Coalition launch puts North West on biotech map, says university

Prof Aline Miller

A new coalition launched today (May 9) by the University of Manchester will put the North West on the biotech map, it says.

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Catalyst (IBIC) establishes the region as a global leader in biotechnology innovation, boosting job creation, collaboration, investment and upskilling in the region.

The project leverages a £5m investment from the EPSRC’s Place-Based Impact Acceleration Account to stimulate innovation and commercial growth.

The IBIC will give businesses and start-ups a platform to engage with higher education institutions, governmental organisations and researchers in the North West, and support translating fundamental biotechnology research from the lab to the real world.

It launches at a significant time for the UK’s biotechnology market. The Government’s focus on biotechnology and new £5m sandbox fund signal increasing interest in the sector, which was valued at £21.8bn in 2023, according to IBISWorld.

Prof Aline Miller, Professor of Biomolecular Engineering and Associate Dean for Business Engagement and Innovation at The University of Manchester, said: “Combine academic research with industrial application, and together we can yield transformative outcomes for both our economy and environment.

“With the launch of the IBIC, we are inviting businesses and start-ups to join us as we take on global challenges like climate change and sustainability.

“To do that, we need to create a vibrant ecosystem of interconnected disciplines to help scale businesses, bring research to life and ultimately deliver huge economic benefits to the North West and beyond.”

This invitation extends particularly to SMEs, high-growth biotech companies, and other businesses interested in contributing to and benefiting from a thriving biotechnology industry in the region.

Companies interested in participating or learning more about the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Catalyst can contact the IBIC team at for more information and to discuss potential collaboration and partnership opportunities.