Planning for Business Growth?

By Dr Carol Phillips

IBioIC is a valuable support network for industrial biotechnology and I am looking forward to chairing the session on planning for business growth at this week’s annual conference.

Biotech companies often start small and grow quickly. But the growth that investors are looking for, and that CEOs and their teams are working so hard to achieve, can present many challenges. How do you market your products in the right way to the right people? How do you scale up your processes and ensure that your workforce has the skills you need? How do you find the partners that you need to collaborate with to get your ground-breaking technology from the laboratory bench to the marketplace?

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) provides an invaluable network and support system that can help with many of these critical issues, and I am delighted to be chairing a session that focuses on planning for business growth at this year’s annual conference – especially since 2020 marks 70 years since the National Collection of Industrial Bacteria (NCIB) was established – it’s a great way to mark the anniversary of this culture collection, which is now part of NCIMB. The collection has been providing a vital underpinning resource for Industrial Biotechnology since 1950 and today, NCIMB not only provides cultures to the biotechnology sector, but offers a range of supporting services including sequencing, identification and storage of biological material.

The 6th annual IBioIC conference will be held in Glasgow on Wednesday 5th – Thursday 6th February, and the programme showcases the breadth of support that involvement with the organisation, which was set up in 2012, can deliver.

The event attracts academic researchers and biotech companies ranging in size from micro SMEs to large multinational organisations, and covers a broad range of topics that are of importance to the biotech industry – from discussions on the role of government policy and public engagement, to networking and partnering opportunities, which this year include a chance to meet potential employees from a new HND in industrial biotechnology. 

There is also a useful presentation on experimental design and applying statistical thinking to industrial problem solving, as well as an interactive seminar on monitoring, controlling, and optimising bioprocesses with molecular spectroscopy.

The biotech sector holds so much potential for solving the big challenges of our time, and this is reflected in the programme, with a session that focuses on how we can sustainably meet global demand for high quality protein for human consumption, and another that considers what we can learn from the bio-refining success of the Nordic countries.  The conference even takes a look at the potential role of biotechnology in relation to the growing issue of fashion and the circular economy.

The session that I am chairing is new for 2020, and gives IBioIC members who provide business services an opportunity to showcase those services, and the support available to help companies in their innovation journeys.

I returned from last year’s annual conference feeling inspired, optimistic and grateful to be part of such an incredible industrial biotechnology community, so I can’t wait to play my part in this year’s event.

Published: 04th February 2020