Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

University awarded £3m for sustainable biotech project

The University of Manchester has received £3 million to develop new sustainable ways of manufacturing the chemicals used in thousands of everyday products.

The University of Manchester has received £3 million to develop new sustainable ways of manufacturing the chemicals used in thousands of everyday products.

The University’s Institute of Biotechnology is one of five beneficiaries of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)’s Strategic Longer and Larger Grants (sLoLaS) scheme, which funds high-value long-term research projects.

The University of Manchester’s project, led by Professor Nigel Scrutton, will create a ‘biofactory’ production pipeline for developing chemicals production solutions that reduce the need for fossil fuels as a raw material, which is taken for granted in thousands of everyday projects.

‘Sustainable manufacturing processes’

Professor Scrutton said: “Our vision is to harness the power of synthetic biology to propel chemicals and natural products production towards green and sustainable manufacturing processes.

“More broadly, the programme will provide the general tools, technology platforms and synthetic biology ‘know-how’ that will impact widely in the sustainable manufacture of chemicals and natural products for development by the industrial sector. 

Critical challenges

A total of £15.8 million has been awarded through the sLoLaS scheme to provide funding and resources to address major reach gaps in bioscience. 

BBSRC chief executive, Prof. Jackie Hunter, said that the scheme “gives world-leading scientists based in the UK long-term funding to work on critical research challenges. 

“Those challenges include producing clean energy, new ways to produce medicines and other valuable chemicals, and protecting livestock from disease,” she added.

“Not only will these funded projects help the UK and the world to address these challenges, but it will build vital research capacity here in the UK and provide opportunities for economic and social benefits.”