Biochemical Engineering


Bioprocess Enterprise Activities

Bioprocess Enterprise Activities

Through the award of a recent £3M HEFCE Catalyst Fund Grant* the department is now able to offer a range of services and the provision of ultra scale-down (USD) devices to industry.  These activities are led by Professor Gary Lye as Director of the HEFCE programme and build on our collective experience, expertise,  research and pilot  plant facilities.  We aim to help our colleagues in bioprocess development and bioproduct discoveries to work their way through to manufacturing and commercialisation.

Bioprocess Service Offerings for Industry

The services that we are able to offer include:

  • Process Research:Ultra scale-down (USD) projects and devices:
  • CE-marked USD devices and support (eg USD centrifugation, depth filtration)  
  • USD-enabled bioprocess development
  • Consulting on USD applications
  • Early stage process development
  • Scale-down modelling and initial scale up verification

Companies can access these through:

Consultancy service | Industry-funded priority projects | TSB Collaboration | EngD Programme

Ultra Scale-Down Technology

A key feature of our enterprise activities is the application of our Ultra Scale-Down (USD) technology platform. The USD platform is a combination of specialized devices and experimental approaches which reduces the process material requirement for bioprocess research and development from the traditional tens or hundreds of litres at pilot-scale to the millilitre-scale.

Using the USD technology, our colleagues in bioprocess development and biomanufacturing are able to:

  • Prepare material at small scale that is representative of the full manufacturing scale
  • Gain insights into how the environment affect process material
  • Gain process understanding earlier than traditionally possible
  • De-risk process development and
  • Ensure robust technology transfer across scales.

These lead to the following benefits for their organisations:

  • reduced cost of development projects in terms of labour and materials
  • increased capacity to take on more development projects
  • shorten development timeline, allowing for timely project (go, no-go) decisions
  • reduced cost of goods at full-scale

These have been showcased in an impact case study of the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), illustrating how companies can benefit from the application of USD technology. Case study here. You can also find applications of the ultra scale-down technologies here.

Our enterprise activities are supported by Enterprise Fellows experienced in the development and application of scale-down technologies, process research, modelling, technology transfer, and project management.

For more information please contact:

*This activity is supported by £3M in catalyst funding from the Higher Education Funding Council in England (HEFCE) to facilitate “critical interventions in the Life Sciences value chain thereby enabling university translational research groups and SMEs to develop and progress greater numbers of new and manufacturable therapies to clinical trials more effectively than at present”. Through this fund, the department is now able to develop bioprocess enterprise activities that focus on enabling bioprocess development and biomanufacturing across the life sciences value chain.