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Biosciences scoop over £7M from Government commercialisation fund

23 June 2008

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) welcomes the announcement that four bids which it supported under the Public Sector Research Exploitation Fund have been awarded a total of over £7M, and are among 33 successful bids to the Fund.

The new awards have been made to Plant Bioscience Ltd (PBL), Babraham Bioscience Technologies (BBT), the Rainbow Seed Fund, Genecom Ltd, and the Genomia Fund.

Dr Doug Yarrow, BBSRC Director of Corporate Science said: "There is significant competition for these grants and we are delighted that our community has performed so well, gaining almost a quarter of the £30M funding from DIUS. UK bioscience is among the best in the world and to ensure the maximum benefit for the country from this work we need to support the development of commercial ideas. The four successful bids will each help the bioscience community to develop its best ideas to make an important contribution to the UK economy."

The Norwich-based IP management and technology transfer company, PBL has been awarded £1.57M to which BBSRC will add a further £525k, making a total of £2.1M. This will extend PBL’s highly successful Technology Development Programme. The new funding will also strengthen PBL’s collaboration with Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT), the commercialisation arm of the Babraham Institute, in supporting development and commercial uptake of projects from BBT’s Technology Development Laboratory, which provides a proof-of-concept facility for innovators. In addition, funding will be used to assist scientists looking to set up ‘spin out’ companies to develop and market their innovations.

The Rainbow Seed Fund has secured £1.5M to fund Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), who will support the fund to increase the volume and value of its technology spin-outs. The fund provides seed financing for partner organisations to help the development of ideas to commercial concepts. The expertise of the EIRs will be employed to accelerate the process of spinning out a company and increase the chances of eventual success of that company.

Genecom Ltd will use an award of £1.2M to fund proof of concept work. This will include extending the company’s work with the Scottish Crop Research Institute and with Roslin Institute, as well as with the Institute for Animal Health and with Moredun Institute to enhance commercial take up of technologies in animal diagnostics and vaccines.

The Genomia Fund provides seed financing to support emerging technologies and help bring such technologies to market. It has been awarded £3.0M to increase the value of the fund.



Click on the thumbnails to view and download full-size images.

Note that these images are protected by copyright law and may be used with acknowledgement.

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Group photo (L-R): Bruce Smith, Rainbow Seed Fund; Dr Michael Dixon, Natural History Museum; Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson; Dr Martin Hall, Natural History Museum; Professor Ian Boyd, Sea Mammal Research Unit; Seamus Kennedy, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (446KB)
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Dr Martin Hall & Ian Pearson discuss the Natural History Museum's research into the use of insects in forensic crime scene investigations. (411KB)

Notes to editors

The Public Sector Research Exploitation fund was set up in 2001. Bids are assessed by an advisory board that includes independent experts.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £420M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

BBSRC is involved in a wide range of activities to promote, encourage and assist knowledge transfer from the research it funds.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382