A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project between Biocatalysts Limited and UCL has scooped top prize at the prestigious IChemE Global Food & Drink Award 2020. The same project was also a finalist in the IChemE Global Awards 2020 Biochemical Engineering award.

The KTP project – Ultra Scale-Down Accelerates Industrial Enzyme Manufacture – created a collaboration between UCL Biochemical Engineering and Biocatalysts Ltd. Their shared expertise has resulted in successfully embedding advanced biochemical engineering techniques into the enzyme manufacturing processes at Biocatalysts Ltd – in some instances improving process productivity by up to 50%.

The award recognises the commitment to develop a project that brought together academic techniques and theories and validated them under industrial processing conditions. The positive outcomes include better quality process streams resulting in economic benefits for Biocatalysts Ltd’s customers; reduced barriers to entry for the supply of enzymes manufactured at Biocatalysts Ltd; and support for the continued adoption of biotechnology in the food and other industries.

“I’d like to congratulate the whole team for their dedication in taking these ground-breaking techniques and applying them to our processes. Using the Ultra Scale–Down techniques means we can test a number of parameters in a very quick time frame, improving the efficiency of our processes and underpinning our commitment to continuously exceed our customers’ enzyme expectations” said Daren Bryce, Commercial Director, Biocatalysts Ltd.

Howard Nichols, Senior Knowledge Transfer Adviser, Knowledge Transfer Network, confirmed:  “I have been privileged to see such a productive and collaborative team at work. This project has exemplified the very best of KTP collaboration, with some very committed academics supporting a highly talented Associate to deliver some great work. The company has shown a real appetite to embed and exploit the new knowledge and this award is well deserved recognition of their success.” 

Professor Gary Lye, Head of the UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering, said “This project has been an excellent example of academic-industrial collaboration and true two-way knowledge exchange. From an academic perspective, it is great to see UCL ultra scale-down technologies being used across a wider range of industry sectors and having a real impact on the companies that use them. My congratulations to the team and especially Davy Rowan, the KTP Associate, who really drove this project forward.”

Natalie Gough, Programme Manager: KTP and Enterprise Secondments at UCL Innovation & Enterprise, added: This is a fantastic achievement for the KTP team, clearly demonstrating the positive impact KTPs can have on helping to transform the food and drink industry. UCL knowledge gained by Biocatalysts Ltd has already enabled productivity improvements of up to 50% through enzyme manufacturing engineering innovation. Business benefits will be further realised through the engagement of David Rowan, KTP Associate, now Process Improvement Scientist at Biocatalysts Ltd.”

The project received funding from:


If you would like to collaborate with an academic team to help realise a strategic innovation project, find out more about KTP and Management KTP. Funding competitions for both programmes are open throughout the year.  The next competition deadline is 27 January 2021. More details on eligibility and how to apply are here. 


IChemE Global Awards 2020

Biocatalysts Limited

UCL Biochemical Engineering

UCL Innovation & Enterprise

Biotechnoloogy and Biological Sciences Research Council

Welsh Government




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