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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


CEB is active in advancing core areas of chemical engineering and biotechnology, bridging research and technological innovation with collaborative and entrepreneurial activities, which in turn are the prerequisite for commercialisation and exploitation (Concept to Exploitation, C2X). Commercialisation is at the core of many departmental research activities and we have an exceptional record in facilitating technology transfer from the bench to the marketplace.


Opportunities for individual entrepreneurship, leading to spin-outs or start-up companies, complement the recognition that critical problem-solving in collaboration with industry and healthcare providers or pharma are a major value-adding exercise for UK and overseas companies and governments. Collaboration with large multinational industry has been an historical strength of the department, with on-going relationships and funding.

Understanding diverse business drivers and working effectively with industry is deeply engrained in the department’s teaching and research. With assistance from Cambridge Enterprise, the University's technology transfer office, many ideas originating out of our research have been patented, technologies licensed and companies have been spun out to develop ideas further and launch products. The exceptional entrepreneurial culture of the Institute of Biotechnology has been recognised by the Queen’s Technology Award, followed by the Queen’s Anniversary Prize.  Professor Chris Lowe has also been awarded the BBSRC Commercial Innovator of the Year.


A number of funding routes are available within the University, enabling ideas from the laboratory bench to be developed into commercial realities. Cambridge Enterprise has a range of funds designed to assist with proof-of-concept needs all the way through to seed funding for new companies. Many of the department’ spin-out companies have attracted business angels and venture capital funding.