On Sunday the 2nd of June, Ingenza colleagues Ian Archer, Fraser Brown and Alison Arnold completed The Stirling Triathlon and raised money for Papyrus UK.
The triathlon consisted of a 750m swim followed by a 20km bike ride and finished with a 5k run. All three Ingenza triathletes completed the race and posed proudly on their ranked podiums in the summer sun.
Ali Arnold, Head of Fermentation at Ingenza, described the triathlon; “Initially we were all very intimidated by all the fit looking professional triathletes who all seemed to know what they were doing compared to us novices in our first triathlon. But once the event started it was great everyone was very friendly and helpful. It was very well organised and there was a good atmosphere. The weather really helped. I would definitely do one again but would work a bit on my swim and cycle for next time!”
Everyone at Ingenza would like to congratulate Kirsty Glendinning, Ross Hepplewhite and Jonathan Selfridge on their recent graduation. Kirsty, Ross and Jonathan graduated from Forth Valley College with an HNC in Life Sciences.
Expanding biotechnology company, Ingenza Ltd, today welcomed Angela Constance MSP, Scottish Minister for Youth Employment to meet their growing Modern Apprentice team. Ingenza, based in Roslin, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, employed the first of their apprentices back in 2009.
Kirsty Glendinning (20), Ross Hepplewhite (20), Jonathan Selfridge (19) and Jack Kay (17) make up Ingenza’s youthful team of Modern Apprentices (MA). Each MA supports a different area of the business within Ingenza’s laboratories at the Roslin BioCentre. Ingenza provides efficient scalable bioprocesses to manufacture chemicals, biologics, pharmaceuticals and biofuels, from sustainable sources.
The MA scheme allows each individual the opportunity to attend college on day release to work towards achieving accreditation in Life Sciences. Kirsty, Ross and Jonathan have recently completed their HNC in Life Sciences which has allowed them to develop into Research Assistants at Ingenza. Jack joined the team in January so he will work towards the completion of his HNC in 2013.
Ingenza President, Dr. Ian Fotheringham explained how valuable the MA’s are to the team; “We are delighted to welcome Ms. Constance to Ingenza and demonstrate to her how employing apprentices has had a positive impact on our business. Our apprentices are now just as employable as University graduates due to the wealth of experience they have gained over the past few years and are integral members of their respective teams. I anticipate we will recruit more Modern Apprentices as the company grows.”
Angela Constance MSP shared her thoughts on Ingenza and their Modern Apprentices; “The Life Sciences sector in Scotland is vital for our economy as well as our worldwide reputation for being a research pioneer. I commend Ingenza for their forward thinking approach in fostering a new generation of young scientists, and offering up some excellent opportunities for training in this exciting sector.”
Ingenza Ltd. based at the Roslin BioCentre has today celebrated the opening of a new tissue culture laboratory. The state-of-the-art clean room will expand the company’s capabilities to construct efficient cell lines to produce human therapeutics and is complimentary to Ingenza’s microbial strain construction expertise.
Ingenza’s staff has doubled in size every two years to date since the business began in 2003, as the company has applied its suite of biosciences enabling technologies to new sectors of UK industry. Ingenza is now primarily focussed in the strategic areas of biologics development and manufacture and the application of synthetic biology for sustainable bioprocessing. The company’s customer base extends through Europe and North America in the areas of pharma, chemicals, food, feed and renewable fuels. The new laboratory will create 4 new jobs within the first year and potentially 35 additional jobs within 3 years, augmenting the 25 current members of staff.
President of Ingenza, Dr. Ian Fotheringham explains, “Today illustrates Ingenza’s potential to provide commercial and manufacturing support for Scotland’s state-of-the-art research in life sciences.”
Rhona Allison, Life Sciences Director at Scottish Enterprise, officially opened the new suite and said: “The opening of this impressive new laboratory marks an important milestone in the development of Ingenza’s business in Scotland. The company has continued to go from strength to strength since moving to Roslin Biocentre and is a great example of Scotland’s thriving life sciences sector. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the company to support its ambitious expansion plans.”
Ingenza were also joined by local Cllr Russell Imrie, who explained “Ingenza’s involvement in a wide range of sectors, and its achievements as a synthetic biology SME are indicative of the growth of the science sector in Midlothian as part of a strong and diversified local economy of national and international importance. Midlothian Council recognises this in the development of the Midlothian Economic Development Framework, and the Life Sciences, Animal Biosciences, and Earth Sciences sector action plans.”
Ingenza Ltd. and Lucite International have entered a multi-year collaboration that will bring together Ingenza’s synthetic biology and bioprocess development platforms with Lucite’s long term experience and expertise in the manufacture of industrial polymers. The partnership will develop advanced, proprietary bio-manufacturing routes to key building blocks, currently produced using petrochemical based starting materials. The new processes will provide Lucite with a new generation of highly cost-competitive and sustainable manufacturing capabilities. The terms of the agreement are not being announced.
