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The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation & Growth Team (IB-IGT)

The IB-IGT is a joint project facilitated by BERR's Bioscience and Chemicals Units

The IB-IGT was established in November 2007 to facilitate the creation of a strategic view collectively from industry on what the innovation & growth challenges are for its future competitiveness and how industrial biotechnology (IB) can improve the competitiveness of the chemicals and chemistry-using sectors as availability.

IB-IGT Government Response

The Government has now published its response to the independent report 'IB 2025: Maximising UK Opportunities from Industrial Biotechnology in a Low Carbon Economy', and has outlined the key commitments that will help the UK better utilise our world class science and research base in partnership with business.

The actions outlined in this response will help to identify and deliver new processes, materials and products which can be translated into tangible outputs within a UK environment that is the best place to conduct innovative approaches to IB, and position the UK to gain the significant economic and environmental benefits IB presents.

The full report is available here.

A press notice is available from here.

'IB2025 Maximising UK Opportunities from Industrial Biotechnology in a Low Carbon Economy'

The industry-led IB-IGT, chaired by Ian Shott published its report to Government on 14 May. The report sets out their vision for IB in 2025 and makes a series of recommendations to Government and industry on how to achieve this vision.

By 2025 the IB-IGT sees:

The power and benefits of IB being fully evidenced across the UK chemical and chemical-using industries, driven by coherent manufacturing, skills, environment and technology policies, judicious investment, and a sense of urgency, to deliver innovation, jobs and prosperity

The work of the IB-IGT was delivered through an industry-led Steering Group that had overall ownership of the IB-IGT and three sub-groups that addressed a series of linked issues in order to identify the critical challenges for this area; see related documents for details of this work.

The IB-IGT looked at the whole business environment affecting IB, with the full involvement across Government. It worked closely with key opinion leaders in industry and has identified five critical recommendations that will ensure the UK is best placed to translate the opportunities IB presents into innovations, jobs and prosperity:

  • Provide leadership to promote and connect IB activities across all supply chains;
  • De-risk access to new IB products, processes and technologies;
  • Accelerate the innovation and knowledge transfer process for IB;
  • Position IB to attract and retain high quality scientists, engineers and managers; and
  • Create a truly supportive ‘public’ and ‘business’ environment for IB.


IB 2025


Supporting Documents











The definition accepted by BERR and EuropaBio is the use of biological resources for producing and processing materials, chemicals and energy. Such resources include plants, algae, marine life, fungi and micro-organisms.

IB uses biotechnological knowledge – about genomes and complex cell functions – to develop new processes for making products such as industrial enzymes or chemical building blocks. These are used, in turn, in the production of chemicals, detergents, textiles, paper, and much more. This kind of work requires an understanding of enzymes, proteins and DNA at a molecular level. It involves the ability to work with cells, tissues and whole organisms; the use of process engineering and fermentation; and the use of advanced techniques such as bioinformatics and genomics.

Biotechnology applied to energy and fuels is already the subject of significant investment, development activity and government support. The work of the IB-IGT broadens the picture to other chemistry-using sectors where IB holds the promise of a major dividend.

IB is not an industry sector in its own right. Rather, it is a key underpinning technology with applications across the highly diverse chemistry-using industries – effectively, every manufacturing sector.

For more information please email:



Please note that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) became the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), June 2009; references to "BERR" in this web site/page indicate activities, publications, etc., which pre-date the Departments name change.