  • IBioIC is a facility for the development of biological substances, systems and processes to produce chemicals, materials and energy. It aims to promote collaboration between industry and academia, to drive innovation, to find commercial opportunities for new technology and ideas and to support projects that bring biotechnology closer to industrialization.

    Our vision is to create a truly distinctive world-leading Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC).  We will accelerate and de-risk the development of commercially viable, sustainable solutions for high value (specialty & commodity)manufacturing in chemistry-using and life science sectors.  In so doing we will establish an innovation and growth engine yielding substantial economic impact and delivering increasing and sustainable wealth creation, prosperity and employment in Scotland.

    By 2030 our target is to generate £1.0 - £1.5bn of Gross Value Added contribution annually to the Scottish economy, this represents a growth of revenue from today's estimated value of £190M, to between £2 and £3bn.
  • The Exemplar Programme aims to support the development of new products and manufacturing processes to bring them closer to being realised in industry.  It will support collaborative projects that address a defined market need or commercial opportunity through the innovative application of biotechnology.

    The current Exemplar Project Competition is open until 30 September 2014 for its second round of applications. The centre is seeking bids for industrially led projects that will show a commercial benefit within 12 months.

    As well as being led by industry, all projects must involve a collaborative team which includes at least one Higher Education Institute partner.

    Projects with a maximum value of £250,000 will be considered, with a maximum of 50% funded by IBioIC. They may involve activities such as strain selection, fermentation optimisation and biochemical analysis.

    Entries are to be submitted, by the projects’ lead partner, by noon on Tuesday 30 September 2014. Application forms and competition criteria are available at
  • GlycoMar is a biotechnology company discovering and developing products for the healthcare and personal care markets. The company, founded in 2005, has an established discovery platform technology based on glycobiology products, which generates valuable intellectual property. GlycoMar is developing novel pharmaceutical products that address unmet clinical needs in the treatment of inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. The company is also developing cosmetic ingredients for the skincare market.

    GlycoMar is collaborating with MicroA A/S, a microalgae technology company based in Norway, to commercialise a novel cosmeceutical ingredient derived from marine micro algae.
  • Ingenza Ltd is an industrial biotechnology company with a broad customer base across the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, feed and fuel industries.
    Ingenza apply synthetic biology to the manufacture of industrial products including enhanced biofuels, sustainable manufacturing of chemicals and the production of protein therapeutics.

    Ingenza’s scientific and commercial activities are led by a management team with over 25 years’ experience in applied bioscience and the development and commercialization of biobased products.

    In addition to engaging in strategic partnerships to tailor bioprocess services for clients, Ingenza also license their proprietary bioprocess technologies.

    Contact:; Twitter: @Ingenza Ltd; E:

  • < Previous|Next >