Special celebration to mark the University receiving Queen's Anniversary Prize

A celebration will be held to mark the award of a Queen's Anniversary Prize to the world-leading Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) at The University of Manchester.

With the grand challenge of climate change and the call to 'build back better', the MIB has been recognised as a UK centre of excellence that is making a global impact - finding alternative and more sustainable fuels, medicines and advanced materials.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, the University's President and Vice-Chancellor, will be joined by civic and University leaders, funders and industrial partners , plus staff and students, at a digital celebration on Monday, September 7. The event will acknowledge the world-class outputs of the MIB and the hard work of both its research and Professional Services staff to help make the institute a centre of international excellence, a little more than decade after its launch.

The online celebration for the Queen’s Anniversary Prize Higher and Further Education accolade will start at 4pm with a welcome and introduction from Professor Rothwell, who will be followed by:

  • Sir Warren Smith, Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, who will speak about the significance of the Prize and Professor Martin Schröder, Vice-President of the University and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, who will talk about the MIB's national and global significance.
  • Professor Nigel Scrutton, Director of the EPSRC/BBSRC Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub led by Manchester, will describe the successful research strategy that led up to the MIB being awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize; while MIB Director Professor Robert Field will outline the vision and strategy going forward.

The event will also include a Q&A panel session chaired by Professor Rothwell, and Edward Astle, Chair of the University's Board of Governors, will deliver the closing remarks before the screening of a fast-cut and informative video showcasing the exciting research led by the MIB.

Watch the live stream.

Also, a recording of the event will be available from Tuesday, 8 September.

At the heart of the work and research carried out at the MIB is industrial biotechnology - one of The University of Manchester's research beacons. Working alongside industry partners, the MIB is helping to find a path to a sustainable economic future.

"The world today faces many challenges as we look to build a better and more sustainable future – and universities like Manchester are being called upon to help find solutions," said Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.

"We can meet those challenges through the focused and dedicated work of our staff working in collaboration within the University and with our external partners. The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology is an exemplar for that approach. We all take pride in celebrating the Institute’s success and very much welcome this well-earned recognition."

Professor Martin Schröder said: "The work of the MIB has put Manchester, and the UK as a whole, on the international map for industrial biotechnology. By working collaboratively across disciplines, spanning science, engineering and biology, the MIB has pioneered discovery and innovation to establish itself as a world-class leader and beacon in its field."

Professor Nigel Scrutton added: "The UK is now recognised globally as a leader in biotechnology and I believe the MIB has played its role in that national success story, pioneering what has now become a strategically important area of research. This has been an exciting journey - and a very big thanks must go to all members of the MIB community."

Professor Rob Field said: "Recent events have shown science at its best; agile yet focussed, collaborative but effective. I believe both the research and Professional Services staff at the MIB demonstrate those qualities and we will need to draw on our experiences as we look to the future and help design a more resilient and sustainable world."

The MIB success stories include working with a US-based international maritime research agency to develop a renewable alternative to jet fuel following breakthrough discovery that enables bacteria to make fuels when grown in seawater.

The Institute's researchers have also worked on the development of synthetic and analytical tools to both study and construct glycans – complex structures made from sugar – to the isolation of the cause of a unique scent emitted by people with Parkinson's. While in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Professor Field and his spin-out company have been working on developing a low-cost, easy to use screening test device.

The MIB is not the first recipient of a Queen's Anniversary prize within the University's Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE). Research conducted at FSE has now been recognised a total of three times over the past decade. In 2011, the Dalton Nuclear Institute was honoured and, three years later, so were the Faculty's pioneering imaging techniques for advanced materials and manufacturing.

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