Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Bioscience for renewable resources and clean growth

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has identified industrial biotechnology and bioenergy as high-level priority areas, and has a major role in supporting the development of new strains of organisms, and new biological processes towards improved manufacturing.

Partners involved:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

BBSRC has a major role in supporting the development of new strains of organisms, and new biological processes towards improved manufacturing.

What do we mean by industrial biotechnology and bioenergy?

The use of biological resources for producing and processing materials, energy and chemicals (including pharmaceutical precursors and biopharmaceuticals). These resources include plants, algae, marine life, fungi and microorganisms.

Why we're doing it

There are three main drivers for this programme.

Investing in and developing the UK research base

We want to ensure the UK has the capacity and capability to undertake a wide range of cross-disciplinary, internationally competitive scientific research. This research will serve to attract investment and provide opportunities for employment and economic growth.

Encouraging and building research base and user interactions

We want to ensure the UK research base is connected with its user community to allow the flow of ideas along the supply and value chains. This will allow knowledge exchange and commercialisation of BBSRC-sponsored research and make the community user-ready, as well as prove opportunities for inward investment, employment and economic growth.

This involves working closely with the Technology Strategy Board and the relevant knowledge transfer networks.

Meeting societal needs, promoting awareness and facilitating societal interactions

We want to ensure the UK research base helps to provide solutions to key societal needs, such as helping to maintain affordable, sustainable lifestyles through increased use of bio-renewables, while meeting key legal obligations.

The role also includes promoting interactions with society, informing on the outcomes of research and gauging public attitudes to current and emerging issues in this area.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

BBSRC works with a number of different sponsors to support the development of a high quality, cross-disciplinary community, interacting with users and meeting societal needs.

There are strong links with BBSRC’s strategy of Exploiting New Ways of Working (ENWW) through the use of genomic, systems biology and synthetic biology approaches to industrial biotechnology and bioenergy.

Collaboration with national sponsors

At a national level, there is a portfolio of grant funding covering research funded by BBSRC which may be in collaboration with other sponsors, including EPSRC and industry.

The research is carried out in UK universities and institutes that receive strategic funding from BBSRC.

Significant investments in the area include:

National training activities

BBSRC also supports a number of national training activities in the form of studentships in industrial biotechnology and bioenergy funded through doctoral training partnerships (DTPs).

International collaborations

The key aims of BBSRC are also being met through a range of international collaborations with key UK sponsors and other European funding agencies, through the European Research Area network (ERA-NET) and with the Department of Biotechnology in India:

Who to contact

Michael Booth


Telephone: 01793 418013

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
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