The RCUK Synthetic Biology Working Group (chaired by BBSRC) has invested £40m (£10m capital from Autumn Statement and £30m recurrent from BBSRC and EPSRC) in three multidisciplinary Synthetic Biology Research Centres (SBRCs) focused in strategic areas relevant to key industrial sectors. Awards were announced for Bristol, Nottingham and a Cambridge/Norwich partnership in January 2014.
The centres will create a critical mass of UK synthetic biology research boosting research capability, underpinning economic growth, encouraging inward investment in the UK and keeping the UK ahead of growing international competition. The centres will also provide a focus for industrially-relevant training, providing the next generation of researchers and the foundations of a skilled industrial workforce that will ensure the UK can exploit the commercial potential of synthetic biology.
Up to six centres will be funded in two phases; in addition to the three funded in this financial year (2013-14), a further three will be funded in the next financial year (2014-15). For each phase there is £10m of capital funding available, with up to an additional £30m of 5 years recurrent funding provided by BBSRC and EPSRC, making a total of up to £40m for each of the two phases.