New UKRI funding aims to enhance UK sustainable biomanufacturing

Pharmaceutical factory woman worker in protective clothing operating production line in sterile environment

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) partners announce new feasibility awards to develop and improve sustainable biomanufacturing in the UK.

The joint investment by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK will support 34 feasibility studies across the UK.

It will also support academics and businesses to embark on new collaborations that will further advance research, innovation and commercialisation in UK sustainable biomanufacturing.

Competing on the global stage

These awards are the first stage of a wider sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture programme being delivered by BBSRC, EPSRC and Innovate UK.

The programme aims to enhance UK global competitiveness by supporting research and innovation that focuses on developing new and disruptive sustainable biomanufacturing products and processes by 2050.

Further £12 million funding opportunity open

As part of this initiative, a new £12 million sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture collaborative research and development funding opportunity is now open for applications.

Collaborative projects led by academic researchers and industry partners are welcomed and encouraged before the funding opportunity closes on 3 May 2023 at 11:00am UK time.

Supporting biomanufacturing for the future

The 34 feasibility projects just announced represent an investment of more than £2 million and will help advance the development of biomanufacturing across a range of UK industry sectors, including:

  • agriculture
  • construction
  • fast moving consumer goods
  • healthcare
  • textiles

They will deliver innovations that help boost sustainable biomanufacturing processes by:

  • increasing the use of bio-based feedstocks
  • supporting the development of alternative bio-based chemical replacements
  • enhancing the sustainability profile of biotechnology processes
  • improving the use and reuse of renewable feedstocks
  • developing biotechnology-based manufacture processes for sustainable and circular products

Ultimately, the projects will support UK biomanufacturing in becoming:

  • net zero and resource efficient
  • resilient and responsive
  • technologically advanced and digital

Sustainable economic growth

Dr Ruth Nottingham, Head of Business Engagement and Intelligence at BBSRC, said:

Biomanufacturing offers a wealth of opportunity, both for the UK and on a global scale.

The 34 feasibility awards being funded will help expand the research and innovation capability in biomanufacturing across the breath of the UK.

This latest investment by UKRI partners provides businesses and academic researchers with the opportunity to collaborate on future innovations in biomanufacturing that will support the UK in achieving its clean growth ambitions.

Get in touch

If you’re interested in applying for the sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture collaborative research and development funding opportunity and want to find out more, please email us at:

Further information

The 34 projects

Sustainable production of PHAs through valorisation of seaweed processing waste

FlexSea Ltd and iBiotech Ltd

PhycoFib: sustainable fibrous materials from microalgae

The University of Sheffield, Efficiency Technologies Limited and AgriFoodX Limited

Redesigning bioreactors for sustainable bio-based manufacturing

Sterling Bio Machines Ltd and Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) Limited

A feasibility study in sustainable biological fibre cleaning

Fibe Limited and National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Bumpe ECO: a bio-derived wearable smart garment to prevent stillbirth

Radical Fibres Ltd and Kymira Ltd

Feasibility study into the production of bio-based monomers by fermentation at scale (Feasi-Ferm)

Biome Technologies plc and University College London

Bio-based feedstocks for bottle lid manufacturing (BioLids)

Bangor University and Pulpex Limited

Microalgae as a biomanufacturing platform for bioplastics

Phycoworks Ltd and FlexSea Ltd

Microalgal biomass as a sustainable alternative to bitumen in road construction

CO2CO Ltd, Imperial College London, Nanolyse Technologies Limited and The University of Sheffield

Development of a circular bio-based polymer for the moulded ruggedised cases industry

CP Cases Ltd, Queen’s University Belfast and Matrix Polymers Limited

Potential for bio-based waxes for paper bottle barrier coatings

Pulpex Limited and the University of Nottingham

Optimising feedstock utilisation for a fermentation-derived palm oil alternative

Sun Bear Bioworks Ltd and Evolutor Limited


Procter & Gamble Technical Centres Limited and CPI Limited

Intensification of metallo-enzyme production to unlock sustainable biocatalytic hydrogenation

HydRegen Limited and the University of Nottingham


Future Humanity Ventures Limited and KoFibres Ltd

Development of BioMara’s sustainable biorefinery for biomanufacturing new products from residual ‘waste’ streams and sustainability improvements

BioMara Limited and KelpCrofting Ltd

Enzyme-based process for sustainable fertiliser from poultry manure

Lohas Recycling Limited and the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) Limited

De-risking activities for the validation of Ecosaf technology for new bio-based surfactants for detergent applications

Bioataraxis Ltd and Imperial College London

Antimicrobial biomaterials from bio-based feedstocks with novel feedstock supplementation strategies

Evolutor Limited and The University of Sheffield

Microbially recovered lignin for foams (MireLifo)

University of South Wales, Bangor University, Bryn Power Limited and Tata Steel UK Limited

Exploring mycelium or mushroom derived leather dyeing applications using food-waste derived dyes for the development of sustainable fashion products

Sages London Ltd, Cranfield University and Osmose Studio Ltd

HempSil Board: a low carbon breathable insulating plasterboard

Material Research Limited and the University of Hertfordshire

Mycelium Utilisation for Sustainable Housing (M.U.S.H)

Seven Oaks Modular Limited and Cardiff Metropolitan University

Enzymatic production of fluorocellulose (EnzFluoroCell)

Iceni Diagnostics Limited and The University of Manchester

Use of bio-based feedstocks for new food products

SPG Innovation Limited and Cassels Farm Limited

Sustainable bio-based materials from biomanufacturing waste streams

Deakin Bio-hybrid Materials Ltd and C3 Biotechnologies Ltd

Sustainable seaweed hydrogels for next generation lithium-ion batteries

Marine Biopolymers Ltd and the University of Glasgow

Feasibility study into methods for improving the scalability of MICP (microbially induced calcite precipitation) for the production of low carbon precast tiles and internal cladding systems

Cresco Biotech Ltd and Northumbria University

New proteins for new threads

Imperial College London and Eden Bio Ltd

A feasibility study to optimise extraction of bio-based materials following fermentation of distillery waste

Mednet Ltd and BDC Limited

MykoBead: an innovative and low carbon loose-fill bead insulation made from waste bio-based feedstocks

Mykor Ltd, BDC Limited and University of the West of England

A novel manufacturing process for the net zero separation and purification of bio-based cadaverine for sustainable fashion application

Algreen Ltd and The University of Manchester

Renewable synthesis of diols from seaweed

Mara Seaweed Ltd and Drochaid Research Services Limited

Valorisation of waste or by-product plant biomass to produce circular biodegradable materials including single use packaging

Xampla Ltd

Top image:  Credit: Traimak_Ivan, iStock, Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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