UKRI Launches Biotech Business Incubation Centre to Boost Start-ups

From left to right: Paul Vernon, Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, Amy Farrington, Head of Business Incubation at STFC, and Massimo Noro, Business Development Director, STFC. Credit: STFC

(IN BRIEF) UK Research and Innovation has launched the Biotech Business Incubation Centre (Bio BIC) in the north-west of England to support small biotech businesses. Bio BIC, a collaboration between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council, will provide funding, access to R&D facilities, business coaching, and networking opportunities to help these businesses turn their innovative technology concepts into reality. The program is located at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory and will provide support over a 5-year period, with the aim of accelerating the emergence of successful biotech start-ups in the region.

(PRESS RELEASE) SWINDON, 8-Feb-2023 — /EuropaWire/ —  UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom that directs research and innovation funding, is proud to announce the launch of the Biotech Business Incubation Centre (Bio BIC), a program aimed at supporting biotechnology start-ups in the north-west of England.

Bio BIC, a collaboration between UKRI’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), will help small biotech businesses bring their innovative technology to market. Located at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, Bio BIC will provide a comprehensive support package, including R&D funding, access to facilities and technical advice, intellectual property protection, unlimited business coaching, and networking opportunities with investors, customers, and stakeholders.

BBSRC has invested £110 million in north-west bioscience and biotechnology research, and Bio BIC aims to accelerate the emergence of successful new companies from these research strengths. With a recent study mapping UK biotech start-ups finding that the north-west is home to 670 such companies, Bio BIC offers a valuable opportunity for businesses in the region.

STFC has a strong track record of supporting small businesses, including over 100 start-ups through its highly successful European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC UK). Participating companies in the program contribute on average £350,000 annually to the UK economy, with a survival rate of more than 95% after 5 years.

Sci-Tech Daresbury, located in the Liverpool City Region, is home to more than 150 high-tech companies and three established industrial clusters in the health tech, space, and digital sectors. The Bio BIC initiative adds momentum to the growing biotech cluster at Sci-Tech Daresbury and its ‘home-for-life‘ ethos.

Dr Karen Lewis, Executive Director for Capability and Innovation at BBSRC, said:

“As the UK’s major public funder of bioscience research, BBSRC is committed to driving and accelerating advances in bioscience and biotechnology that have the potential to contribute new and novel bio-based solutions to some of the biggest problems facing society.

“Coupled with STFC’s unparalleled expertise and success in business incubation, the new Bio BIC will create a dynamic and productive environment that enables the successful translation of bioscience research outcomes into real-world and commercial impacts.

“This investment in the new Bio BIC represents an exciting opportunity to drive growth and prosperity to benefit the region, and the UK.”

Paul Vernon, Executive Director of Business and Innovation at STFC, and Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, said:

“The Bio BIC marks the start of exciting opportunity for pioneering biotech start-ups across the north-west.

“STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory is the UK government’s national laboratory of the north and I’m really looking forward to working closely with BBSRC to help businesses innovate and turn their ideas and biotechnology applications into viable and successful businesses.

“The Bio BIC could be the start of a catalyst for growth of the biotechnology sector in the region, ultimately benefitting our economy and society.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“The Liverpool City Region is lucky to be home to a thriving community of businesses that are constantly innovating and finding better ways of doing things.

“We have an invaluable natural resource, our people, which combined with our asset base, can help put as at the forefront of UK science and innovation.

“I want to take advantage of our strengths, and potential, and turn them into profitable businesses, creating better, greener jobs and bringing greater prosperity to local people.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is too, by investing 5% of our GVA in research and development over the next few years, nearly double the government’s national targets, to ensure our region is the fuel that powers the country’s innovation engine.

“Programmes like Bio BIC are helping us to do just that.”

Further information about application and eligibility for the Bio BIC, and how it could benefit your business, is available on the Bio BIC website.

Media contact:

Chris Buratta – Head of External Communications
Phone: 01793 298 902



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