IBLF Awards

The IBLF Awards is a business competition for early stage biotech SMEs focusing on a biobased technology or process and would like raise their profile and access resources to springboard their business.

Application process: The deadline for submissions has now passed and videos have been assessed. From the submissions, 15 have been invited to the final stage: A Dragons' Den style session, The IB Den, to be held on Day 2 of the IB Showcase (12 February) where they will present a 5 minute pitch to the IB Dragons.

The finalists are: Industrial Phycology Ltd; Vitaplankton Ltd; Phytofutures Ltd; Aragreen (UK) Ltd; CelluComp Ltd; Fiberight Ltd; Pennotec Ltd; Bento Bioworks Ltd; YOLO For Men Ltd; CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd; Biotech Consultants Ltd; Naturiol Ltd; ValueForm Ltd; Alkol Biotech Ltd; TeeGene Biotech Ltd.

There are 9 Awards available and these will be presented at the end of Day 2.

Join us at the IB Showcase and make sure you pop along to the IB Den on the 12th to vote for your favourite pitch. 

Becoming a sponsor

If you would like to be a sponsor and service provider to winning SME, find out more here - sponsors will be accepted up to 28th January 2015.

Online application to become a sponsor is here

If you have any questions, please contact Simon Baty simon.baty@ktn-uk.org

T&Cs can be found here

Please click on the company logos, below, to find out more about each award sponsor.

Greaves Brewster LLP  Ellis IP
Ouzman Ellis IP

  IP protection/exploitation
Inventya  Amanda McMurray LtdIP Pragmatics Ltd
  Market Research
Amanda McMurray Ltd  360 marketing and prskillfluence
360 marketing and pr  Proof Communications
Biorenewables Development Centre   
  Process facilities
Starbit  Research Media
  Web or App design


Incubator facility




360 marketing and pr

three60 marketing and pr is a Yorkshire based business that has been providing marketing communications solutions to businesses for over 10 years.

Specialising in small, rural and start-up businesses, we use pr and social media to help clients to raise awareness and build sales. We also write awards nominations and create engaging newsletters.

Clients include Stockbridge Technology Centre, Bio-D, Lime Associates, Wold Top Brewery, Dr. Katerina Steventon, Yorvale and Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil.

three60’s founder is also a volunteer mentor for a rural business scheme and has helped start ups to take their businesses forward.

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Mewburn Ellis

Mewburn Ellis LLP is a leading UK firm of European patent and trade mark attorneys, established for over 150 years. We have one of the largest and most respected groups of patent attorneys specialising in biotechnology in Europe. We were chosen as Biotech Patents Law Firm of the Year in England 2012, 2013 by Corporate INTL Magazine. We have in-house specialist lawyers handling licensing and transfer matters and patent attorney litigators who can advise on IP litigation. We have a transparent and flexible billing system and highly competitive billing rates. We pride ourselves on being both pro-active and responsive to clients’ questions and requests, and on our clear straightforward, creative, practical advice to our clients.

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Amanda McMurray Ltd

We are delighted to offer to the winners a package of 2 full days of hands on assistance and consultancy, which can consist of services to suit the needs of the business and its management team, and to develop and accelerate its plans, such as strategic business coaching or planning, business plan development or preparing for investment.

Amanda McMurray Limited specialises in creating strong and successful businesses built on innovation, and has a track record of strategic business planning and development, fund raising and securing investment.

Amanda herself is a business owner and consultant, previously an investment fund manager and commercial director. In addition to working with clients, she is a coach and panel member for various UK based Entrepreneurship programmes, a company Director and a Trustee of a UK based charity.

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Ellis IP

Intellectual Property is typically your business’s single most valuable asset. Ellis IP is driven to help you properly manage, protect and exploit your IP for best value. That is our premise. We add value to your business. We help you understand your IP assets and we implement IP protection that is aligned with your commercial imperatives.

Ellis IP works with its clients. We enjoy our client’s successes and aim to contribute to them. We aim to understand and engage with your business to ensure our service is most appropriate. We want you to make the right decisions for you. We understand budgetary pressures, and design strategies to fit.

Ellis IP is a full service IP consultancy of European Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys. Founded by Michael Ellis, a PhD medicinal chemist and MBA, the company has maintained the ethos of commercial acumen and technical understanding. The Ellis IP team all pursue that ethos. We work in a broad range of technical areas, with our technical expertise lying in chemistry, medical and energy-related technologies in particular.

We specialise in working with small and high growth businesses, developing and implementing IP strategies for them, assisting in finding and pitching for funding and acting as general trusted counsel. Our approach is flexible, holistic, transparently priced and aims to have a good dose of common sense.

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Website & App design and development
Starbit Limited is a design and digital media company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We offer creative and technical services for the web and for print, delivered by inhouse specialists working closely together under one roof. We have an excellent track record of working with startups and have particular experience in the life science and environmental sectors.

