UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Biochemical Engineering to Host One of Six New EPSRC Hubs

5 December 2016

Six new £10 million research hubs that will explore and improve new manufacturing techniques across fields such as targeted biological medicines, 3D printing, and composite materials were announced today by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson. The UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering will host the Future Manufacturing Hub in Targeted Healthcare hub, led by Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker with Professor Paul Dalby and Professor Suzy Farid.

Funded by government through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the hubs will draw together expertise from 17 universities and 200 industrial and academic partners to upgrade the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and take greater advantage of the UK’s innovative strengths. Through increased collaboration between universities and industry, more products can be developed to meet industry needs and progress from the research lab to market – boosting the UK economy.

The hubs will be led by Cardiff University, the universities of Huddersfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Strathclyde and UCL.

Announcing this major investment in the UK’s manufacturing research base, Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “Developing new innovative manufacturing techniques will help UK industry create new products, explore more business opportunities and ensure the UK becomes more competitive and productive. 

“This investment will lay the foundations to allow industry and our world-leading universities to thrive for years to come and is exactly the type of project that our upcoming Industrial Strategy will look to support.”

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Chief Executive, said: “Some of these new Hubs will build on the solid foundations of earlier Centres for Innovative Manufacturing while some, like the Hub at the University of Sheffield, are completely new ventures that have strong links with industry and organisations such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. EPSRC is pleased to be at the forefront of the drive to keep the UK a prosperous and productive nation.”

Today’s announcement follows the government’s Autumn Statement commitment to invest an additional £2 billion per year for research and innovation by 2020/21 to unlock the full potential of the UK’s research base in areas such as robotics and biotechnology.

Future Manufacturing Hub in Targeted Healthcare EP/P006485/1

EPSRC grant: £10,000,000, Total Contribution from all Project partners £13,700,000

The current ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to drug development is challenged by the ability to treat patients as individuals. The Hub will provide the manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities needed to enable UK manufacturers to exploit fully medical precision advances, through new technologies, skilled personnel, IP and spin-outs. The Hub and its Spokes will address the manufacturing challenges to ensure that new targeted biological medicines can be developed quickly and manufactured at a cost affordable to society. The project will be led by Led by Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Head of The Faculty of Engineering at UCL. Read more about The Hub here

Academic Partners: 

  • UCL
  • University of Warwick
  • Imperial College London
  • The University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • Loughborough University.

Industrial partners

Albumedix, Allergan, AstraZeneca/Medimmune, Autolus, BIA Separation, BioIndustry Association, BiologicB Consulting, BioPharm Services, Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult , CPI/NBMC, DeltaDot, Eli Lilly, FloDesignSonics, Francis BioPharm Consulting , Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, GlaxoSmithKline (Biopharma) & GlaxoSmithKline (Cell/Gene Therapy), KTN Ltd, LGC, Lonza, Merck & Co., Merck KGaA, MMIP, NIBSC, Novo Nordisk, Oxford BioMedica, Perceptive, Pfizer, Puridify, Purolite Ltd, Reneuron, Roche, Sartorius, Sutro Biopharma, Tillingbourne Consulting, TrakCel, UCB Pharma, Wyatt