The University of Manchester has been awarded £10million to launch a UK-wide biomanufacturing research hub that could pave the way for easier and quicker ways to make new medicines and sustainable energy solutions.

The Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub (FBRH), which will be led by Professor Nigel Scrutton and based at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), with “spokes” at other UK leading institutions, will develop new biotechnologies that will speed up bio-based manufacturing in three key sectors – pharmaceuticals, chemicals and engineering materials.

Industrial biotechnology is the use of biological resources such as plants, algae, fungi, marine life and micro-organisms, combined with the emerging science of synthetic biology to transform the manufacture chemicals and materials. It can also provide a source of renewable energy.

Accelerating the delivery of such technologies, by making the manufacturing processes more commercially viable, means industry partners will be able to meet the societal needs of ‘clean growth’ more efficiently and on more a scalable, global level.

Professor Scrutton, Director of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, explains: “With the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), the University already has one of Europe’s leading industry-interfaced institutes, with world-leading capabilities in bio-based chemicals synthesis and manufacture.

“Now, with the addition of the Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub, it will take it to an even higher level. The fact MIB in partnership with other leading UK centres has secured such a high-priority government research and manufacturing initiative is a testament to the outstanding work we undertake here every day and it will keep us at the vanguard of industrial biotechnology.”


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