The Rt Hon Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), visited the University’s Bristol BioDesign Institute today, along with a visit to science incubator, Unit DX.
In particular, the group discussed the Ziylo and Carbometrics story that saw the University of Bristol spin-out reach a deal with a potential value of over US$800 million and aims to develop new glucose-responsive insulins for diabetics.
Harry Destecroix, CEO and Co-founder at Unit DX and Carbometrics, said: “Bristol is an exciting place to be at the minute, as there is a cluster of biodesign companies at Unit DX with huge potential. We are happy that central government is recognising how Bristol science is making a global impact, and we were delighted to welcome Lord Henley to Unit DX.”
Lord Henley toured the BrisSynBio facilities and discussed Bristol’s latest translational research projects and training activities with BrisSynBio scientists and biodesign researcher leaders.
The Bristol BioDesign Institute is pioneering the use of engineering approaches to harness the power of biology. The combination of biology, chemistry, engineering and computer sciences enables wide-ranging applications, from health to food security. The Institute links world-class research in Bristol’s Synthetic Biology Research Centre, BrisSynBio, multidisciplinary training in the SynBio Centre for Doctoral Training, industrial engagement and commercialisation through the BBI Innovation Programme, and public dialogue through synthetic biology art and outreach projects.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Nishan Canagarajah, and Director of Bristol BioDesign, Professor Dek Woolfson (Biochemistry and Chemistry), met the Minister to discuss the future of biodesign research and innovation at the University.
Professor Canagarajah said: “We were delighted to welcome Lord Henley to the Bristol BioDesign Institute. This institute aligns £104M of synthetic biology research in Bristol and cements the University’s place as a world-leader in biomolecular design. Lord Henley’s visit is recognition of how Bristol is leading the charge to use synthetic biology to drive economic impact and tackle hitherto intractable public and industrial needs.”
Business Minister Lord Henley said: “Bristol’s innovative businesses and academics are applying science and engineering to seize the biggest opportunities and tackle the greatest challenges of our time.
“The Bristol BioDesign Institute and Unit DX are a great example of the strong links between our world-leading universities and businesses that the Government is supporting through our modern Industrial Strategy, backed by the biggest increase in public research and development investment in UK history.”