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Joint investment to accelerate UK sustainable biomanufacturing

One project supported through £11.5 million investment will focus on biocatalytic nitro-reductions in scalable continuous flow reactors, using paracetamol as a case study.

A new £11.5 million investment is set to support the development of innovative solutions to drive advancements in sustainable biomanufacturing in the UK.

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is backing 21 cross-sector collaborations designed to generate innovation, commercialisation and growth in this area.

UKRI highlighted that overall, these investments will “enhance the UK’s global competitiveness by supporting research and innovation that leads to new and disruptive biomanufacturing processes across the UK.”

This joint investment is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK, according to UKRI.

Challenge areas

The organisation stated that each biomanufacturing project will address one or more of the following challenge areas:

  • increasing the use of bio-based feedstocks
  • developing alternative bio-based chemical replacements
  • enhancing the sustainability profile of biotechnology processes
  • innovative use and reuse of renewable feedstocks
  • establishing biotechnology-based manufacturing processes for sustainable and circular products.

Driving sustainable innovation

The organisation added that the collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects will help to produce “innovative products and processes that are both scalable and sustainable.”

Importantly, UKRI also stated that the manufacturing-focused programme will help the UK’s efforts to achieve the goal of Net Zero by 2050.

Focuses of the 21 CR&D biomanufacturing projects include:

  • Biocatalytic nitro-reductions in scalable continuous flow reactors: paracetamol case study
  • Bio-electrocatalysis ethylene synthesis
  • Bio-methanol manufacturing using farming biogas by-products
  • Developing innovative green packaging materials
  • Development of recyclable, sustainable and functionalised packaging materials using plant-based technology to replace plastic.

Advancing UK biomanufacturing

“This investment will support cutting-edge, collaborative research and development, enabling businesses to bring new technologies to market faster whilst enhancing the UK’s position as a global leader in sustainable manufacturing,” Dr Lee Beniston FRSB, Associate Director for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative R&D at BBSRC shared.

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