Sector Spotlight Industrial BioTech

At Norwich Research Park we work collaboratively to understand the mechanisms by which plants and microbes produce new materials and molecules with bioactive qualities. Knowledge which can then be used to increase yields and create products of commercial and societal interest, such as personal care products, functional foods, new antibiotics and pesticides.

Research Focus

Natural Products

Scientists are using genomics to understand biosynthetic pathways in greater detail. This new information is being used to enhance production and unlock access to novel bioactive compounds from plants and microbes.


The manipulation of enzymes to produce new and potentially valuable bioproducts for applications in a broad number of sectors including food, pharmaceuticals, speciality and fine chemicals.


With a focus on improving lives, we use biodesign techniques to develop plant or microbial ‘Super Hosts’ for the production of natural or engineered antibiotics, bioactives and vaccines.


Investigation of the use of sugars and carbohydrate-active enzymes for generation of biodegradable materials and bespoke functional foods, and for the generation of novel natural product and drug conjugates with enhanced target specificity.

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Key research organisations

  • John Innes Centre: world leading international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology.

  • University of East Anglia: UK top 15 university, world top 1% and world leader in environmental sciences with major faculties in Science and Medicine.

  • The Earlham Institute: one of the UK leading institutes of world scale, applying genomics and bioinformatics to advance plant, animal and microbial research.

  • Institute of Food Research: renowned UK research centre working in food safety, diet and health, food materials and ingredients.

Key business organisations

  • Leaf Systems Ltd: a translational facility for research, development and manufacture of high value products in plants.

  • Genome Enterprise Ltd: delivers next generation sequencing and associated bioinformatics analysis.

  • Iceni Diagnostics: the Iceni Diagnostics R+D program focusses on new molecular diagnostics technologies, with particular emphasis on the development and deployment of biotransformations to produce bespoke carbohydrate, natural product and drug conjugates.

  • Anglia Capital Group: a network of over 70 investors and private venture capital funds, investing in hi-tech businesses and technology start ups.


  • The Biorefinery Centre: offers tailored solutions to convert waste biomass into added value products.

  • The Wolfson Fermentation and Bioenergy Unit: a containment 2 facility with large-scale bioreactors (15-100 litres). It also houses continuous culture bioreactors for use in post-genomic studies on microbial physiology.

  • National Collection of Yeast Cultures: one of the largest yeast collections in the world, supported by the BBSRC.

  • Virtual Technology Research and Facilities site: an on-line portal that provides access to a range of research equipment, facilities and platform services. researchfacilities/home.aspx


  • Science: Analytical Services Unit, Proteomics Facility, Bioimaging.
  • Space: wide range of commercial laboratories and offices on flexible leases with access to shared laboratory facilities and equipment. 
  • Amenities: café, meeting rooms, free on-site parking and Wi-Fi for visitors.

Park Occupier Benefits

  • Timebank providing free business mentoring by professional service providers.
  • Enterprise Zone business rate discounts.
  • UK Science Park Association and One Nucleus membership benefits.
  • Discounted meeting room rates.
Industrial BioTech

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