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Springboard your business with an IBLF Award

APPLY NOW to a new competition to help springboard your business 

It’s easy to apply - get your mobile phone, iPad or tablet out now and tell us your 2-minute story!


The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), on behalf of the Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF), has launched a brand new and unique business competition offering 9 awards worth £10k each to help early stage biotechnology SMEs and start-ups gain access to key resources.

Think you might be interested?
Please read on …..


What’s the prize?
Five great reasons to apply
It's so easy to apply!
What will your award buy?
Pitch to the IB 'Dragons Den'
9 awards available
Who can apply?
What happens next?


What's the Prize?

A £10k voucher to enable you to ‘pay’ for a set piece of work or resource chosen from one of our sponsored services (e.g. market research, web/app development, PR, business coaching, process facilities, IP protection/ exploitation)


A free delegate pass (worth £300) to the Industrial Biotechnology Showcase (11-12th February 2015) in London where you can showcase your business to industry leaders and investors


Five great reasons to apply

  • A chance to win a £10k voucher to redeem against one of the services offered by our sponsors
  • An opportunity to access resources to help springboard your business (e.g. high impact website, bit of market research, advice on IP, or a bit of PR to get your message across in the right way)
  • A chance to pitch to a panel of industry leaders and investors in our Dragon’s Den style session – ‘The IB Den
  • A platform to showcase you and your business
  • An opportunity to network with a 400+ delegation all working in the IB or biobased space


It’s so easy to apply!

  1. Create a 2 minute video pitch: tell us about your company, which service you require and why*, and explain what added value will this award have for your business. Your video will be judged on your message, not your filming abilities, so don't be shy - get your mobile phone, iPad or tablet out now!
  2. Submit your video online by midnight 28th November 2014 at:
  3. A panel of industry experts will assess your video. A short list will then be invited to give an oral pitch (5 minutes) in a ‘Dragons Den’ style session at the Industrial Biotechnology Showcase conference on 12th February 2015 in London.This will be your chance to expand on your video pitch and present your business case to the panel.

Our sponsors will provide services to springboard your business

Should you win an award you will be able to choose one of our sponsor companies to provide a service or resource for your business. The total value of the work is £10k - the sponsor will contribute £5k in-kind, whilst the other £5k will be paid to the sponsor by the KTN.

New sponsors are coming on board on a weekly basis, you can keep up to date on our website, where you can also find out more about the services they can offer you if you were to win.

The types of services being offered are:

•   PR
•   IP protection/exploitation
•   Market research
•   Business mentoring/coaching
•   Process facilities


•   Website and/or App design
•   Legal advice
•   Value chain

Pitch to the Dragons in the IB Den

A panel of industry experts will assess your video. A short list of entrants will then be invited to give an oral pitch (5 minutes) in a ‘Dragons Den’ style session at the Industrial Biotechnology Showcase conference on 12th February 2015 in London. This will be your chance to expand on your video pitch and present your business case to our ‘Dragons’.

How will pitches be assessed?
To have the best chance of winning, your pitch should:

  • Clearly define and communicate the ambitions and goals of your business 
  • Demonstrate that the business focuses on biobased products or processes, or the utilisation of biomass for chemicals, biomaterials, energy or bioactives; or, technology to support such industries (e.g. omics, synthetic biology, sensors, photobioreactors etc.)
  • Explain the the need for support and how the award will benefit the company*
  • If you have identified the type of service (e.g. web and app design, PR etc) you require, briefly describe what your aim will be and proposed outcome
  • If you have not identified the specific type of service you require, that’s fine, explain why and what help you require or have sought, in order to decide

Who are the Dragons?

Confirmed assessors and IB Den panel members include:

  • Prof Tom Brown, University of Oxford
  • Dr Ian Fotheringham, President, Ingenza Ltd
  • Dr Stuart West, MD, Biocatalysts Ltd
  • Dr Colin Harrison CBE, Non-executive Director, Centre for Process Innovation
  • Alan Wolstenholme, Founder, Caledonian Solutions Ltd

Interested in becoming a Dragon and assessing our competition entrants? Contact

How many awards are available?

We have 9 awards available, thanks to funding from Scottish Government and NERC.

NERC is sponsoring a voucher to specifically encourage submissions from businesses focusing on algae as a feedstock for energy, fuel, bioactives or in bioremediation applications.


Who can apply?

The competition is open to biotech SMEs and start-ups that are:

  • Focused on using bioprocessing, biocatalysis, or biomass for the production of chemicals, biomaterials, energy or bioactives; or technology aimed at supporting such industries (e.g. analytical, synthetic biology, omics, sensors etc.)
  • UK registered
  • Less than 12 months since registration or pre-revenue


What happens next?

If and when you win your £10k voucher, the KTN will provide you with a list of sponsoring service providers for you to choose from. You must choose and approach the service provider within 3 months of being awarded. To help the decision making process, you can keep up to date on the sponsoring service providers on our website.

Full Terms & Conditions can be found here.



‡ Your video does not need to be technologically complicated or a work of art so don’t spend all of your £10k on this! Be creative but keep it simple, just get your message across and catch the assessor’s attention.

* If you do not know which service you would like and would like to choose when awarded the voucher, or require advice from the panel, that’s fine. Just tell us your business ambitions.


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Webinar on funding opportunities for Industrial Biotech & SynBio

This KTN webinar provided an update on the upcoming funding opportunities for industrial biotechnology & synthetic biology, with particular focus on the remit of each competition and where applications are likely to fit best. 

Download the slide deck >>

Watch the webinar recording >>

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