Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

BBSRC Invests £10 M in Synthetic Biology

Published: Thursday, November 07, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, November 07, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The investment has been allocated to the fund by the BBSRC in response to the 2012 Synthetic Biology Roadmap, which sets out plans to harness opportunities in this area.

Entrepreneurial scientists in the synthetic biology space can benefit from a new £10M investment fund that opens for business today. The new fund will help companies in the early stages of their journey towards sustainability, through investment, strategic support and leveraging private capital.

The synthetic biology fund will be managed by private investment specialists Midven through its association with the long-established Rainbow Seed Fund, which provides kick-starting finance to technology start-up companies that evolve (or 'spin-out') from publicly-funded research.

Science Minister David Willetts said: "Small businesses make up 99 per cent of all businesses in this country. They are a vital driver of our economy's success, and business-led innovation in this sector will ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of the global science race. It is imperative we do all we can to ensure businesses don't just survive, but thrive."

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC's Executive Director, Innovation & Skills, said: "For synthetic biology to deliver benefits to society we need to translate basic research into useful products, tools and services. It is notoriously hard for early stage companies to do this because of difficulties moving from an establishment phase towards sustainability. The first round of finance is always the hardest to find and this new fund provides a solution."

Long-term development programmes and the difficulty of raising finance conspire to hamper progress in the early stages of a company's development. This has resulted in the phrase 'Valley of Death' being a common term for the road to commercialisation. This investment aims to bridge the valley offering support to help businesses stand on their own.

Midven is perfectly placed to manage the fund; the Rainbow Seed Fund is already supported by several Research Councils and has a long and established track record of success.

Over the past decade the Rainbow Seed Fun has: leveraged over £150M of private investment from just £7M of its own investment (a ratio of over £20 for every £1 from Rainbow); supported 29 technology start-up companies (in sectors such as health, environmental services, international development, and security and defence); and bolstered the UK's exports (between 75% and 100% of sales in Rainbow Seed Fund companies are overseas and helped create employment today of 172 high value technology-related jobs).

Dr Andrew Muir, a director of Midven, said: "This is a significant move and potentially hugely beneficial for a burgeoning sector. We are excited by the UK's strength in the field of synthetic biology and believe there is potential to build world-class companies in the UK. While the Fund aims to make a financial return on investment, we are willing to take risks by investing at the earliest stages and to hold our investments longer than a typical venture fund. We are in a great position to provide capital and other assistance to grow companies that would otherwise struggle to get off of the ground. It's the experience, knowledge and strategy – as well as the investment – that affords firms the opportunity to partner with us as a route to growth."

Core partners in the Rainbow Seed Fund include BBSRC, The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Genome-Editing Position Statement
A group of leading UK research organisations has today issued an initial joint statement in support of the continued use of CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome-editing techniques in preclinical research.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Expanding the DNA Alphabet: 'Extra' DNA Base Found to be Stable in Mammals
A rare DNA base, previously thought to be a temporary modification, has been shown to be stable in mammalian DNA, suggesting that it plays a key role in cellular function.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Researchers Use ‘Big Data’ Approach to Map the Relationships Between Human and Animal Diseases
EID2 database used to prevent and tackle disease outbreaks around the globe.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
TGAC at the Forefront of Next Generation Sequencing Capability
The Genome Analysis Centre adds two Illumina HiSeq 2500 machines to its platform suite.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
£12M for Synthetic Biology Facilities and Training
The UK Research Councils, led by the BBSRC, will award £10M to establish five centres for DNA synthesis across the UK to further develop the UK's research base in synthetic biology.
Monday, April 07, 2014
Scientists identify ‘long distance scanner’ for DNA damage
BBSRC-funded scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered that a mechanism for preventing mutation within important genes involves long distance scanning of DNA by a molecular motor protein.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
UK Establishes Three New Synthetic Biology Research Centres
Bristol, Nottingham and a Cambridge/Norwich partnership will be UK centres for synthetic biology.
Friday, January 31, 2014
New Chromosome Map Points the Way Through Campylobacter’s Genetic Controls
The Institute of Food Research has produced a new map of the Campylobacter genome, showing the points where all of this pathogenic bacteria's genes are turned on.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
A Community Based Approach for Tackling the Post-Genomic Data Deluge
Correspondence highlights the benefits of a community approach to gathering data that can help improve our understanding of the functions of genes.
Monday, October 14, 2013
‘X-Shape’ Not True Picture of Chromosome Structure, New Imaging Technique Reveals
First 3D pictures of chromosome structure revealed.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Moving Genes have Scientists Seeing Spots
An international team of scientists has perfected a way of watching genes move within a living plant cell.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Advance in Understanding Genome Reproduction
Researchers have provided new insight into how chromosome integrity is threatened each time a cell grows and divides, helping to underpin our knowledge of healthy aging.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
£60,000 Competition to Recognise Innovative Scientists Launched by BBSRC
Innovator of the Year 2014 competition launched by BBSRC to recognise and reward scientist's whose excellent science and innovations are delivering real world impact.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Babraham Scientists Establish Cancer-Focussed Collaboration with AstraZeneca
Partnership aims to advance cancer research and develop and evaluate new therapeutic strategies to tackle prostate and pancreatic cancers.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Pig Disease that Costs Millions Targeted by Genetic Study
A fast mutating virus that affects pig herds and costs pork producers millions of pounds each year is being targeted by scientists.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Scientific News
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Biologists Induce Flatworms to Grow Heads and Brains of Other Species
Findings shed light on role of a new kind of epigenetic signaling in evolution, could yield clues for understanding birth defects and regeneration.
Turning up the Tap on Microbes Leads to Better Protein Patenting
Mining millions of proteins could become faster and easier with a new technique that may also transform the enzyme-catalyst industry, according to University of California, Davis, researchers.
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tardigrade's Are DNA Master Thieves
Tardigrades, nearly microscopic animals that can survive the harshest of environments, including outer space, hold the record for the animal that has the most foreign DNA.
The Secret Behind the Power of Bacterial Sex
Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at Oxford University.
Farming’s in Their DNA
Ancient genomes reveal natural selection in action.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos