Engineering Biology & Industrial Biotechnology Global Business Innovation Programme - San Jose, California USA

Offering innovation-driven businesses the chance to explore collaborative opportunities with the USA relevant to engineering biology and industrial biotechnology


The Engineering Biology and Industrial Biotechnology Business Innovation Programme (GBIP) focused on San Jose, California USA is organised by Innovate UK. The aim is to help ambitious, innovative UK businesses explore global markets to accelerate business growth. 

The GBIP is a structured three-phase programme consisting of - (1) getting ready, (2) innovation visit and (3) exploiting the opportunity. The programme is designed to provide you with market insights, cultural knowledge, and introductions to enable you to effectively tailor your solution and access a market via collaborations and partnerships opportunities, which businesses would find challenging to obtain by themselves.

You will have a designated Innovate UK innovation and growth specialist to provide bespoke wrap-around support for the duration of the programme. They will help you to maximise the potential of being part of this programme and beyond. 

Why take part in our GBIP?

This programme will help the development of collaborations between UK businesses and USA partners to take advantage of future collaborative activities. It will support the wider work in the Californian biotech area with other parts of the UK government-led innovation ecosystem. 

The US government has invested in various initiatives and programmes to support the development and application of biotechnology and engineering biology. Biological applications are estimated to unlock $2 to $4 trillion in annual direct global economic value by 2030, with the health sector being the largest contributor.

The UK has a strong life sciences base and a window of opportunity to establish technological leadership and capture economic and societal value from engineering biology.

We are looking for businesses that focus on delivering Engineering Biology & translational Industrial Biotechnology solutions including:

  • Discovery and application of new bio-engineering principleinspired by the properties of biological systems, ‘cells as factories’
  • Use of bio-engineering principles in the design, analysis, construction, automation and manipulation of biological systems
  • Synthetic biology, engineering biology, or other innovative and sustainable approaches by ‘design’ e.g., AI & Big Data (genomic & metabolic profiling libraries)
  • Bio-manufacturing of renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, and/or environmentally benign materialsincluding innovative approaches to create materials with properties exceeding those of current available products
  • Green’ chemical production and processing
  • Sustainable bio-based manufacturing at scale
  • Bio-material processing
  • Alternate protein sources (plant, algae, cultivated meats & dairy, etc.)
  • Circular economy, e.g. turning waste into new products

Your innovation visit will consist of site visits, B2B meetings and networking sessions with potential business partners, as well as attendance at SynBioBeta - The Global Synthetic Biology Conference, gaining insights into cutting-edge medical advancements, and discovering how companies harness biology to produce bio-based jet fuel, textiles, concrete, and other chemicals and materials.


Key Programme Dates


Who is this GBIP best suited for?

If you are an ambitious innovative UK business looking to explore international innovation partnership opportunities and grow and scale your business, including through a new technology, service, process or supply chain model which could be of interest to Engineering Biology & Industrial Biotechnology in the USA - then this programme is for you.

To apply for this initiative, you must:

  • Be registered in the UK
  • Small or medium-sized business (can have up to 500 employees)
  • High-growth innovative businesses with ambitions for global growth
  • Senior decision-maker or CEO in the company should attend
  • Be a business focused on developing innovation in Engineering Biology & Industrial Biotechnology   

Businesses must directly benefit from participation in the programme and have the necessary resources to articulate their objectives and ambition for participation clearly.

Innovate UK is committed to ensuring that anyone from any background has an equal opportunity to be successful. We welcome applications from underrepresented groups and will do our utmost to make reasonable adjustments.


What is the cost?

Innovate UK will fund and organise flights, accommodation, in-market travel, and conference fees for successful applicants. They will also pay for any reasonable adjustments throughout the initiative.

Only one representative from each company will be funded. On acceptance of the initiative, a commitment fee of £1000 will be obtained from each delegate, which will be refunded on completion of the full activities and an agreed action plan. Non-completion after formal acceptance may result in forfeiting some or all the commitment fee.


How can you apply?

Please click the 'Apply Here' button at the top or bottom of this page to submit your application. The online application takes approximately one hour and must be completed and submitted in a single session. To facilitate the process, we have created a Word document, which you can download and pre-populate with your answers. You can then paste these answers into the online form and submit your application. To download the Word application form, please click here.

The application deadline is Wednesday 13 March 2024, at 9:00.

The GBIP is a competitive programme application process. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Tuesday 19 March 2024.

Please note due to high demand, our application process is highly competitive. If successful, the senior named individual on the application must attend all phases of the GBIP. Please also note we will not be able to provide individual application feedback.

Contact us

Have a question about the programme? Email our team at 


Apply Here