Glasgow to host leading biotechnology conference

● Glasgow wins bid to host EFIB 2016, the leading European conference on industrial biotechnology (IB)

● Further recognition of Scotland as a centre for IB and innovation

● Event will bring a wealth of potential European business to Scotland

Glasgow was today announced as the host city for EFIB 2016, the leading European event for industrial biotechnology and the bioeconomy. Represented by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) and Scottish Enterprise, the announcement highlights Scotland’s position as a prominent hub for the industrial biotechnology sector in the UK and Europe.

The ninth European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy (EFIB) comes to Scotland in late October 2016 and will attract industry executives committed to a shift towards renewable, biologically-based manufacturing. EFIB is organised by EuropaBio, Europe’s largest and most influential biotechnology industry group and will be supported in Glasgow by Team Scotland, which includes IBioIC, Scottish Enterprise, SECC and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and partners such as The Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK.

The UK IB market currently includes over 120 companies which generate an annual turnover of over £4 billion. These companies have grown rapidly - since 2010 their joint turnover has leaped by 53%, with an increase of 21% in the number of jobs available in the sector. All are set to continue growth for the foreseeable future.

The level of IB development and investment is particularly high in Scotland thanks to a strong heritage in engineering, and a wealth of natural resources that are ideal for IB activities. World-class academia combined with strong academic/industry partnerships enabled by IBioIC’s ongoing work, means that there is huge potential for the further development and the use of IB in Scotland.

This event will bring a wealth of potential European business to Scotland and an ongoing opportunity to increase visibility of Scottish business opportunities, European partnerships and economic benefits. It will also provide significant opportunities for collaborative projects between Scottish and European organisations and institutions, allowing Scotland to further rise as a world leader in this sector.

Team Scotland plans to ensure that EFIB 2016,held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in the heart of Glasgow,will endeavour to make this the lowest carbon EFIB Conference to date. This will involve a number of partners in Glasgow, such as the Nextbike scheme and Glasgow City Council, encouraging delegates to be mindful of the environment; encouraging the use of public transport only using green sources of power and the use of paperless meeting capabilities within the venue. SECC supports the “Trees for Life” conservation charity dedicated to the restoration and regeneration of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland.

Quotes from Team Scotland:

Roger Kilburn, CEO of IBioIC said: “The UK biotechnology sector is growing year on year and Scottish companies are at the forefront of this movement. We are delighted to bring EFIB to Glasgow, providing excellent business opportunities for the Scottish economy and demonstrating how innovative we are as a nation.”

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We’re delighted that the leading European conference on industrial biotechnology has chosen Glasgow as its host destination next year. Glasgow is a city rich in innovation, past and present. Our history is packed full of home-grown pioneers whose inventions have impacted people across the globe. Today Glasgow is leading the way in innovation; with our expert academics, our world class research and our state-of-the-art facilities, it’s a winning collaboration.”

Caroline Strain, head of chemical sciences, Scottish Enterprise, said: “This is an excellent win for Scotland and for our industrial biotechnology sector. The bid process to host the EFIB Congress on behalf of the UK was a real ‘Team Scotland’ approach and by working with our key partners we have been able to successfully take advantage of the opportunity, further underlining Scotland’s global reputation in life and chemical sciences.”

The bid was supported by the following organisations: IBioIC, Scottish Enterprise, BBSRC, Biorenewables Development Centre, Chemical Sciences Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network, ScotCHEM, SULSA, Scottish Government, Scottish Development International, Scottish IB Development Group, Life Sciences Advisory Board, Centre for Process Innovation, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre, Glasgow City Council and Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum.

Notes to editors

About industrial biotechnology

Industrial biotechnology (IB) is the use of biological sources to produce or process materials, chemicals or energy. For example, plants can be processed to produce biofuels or plastics as an alternative to crude oil, algae strains could be used in cosmetics or chemicals extracted from marine life to replace synthetics.

IBioIC’s role is as a specialist in the Industrial Biotechnology (IB) sector, designed to stimulate the growth and success of the IB industry in Scotland by connecting the dots between industry, academia and government. It represents all four colours of IB, facilitating collaborations and guiding organisations from concept to industry adoption.

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