What a nice experience for a start-up to conduct a feasibility study!
by Dr Pattanathu Rahman, Founder TeeGene Biotech Ltd.
‘It was one of the great moments, when I met a Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) facilities representative at the Industrial Biotech Leadership Forum (IBLF) at London in Feb 2015. I picked up a flyer highlighted 30K Innovation Voucher! From their business desk at the event. The flyer was sitting on my table with other brochures collected at the event. When I was looking at the funding applications in UK based funding agencies. Most of them are lengthy and various uncertain steps like Expression of interest, Full application, and various stages of checks etc. I just recalled the 30K Euro voucher flyer sitting on my table. I picked up the phone and called the person whom I met and discussed about my project at IBLF London. But one of the colleagues attended the phone call and gave the details and procedures for the application and received the form on the same day by email. It is relatively well structured and simple form and very efficient communications from BBEPP staff to understand our project requirements through Telephone conference and various advises to complete the form. An interview with our UK contact points made the entire application process very effective and they announced the results within a week!’
It is an immense help for the start-up companies like TeeGene to move on to feasibility studies to prove our technology platform. It is not finished just with application! Immediately after the approval of the voucher the BBEPP representatives arranged for tech transfer procedures in the following week and started the scale up work in two weeks! The experts in BBEPP has brought some new insight to our business prospective and uncovered many challenges we have been facing for two years in the process development. The BBEPP approach is outstanding and very encouraging for entrepreneurs like us to actively involve in the business. The communications through email, teleconference and reporting are exceptional…I am one of the very satisfied customers for BBEPP. The feasibility study have 3 stages, they have reached stage 2 within two weeks! Amazing tech transfer team work….Congratulations to all the hardworking Scientists, Technologists and Managers at the BBEPP facility in Ghent, Belgium. The biosurfactant scale-up work in 150L fermentation at BBEPP was successful, which gave TeeGene to confidently manufacture biosurfactants using its process platform.
TeeGene Biotech, a Teesside University spin out venture, has developed unique strains of bacteria which produce biosurfactants, which act like soap ans help emulsify different liquids. Most people consider soap to be an effective means of removing bacteria from their skin. However, TeeGene’s team have flipped this concept on its head by discovering a way to create soap from bacteria. Unlike traditional surfactants which are made using synthetic materials, biosurfactants can be manufactured in a laboratory and have minimal impact upon the environment, making them much more economical and efficient. TeeGene Biotech’s unique way of processing the biosurfactants means the company is able to scale production to meet the demands of industry ranging from cosmetics to biopharmaceuticals. Other uses include oil recovery, reducing pollution and food processing. The biosurfactant market in Europe is already worth £511m and is expected to grow to £1.35bn by 2030.