|12 November 2015|

Scotland is leading the way in producing the next generation of pioneers for the industrial biotechnology industry.

The first cohort graduate from the University of Strathclyde today on the Masters programme in Industrial Biotechnology, led by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). The group of talented individuals leave with a phenomenally high level of achievements, with job offers from companies such as Ingenza, Marine Biopolymers Limited and Oxford Biotrans; and some being invited to continue their work at PhD level.

The students, aged 22-30 are from towns in Scotland as far and wide as Isle of Lewis to Perth to East Kilbride. This provides an essential pathway for the distribution of knowledge and skills in Scotland, where ‘brain drain’ to city centres is a vital issue for the development of skilled workers in rural areas.

The MSc in Industrial Biotechnology is the UK’s first collaborative Masters programme in industrial biotechnology. Designed by IBioIC in response to industrial need the degree is administered and awarded by the University of Strathclyde, the qualification is taught at eight different institutions across Scotland including: Edinburgh University, Strathclyde University, Glasgow University, Heriot Watt University, SAMS, University of Highlands & Islands, University of the West of Scotland and Abertay University. The unique aspect of this programme is that it harnesses the intellectual expertise of each HEI and combines them into one bespoke course. The students spend eight months travelling around Scotland being taught key aspects of biotechnology, travel paid for, whilst the remaining four months of the course are spent with an IBioIC industrial partner gaining valuable experience in an industrial environment.

Roger Kilburn, CEO of IBioIC said: “We are proud to support the first generation of new skilled workers to the industrial biotechnology industry. As an innovation centre, we strive to boost the Scottish economy by providing 1,500 new jobs in the industry by 2020. Programmes such as the Masters degree and the new HND programme, launching next year, allow us to equip students with the vital skills needed for industry and produce a highly employable group of individuals.”

Applications are now open for the 2016 course, commencing in September 2016, with at least twenty funded places available for Scottish and EU students. For more information and to sign up to the course, visit the University of Strathclyde website here.