A Glasgow-basedcentre that aims to encourage the development of the industrial biotechnology sector has won £11 million Scottish Government support, which ministers reckon will help create around 500 jobs.

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre said the funding will help it drive forward the sector in Scotland through a partnership of business and academic know-how.

The technology involves using biological inputs such as plants to produce or process materials, chemicals or energy. The sector is seen as an important growth market for Scotland given the richness of the country’s resources and the strength of the university base.

The chief executive of the centre, Roger Kilburn, said it had helped to channel over £50m of funding into Industrial Biotechnology businesses in its first five years.

This has helped support £100m growth in the sector and 170 new jobs.

The centre’s 100 plus members include multi-national companies, public sector organisations and young microenterprises.

Over the next five years it will focus on key areas including leadership, accelerating commercialisation and creating a skilled workforce.

Eminent microbiologist Dame Anne Glover has been appointed chair of the governing board.

Noting industrial biotechnology underpinned innovation in a range of sectors she said the centre could deliver significant value for the Scottish Government, businesses and general public.

The centre is one of eight that aim to draw on the research carried out in Scottish universities to help increase innovation and entrepreneurship in support of economic growth.

Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee said the £120 million already invested in the eight centres, has helped them have a transformational effect on the economy.