Securing a green recovery is high on everyone’s agenda, but the question remains of how we make this work in reality for industry. 

We can future-proof our manufacturing industries as part of the post-Covid-19 green recovery by embracing scalable biotechnology, which will be the start of a journey that looks to create credible economic opportunities, ranging from agriculture to high-value manufacturing.

Having local supply chains where possible is a major shift away from current highly-complex, high carbon footprint, global supply.

Sustainable processes for industry will feature as part of Scotland’s Countdown to COP26 conference on 3 November.

Led by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the session will look at how changing our approach to the likes of waste generation and utilisation can build cleaner, better and greener technological solutions.

Those joining the session will first hear from IBioIC’s Technical Director Ian Archer, who will introduce the concept of building new bio-based supply chains in Scotland, what biotechnology is and what it could really look like for the future. By joining IBioIC’s opening session, attendees from all backgrounds will be brought quickly up to speed on the science and what biotechnology can achieve, as well as how this all relates to the low carbon agenda.

Argent Energy’s R&D Manager Martin Kingsley will then guide the audience into the world of energy, specifically on the ‘Role of biofuels as a pathway to Net Zero’. Argent Energy is the UK’s leading sustainable biodiesel company, specialising in producing clean, green fuel from waste products like used cooking oil, fats, oils and grease, as well as the likes of sewer grease and other waste products which have few alternative uses.

Moving away from energy into the construction sector, who are recognised as a major contributor to carbon emissions, IndiNature’s Chief Executive Officer and founder Scott Simpson will explore the application of biotechnology in the world of construction in ‘Global carbon storage in buildings: fast at scale and naturally’. IndiNature makes sustainable building products and materials from biomass-derived materials.

Continuing the construction theme, closing the session on ‘Maintaining and developing our national infrastructure’ will be the University of Strathclyde’s Professor Rebecca Lunn MBE, who holds a Royal Academy of Engineering and BAM Nuttall research chair in biomineral technologies for ground engineering. Attendees will learn about the fascinating technology of putting microbes into concrete and soils, where they produce minerals to fix cracks and turn soils into rocks.

If biotechnology is to have a significant impact on the green economy and the country’s GVA, it is essential that biotechnology companies drive their processes through to manufacturing scale. The company paving the way on Scotland’s road from biotechnology research to industrial scale, is Celtic Renewables. The Scottish SME, named the most Innovative Biotech SME in Europe, is currently in advanced stages of building Scotland’s first commercial scale biorefinery in Grangemouth, which will process residues from the whisky industry into high-value low-carbon biochemicals and advanced biofuel, to grow the circular economy.  The company’s Founder and President, Professor Martin Tangney OBE, will discuss the difficulties of achieving industrial scale ‘From innovation to Industry – bridging the gap’.

Spearheading the uptake of bio-based green technology is IBioIC’s CEO Mark Bustard. Looking ahead to the conference, IBioIC’s CEO said: “IBioIC was established to support innovation and translation of great science to Scotland’s economic benefit. What is evident now more than ever is the role that industrial biotechnology has to play in realising Scotland’s net zero carbon targets. The technologies discussed in our session are being delivered right now, they are not just research concepts. They can happen, and are happening, at scale. Biotechnology can support our green recovery, we need to grab the opportunity with both hands. Driving the translation of fantastic research into sustainable manufacturing processes is key.”

To join the conversation, register for Scotland’s Countdown to COP26 conference at:

The event takes place on Tuesday, 3 November, is free to attend, and will be accessible online.