‘It also presents a very real opportunity for the UK to lead in creating and delivering significant economic and societal impacts on a global scale.’
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have given a boost to the UK’s research community making £20.6 million available to bolster interdisciplinary research and drive the UK’s ambition to retain and sustain a world leading capability in Engineering Biology. UKRI said that the new funding ‘drives forward an exciting and ambitious programme of work for UK Engineering Biology.’ This work encompasses novel research, innovation and community, and capacity development.
Of the available funding; £14.78 million will support 12 awards across 10 UK lead institutions for up to 24 months. UKRI said that the awards will allow the continued growth of research communities and capacity across the UK towards establishing the proposed National Engineering Biology programme. They will also support the development of new and novel research ideas such as engineering molecular constructs for improved control of insect diseases and reducing carbon emissions in fermentation processes.
In addition £2.25 million has been allocated to fund 23 awards across 15 UK lead institutions for up to 12 months. This funding will support breakthrough ideas in Engineering Biology covering areas such as novel materials, and bioengineered cells and systems. Finally £3.58 million has been used to fund six existing research projects established through UKRI’s Synthetic Biology for Growth programme.
Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Chair of the UKRI cross-council steering group on Engineering Biology said: ‘Engineering Biology is an exciting area of research that harnesses synthetic biology concepts and translates them into tangible real world solutions. It also presents a very real opportunity for the UK to lead in creating and delivering significant economic and societal impacts on a global scale.’
On the 23 May 2022, SCI is holding the Engineering Biology – Applications for Chemistry-using Business event. Attendees will hear perspectives from several companies including Croda and Johnson Matthey. Ahead to this event Ian Shott, Executive Chairman of Shott Trinova sets his thoughts on: How the UK can lead the brave new world of Engineering Biology.