Industrial biotechnology

The University of Manchester is at the forefront of a bio-industrial revolution.

Our dependency on fossil fuels can't continue, and Manchester academics are leading the way in tackling this global challenge.

The combined effect of fossil carbon depletion and climate change means we must find cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy. We need solutions that will help us respond to society’s grand challenges: an ever-increasing and ageing population, affordable health care, resource efficiency, food security, climate change and energy shortages.

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General Academic Industry Policy

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Developing next-generation bio-technology

The University of Manchester is now leading the way, both nationally and across Europe, towards a bio-industrial revolution. We’re at the forefront of a European industrial renaissance, creating next-generation chemicals for industrial and health care needs.

Using biological resources such as plants, algae, fungi, marine life and micro-organisms, industrial biotechnology, combined with the emerging science of synthetic biology, is changing how we manufacture chemicals and materials, and provides a source of renewable energy.

Interdisciplinary approach

At Manchester our energy academics work across boundaries. We’re channelling the full breadth of our expertise in chemicals, materials and energy to find the answers. In the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, the University has one of Europe’s leading industry-interfaced institutes, with world-leading capabilities in chemicals synthesis and manufacture. The strong interdisciplinary focus of the MIB enables our scientists and engineers to drive state-of-the-art biotechnology research through establishing new types of collaboration.

Supported by a grant portfolio of more than £100 million, we partner with some of the world’s leading companies from across the chemistry, biotechnology and biopharmaceutical sectors – including GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, Unilever and Pfizer– to drive the creation of new, bio-based chemicals.

Industrial biotechnology: Research breakthroughs

Centres of excellence

The MIB is internationally recognised as a leading industry-interfaced biotechnology research institute with exceptionally strong foundational sciences served by pioneering centres of excellence and state-of-the-art facilities. We have unrivalled expertise in industrial biotechnology research areas and collaborate with major national institutes including the Henry Royce Institute, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, and the Rosalind Franklin Institute.

The Centre for Synthetic Biology of Fine and Speciality Chemicals (SYNBIOCHEM) is a UK/European centre of excellence for the synthetic biology of fine and speciality chemicals production (including new products and intermediates for drug development, agrochemicals and new materials for sustainable bio-manufacturing). Through active collaborations with a large variety of industry partners SYNBIOCHEM is harnessing the power of SynBio to propel the production of chemicals and natural products towards green and more sustainable manufacturing processes. More broadly, the centre provides the general tools, technology platforms and know-how to drive academic discovery and benefit industry.

Accessing our facilities

Our research takes place in a 13,100m2 state-of-the-art research support space, which features open-plan, multifunctional research laboratories and extensive specialist facilities over five floors.

Collaborate with us and you can access our bespoke experimental equipment and powerful research infrastructure, all supported by specialist technical experts. These facilities are open to external users from other academic institutions and our experimental officers and technical staff are able to provide you with expert advice, guidance and experimental assistance.

We have facilities dedicated to protein structure, protein expression, biophysics, computational chemistry, mass spectrometry, transcriptomics, secondary ion mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.