A LEADING scientist, writer and broadcaster will tell a conference in Glasgow that start-ups in industrial biotechnology (IB) have to get out and tell people what they are doing.

Writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry will tell the annual conference of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) that scientists can “sometimes struggle” to present the significance of the work they undertake to help save the planet.

She is one of the keynote speakers at next month’s conference, which will see more than 450 delegates and a host of companies exhibiting their smart solutions to a global audience.

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Parry, a scientist by training, is head of engagement at Genomics England and a member of the UK Research and Innovation Board. She previously had a role on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme.

The National: Writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry.Writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry.

She said: “Industrial biotechnology start-ups need to get out and tell people what they are doing, quickly demonstrating the solution to a problem.

“Scientists can sometimes struggle to communicate to policy makers and the public the significance of what they are doing to save the planet.

“Keep it simple and show the real value in your product and the positive impact it can make to everyday life and the environment. When I listen to someone presenting their concepts, I want them to excite me about the potential of their product in a way that is not hyped, but is really clear.”

Biotechnology is the science of using plant-based and waste resources to produce or process materials, chemicals and energy, and offers green and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels in everything from energy to medicines and food packaging.

To date, IBioIC has overseen the doubling of IB in Scotland to more than £350 million and supported more than 130 companies, 50 research projects and 18 Scottish universities and research institutes.

The IBioIC conference will see global experts share their knowledge, challenges, opportunities and best practice, and will again highlight Scotland’s capabilities in driving the bio-based economy.

“The recent BioCity UK Life Science Start-Up Report revealed Scotland is the leading UK centre for environmental and agricultural biotech start-ups, with positively disproportionate growth to the rest of the UK which is great,” said Mark Bustard, commercial director at IBioIC.

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“But to truly succeed, a change in mindset from great science to

successful manufacturing is needed if they are to capitalise on their innovations. The move to manufacturing generally happens with significant capital investment which they secure from being able to demonstrate robust processes clearly to prospective backers.

“Scotland has a national plan for IB and, as a nation, it is rich in natural resources. We just need to capitalise on it in a similar way the Nordic countries have.”

Bustard went on to list some of Scotland’s success stories in biotech.

“There is a growing appreciation and support for the role bio-based industries have in tackling the climate change emergency and creating a circular economy to meet the Government’s net zero carbon targets by 2045.”

“Companies like ScotBio, CelluComp and Celtic Renewables are all fantastic examples of award-winning organisations who are doing just that by driving science to generate and make products. They are creating workforces of innovators who are interested in manufacturing.

“Scotland has an eco-system that supports and develops IB talent and IBioIC’s scale-up facilities provide a platform for academics and entrepreneurs to accelerate growth and demonstrate proof of concept.”