The UK's Technology Strategy Board is to run a competition to fund the development and commercialisation of innovative processes that will generate high value chemicals through industrial biotechnology. Up to £2.5m will be invested and applications are invited for both feasibility and collaborative research and development projects.
Projects should look at how industrial biotechnology and/or biorefining can be competitively applied to the production of high value chemicals. The competition aims to stimulate collaboration between industrial biotechnology developers, higher education institutions and, in particular, the chemicals sector. The chemicals and chemistry-using sectors are encouraged to use this initiative to pilot industrial biotechnological routes to replace existing thermochemical processes or to address new challenges.
Following the signing of an agreement between the UK and Norway that encourages UK-Norwegian projects incorporating industrial biotechnology and/or biorefining, Innovation Norway intends to provide the public funding element for any Norwegian SMEs engaged in successful projects meeting their normal criteria for eligibility. Innovation Norway’s main funding instrument is the Industrial Research and Development Contracts (IFU) which supports a SME to work with an end user and their programme on upscaling and demonstration of new processes.
Up to £1 million will be available for UK parties in feasibility projects, which must be led by a UK SME and be collaborative. The projects should be at pilot scale, usually lasting six to nine months. In addition, up to £1.5 million will be available for UK parties in collaborative R&D projects, which must be led a by a UK business and should include an end-user. The projects should be at production scale and will usually last up to two years. Co-funding from the Research Councils may also be available for UK academic partners.
The competition opens on 19 September 2011 and closes on 3 November 2011. Further information about the competition can be found at: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/producing-high-value-chemicals-through-industrial-.ashx