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Biotechnology in Scotland

19 Mar 2018
Lyn Smith

Biotechnology in Scotland

The world is in a constant state of flux. Changing demographics, the growing demand for food and fuel, and concerns over agricultural and environmental sustainability are all enormous challenges faced by people across the globe. At the centre of these challenges is biotechnology. The industry’s attempts to meet these challenges head on has fuelled a huge increase in biotechnological advances and, in turn, created a wealth of opportunities within the biotechnology market. Scotland in particular is taking huge strides in the advancement of biotechnology.

Between 2013-2015 saw some major milestones for the biotechnology industry in Scotland. As published in the National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre; there was an 18% increase in sector turnover (taking it to £230m), the number of biotechnology companies grew to over 50, and Scotland’s first biorefinery was opened by Cellucomp. The IbioIC also laid out ambitions to increase the number of companies using industrial biotechnology to 80 by 2020 and to 200 by 2015, with IB contributing a projected £900m to the Scottish economy by this stage (source).

Biotechnology in Scotland

Driving these ambitions forward is a plethora of innovative biotech businesses; Synpromics, Ingenza, Biotangents, and TC Biopharm, to name just a few. Some of these businesses are also finalists in this year’ Scottish Life Sciences Awards – an event which can offer fantastic opportunities for biotech scientists and endeavours.

These businesses are developing innovative solutions to the world’s problems and undertaking vital research supported by ever-increasing investment . Ingenza secured £87,00 of funding to research therapeutic proteins, and is working on innovative techniques to make everyday products more sustainable. Dundee University received £150,000 to boost their research into cereals, in particular barley, and to help secure Dundee’s place as a centre for cereal research. Perhaps most importantly, the IBioIC is committed to reducing Scotland’s reliance on fossil fuels via a variety of innovative methods – such as working with companies to use spent grain from whisky production to produce chemicals.

The biotechnology industry in Scotland is growing in influence, important and ambition with every passing year. We’re proud to be working with businesses at the cutting edge of biotechnology and helping them find the best talent to achieve their ambitions and change the world. If you would like to talk about opportunities in the biotechnology industry, or if you are in the industry and looking to recruit, please get in touch via or on 0131 410 1026.

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