The MIB pursues and is engaged in challenging research projects that enable us to make significant advances in science and engineering to benefit industry and society. Through innovative research, we can help you advance your business, solve technical problems, improve your processes, develop new products and build the technical capabilities of your staff. We understand the importance of adapting the approach to meet the needs of the project.Our partnerships range from collaborative research programmes, scoping exercises, technology transfer, joint studentships, service work and/or consultancy etc. There are a number of ways for commercial businesses to reap the rewards of the high level of academic expertise fostered in the MIB. Benefits of collaborative research with MIB include:

  • the cost effective trialling and testing of products, drugs and compounds using University facilities and expertise
  • the development of close long-term relationships with academic staff to build a relevant and comprehensive portfolio of research and expertise needed to meet your company’s specific needs.
  • the transfer of innovative techniques and practices from the laboratory to the manufacturing process
  • the direct licensing of innovative technologies and processes
  • the accessing of government and European Union funds for academic research that would be out of reach for purely commercial projects

Existing partnerships include companies from the Chemical, Biotechnology and Biopharmaceutical sectors. Current industry co-funded research projects include:

  • Exploring energy landscapes in complex enzyme systems (Bruker)
  • Directed enzyme evolution studies (BASF)
  • Biologically produced hydrocarbons (Shell)
  • Exploring superior biocatalysts for statin drug production (DSM)
  • Development of novel biomaterials for use in regenerative medicine and development of leading edge biocatalysts targeted at key life science processes (Solvay)
  • Development of industrial chemicals through novel synthetic biology and pathways engineering (GSK)
  • New methods for the rapid directed evolution of enzymes and synthetic microorganisms for the development of industrial biocatalysts (GSK)

For details of funding opportunities for collaborative projects, please look at our Funding page.

Funding for collaborations

There are established pathways for those who wish to establish collaborative links with the Institute.

CASE studentships – each year the University has a number CASE PhD studentship awards (for each award the Faculty is required to have an industrial partner). CASE awards are a relatively inexpensive way to set up a collaborative research project. See our principal investigators to identify an academic partner with whom you would like to collaborate and contact the academic directly to discuss your interest.

Industrial CASE awards – businesses can apply to the funding councils directly for an Industrial CASE award. Once the company has received the award it can select any academic partner for the project.

LINK scheme – projects that fit the criteria for the scheme can receive 50% of the funding for the costs of the project from the government.

Industrial Partnership Awards – projects that are at least 10% funded by industry can qualify for an IPA, which would then normally be funded in preference to other projects of similar merit.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – these collaborative partnerships serve as a mechanism to transfer knowledge and to develop graduate and postgraduate personnel for industrial careers. Applications are encouraged from biotechnology small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Industry Fellowships – these awards provide funding for either an academic scientist to carry out applied research OR industrial scientists to carry out academic research.

In addition to the wide-ranging opportunities above, all of which are restricted in some way by the various criteria of the awards, businesses interested in collaborative research can also choose to directly fund a project.

“The Synthetic Biochemistry team at Glaxo Smith Kline is actively involved in the discovery, development and industrialisation of new biotechnological solutions to traditional chemistry problems. As part of this initiative we constantly seek to improve our capabilities and have found MIB to be highly informed and capable partners. We are actively involved in multiple large collaborations and will continue to seek involvement from the MIB team.”

Joe Adams

Biocatalysis and Synthetic Chemistry Manager, GSK

“AstraZeneca (AZ) and MIB have a significant overlap in research interests and expertise particularly in the application of biophysics and structural biology approaches to studying drug targets for poorly-treated and emerging diseases. Future collaborations will further enhance student training and see an exchange of scientists and ideas to create a stimulating scientific environment to tackle fundamental challenges in early-phase drug discovery.”

Alex Breeze

Principal Scientist, Structural Biophysics, AstraZeneca