Ingenza, based in Roslin near Edinburgh, is a world leader in the application of synthetic biology, developing practical, cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly commercial bioprocesses in the pharmaceutical, food ingredient, feed and renewable fuels industries and for the manufacture of chiral chemicals with exceptional enantioselectivity.
Dr Ian Fotheringham, President of Ingenza commented, “The adaptability of Ingenza’s combinatorial genetics, fermentation and bioprocess optimisation platforms is ideally suited to provide the innovative bioprocesses, envisaged by Lucite”.
Scottish scientists are investigating how tiny organisms found in the stomachs of cows could be used to create valuable industrial products including biofuels and pharmaceutical building blocks from waste plant materials.
A collaboration between life sciences company Ingenza and leading researcher Professor John Wallace of the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, is examining how enzymes from the microbes that live in the stomachs of cattle and other ruminants – animals that chew the cud – could be used industrially to break down the tough internal structures of plant and tree matter to create sustainable alternatives to petrochemical-derived products such as fuel, commodity chemicals and fine chemicals.
Humans are unable to digest this material, which becomes roughage in the diet. However, Ingenza and Prof Wallace hope to identify enzymes found in ruminants that allows them to digest these complex structures.
The discovery and application of these enzymes could help scientists to release untapped energy in waste plant and tree products and use it to manufacture renewable alternatives to products such as petrol and diesel fuels.
The microbes are obtained from the cattle by painless procedures. If the project is successful, Ingenza would use it’s own production systems , such as yeast, to mass produce the enzymes for industrial use.
Dr Ian Fotheringham, president of Ingenza, said: “People have been trying to unlock the energy in plant and tree matter for years, but our approach recognises how nature has already successfully done it.
“If we can identify novel enzymes that allow ruminants to break down these tough structures, and then replicate them on a large scale, the possibilities for more sustainable and renewable industrial practices are enormous.
“Society is starting to look towards how greener practices can contribute to economic growth and more sustainable living in a meaningful way – this project could be a real step towards that.”
For more details about the Rumens and Ruminants Interest Group, see the Bioscience KTN website: www.innovateuk.org/biosciencesktn
On the 13th of July 2011, Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism visited the laboratories of Ingenza. Mr Ewing spoke to Ingenza President Dr Ian Fotheringham about Ingenza’s future development and also discussed Ingenza’s work in biofuels with Dr Franck Escalettes (Head of Molecular Biology).
Mr Ewing was also interested to meet Kirsty Glendinning who is one of Ingenza’s three Modern Apprentices. Kirsty, 19, joined Ingenza at the tender age of 17 and has since progressed with her studies at Forth Valley College where she is working towards gaining an HNC in Life Sciences. Kirsty is based in the molecular biology department at Ingenza and works hard to support all the senior scientists.
Ingenza Ltd. has recently received funding from the Technology Strategy Board for three new biotechnology projects in the areas of Industrial Biotechnology and the commercial application of high-throughput genome sequencing. These projects will directly support and accelerate Ingenza’s synthetic biology platforms to develop new synthetic routes to manufacture high value chemicals, such as pharmaceutical intermediates.
One project will develop a highly innovative bioprocess to replace the current petrochemical route to a very large volume platform chemical. The Technology Strategy Board’s support will also positively impact Ingenza’s biologicals and biofuels manufacturing processes, providing insight to the genomic location of DNA modifications which have yielded process improvements, thereby facilitating further increases in the efficiency and adaptability of Ingenza’s world class technology. The role of the Technology Strategy Board is to promote and support research, development and exploitation of technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life.
Ingenza Ltd., is a leader in the development and application of engineered microbes for industrial use, operating state-of-the-art facilities at The Roslin BioCentre, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Ingenza’s team has over 25 years of expertise in molecular genetics, enzymology, fermentation and bioprocess development. The company’s high cell density fermentation of improved microbes and industrial bioprocesses are currently undergoing scale-up worldwide.
Dr Ian Fotheringham, President of Ingenza, commented; “Technology Strategy Board support is a key driver of innovation in UK biotechnology and I am thrilled that we have been awarded this funding to expand the industrial applicability of our production organisms”.
Dr Franck Escalettes, Head of Biosciences at Ingenza added; “High-throughput genome sequencing is extremely synergistic with our strain improvement programs, enabling us to rapidly identify the basis of improved performance and to combine random and rational mutation approaches.”
The awards will further enhance Ingenza’s position at the forefront of industrial and synthetic biotechnology worldwide.