Scotland set to showcase innovation ambition

Vivienne Parry, scientist, writer and broadcaster

VIVIENNE PARRY, scientist, writer and broadcaster, has been announced as one of the keynote speakers at the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) Annual Conference.

The international industrial biotechnology (IB) conference, now in its sixth year, is expected to attract over 450 delegates to Glasgow on 5 and 6 February 2020, and will see innovative companies exhibiting their smart solutions to a global audience.

A scientist by training, Vivienne is the Head of Engagement at Genomics England and is also a UK Research and Innovation Board Member.  Her significant writing and broadcasting experience presenting audiences with the science solutions inspired a generation of scientists, through her previous role on the BBC Tomorrow’s World programme.  Here she has some advice to those attending the conference. 

She said: “Industrial Biotechnology start-ups need to get out and tell people what they are doing, quickly demonstrating the solution to a problem.  Scientists can sometimes struggle to communicate with policymakers and the public the significance of what they are doing to save the planet.

“Keep it simple and show the real value in your product and the positive impact it can make to everyday life and the environment. When I listen to someone presenting their concepts, I want them to excite me about the potential of their product in a way that is not hyped, but is really clear.”

Mark Bustard, Commercial Director at IBioIC

Mark Bustard, Commercial Director at IBioIC echoes Vivienne’s advice: “The recent BioCity UK Life Science Start-Up Report revealed Scotland is the leading UK centre for environmental and agricultural biotech start-ups, with positively disproportionate growth to the rest of the UK which is great.  But to truly succeed, a change in mindset from great science to successful manufacturing is needed if they are to capitalise on their innovations.  The move to manufacturing generally happens with significant capital investment which they secure from being able to demonstrate robust processes clearly to prospective backers .”

“Scotland has a national plan for IB, and as a nation, it is rich in natural resources.  We just need to capitalise on it in a similar way the Nordic countries have.  There are a growing appreciation and support for the role bio-based industries have in tackling the climate change emergency and creating a circular economy to meet the Government’s net-zero carbon targets by 2045.

“Companies like ScotBio, Cellucomp and Celtic Renewables are all fantastic examples of award-winning organisations who are doing just that by driving science to generate and make products.  They are creating workforces of innovators who are interested in manufacturing.

“Scotland has an eco-system that supports and develops IB talent and IBioIC’s scale-up facilities provide a platform for academics and entrepreneurs to accelerate growth and demonstrate proof of concept.  Our expert team can also help them to get their voice heard by key stakeholders and work with them to drive a positive and supportive environment for the continued growth of IB in Scotland.”

The IBioIC conference will see recognised global experts come together to share knowledge, challenges, opportunities and best practice, and will once again highlight Scotland’s capabilities in driving the bio-based economy.

To register for the conference, visit:

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