A website is usually at the core of any project that we undertake. We use both Drupal and WordPress platforms to build full custom sites, combining innovative functionality with strong, compelling design. We always design sites with mobile in mind, ensuring a great user experience on a range of devices, but can also develop standalone mobile websites or apps where this fulfils specific client objectives.

We are offering the winners of the IBLF Awards a fully custom designed website built on their preference of Drupal or WordPress content management systems. We will incorporate responsive design elements or build a separate mobile version of the site, both taking into account usability on touchscreen devices. The following standard features will be included where appropriate: contact form; location map; newsletter signup with database and template; ecommerce with payment gateway; user accounts with permissions-based access to content. We will also incorporate at least one custom coded function (depending on the complexity of the request) and port this to one native mobile platform (either Android or iOS).

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IP Pragmatics Ltd

IP Pragmatics Ltd is a successful intellectual property (IP) asset management company providing expertise and services to help clients maximise the value of their IP assets. Our IP consulting business covers many lifescience areas and we work with private companies, universities and public sector research organisations worldwide. We have eight employees in the consulting team who gained their early stage technology commercialisation and commercial experience from a range of organisations and industries. Our collaborative way of working means that you can capitalise on this collective experience as well as to utilise the wealth of contacts the team has in industry and other relevant organisations. Using these resources ensures we can complete projects to tight timelines, whilst still providing a high quality service. We have an office in Australia, and actively work with technology commercialisation organisations in Japan and the US through whom we can access additional market and company information if required.

We provide cost effective and commercially relevant patenting, licensing and business development services. We help our clients to identify, manage and create value from a broad range of IP assets. Our successes include creating value through licensing, spin-out company creation and enhancing commercial service offerings for clients in the UK and overseas. We tailor our support to suit your needs, from our services which include market research and validation, IP audit, landscaping and valuation, partner identification, business development and licensing, and business and IP strategy planning.

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Inventya is a leading innovation management consultancy providing proof-of-market research, product-service commercialisation and market-oriented due diligence services for science, engineering and technology firms. Our services help high-growth firms to reduce risk and optimize investment during the new product or service commercialisation process.

Our passion for technology and innovation and our own evolution out of the scientific knowledge base, enables us to gain an in-depth understanding of your product or service and to guide you at every stage from proof of market to commercialisation and international expansion.

Our market research, validation and testing for new technology product development are second to none. We have deep insight and extensive contacts within science and technology market sectors, which creates real value for our clients. We've successfully delivered more than 300 market research and commercialisation projects, enabling our clients to successfully bring innovative technologies, products and services to market.

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Proof Communication

Proof Communication helps science, engineering and technology organisations communicate clearly with the people they need to influence. We work with international science facilities, blue chip companies and spin outs and start-ups. Proof has worked with the IBLF for over two years. We offer communications strategy, content development, digital PR, media relations and stakeholder engagement.

We are very used to working with early stage companies both directly and through enabling organisations such as KTN Ltd, the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub and 1851 Royal Commission.

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Research Media

Founded in 2009, Research Media is a creative media and communications agency. Based in Bristol well-known for its creative and media hub, our dynamic and experienced team has a broad range of skills gained from a range of industries including: scientific and scholarly publishing, popular media, creative, academia, and charity sector.

Research Media specialise in editorial, design and dissemination services solely for the research, commercial and third sectors. We have extensive experience working on Biotechnology focused briefs, producing work for clients such as: BBRSC, Swiss Biotech Association, Marine Biotech and Biotech Industry Association.

Combined with strong in-house editorial skills, design forms a core part of our competencies – Our experienced team of designers create compelling visual identity for our clients using a wide range of media.

Using our in-house web designers we create dynamic, responsive websites that can be client managed using popular CMS systems such as WordPress. The uniqueness of our product is in our ability to combine truly bespoke artwork and imagery with compelling copy, creating a website which is verbally and visually engaging to the widest possible audience.

We work with a range of specialist member associations across Europe on their brand, media and communications strategy, and our agency is frequently appointed when complex science needs to be communicated to the broadest possible audience for maximum impact.

Offering: 2 web and/or App designs.

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Greaves Brewster LLP

Greaves Brewster LLP is a small and vibrant intellectual property (IP) practice with particular expertise in the life sciences, including in agricultural and biofuel technologies. We offer a highly competitive service in a relaxed friendly working environment. The team includes UK and European patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys and specialist intellectual property consultants. Many of our attorneys have worked in industry, and have seen firsthand the way that IP interacts with the commercial environment. This means that the advice we give you will be appropriate in the context of your business; it will be realistic, practical and broad-minded as well as technically and legally sound.

As an Award Sponsor, we would be happy to provide the following services within the limits of the prize value, excluding any disbursements:

  • Preparing, filing and prosecuting applications for patent, trade mark and design protection, world-wide
  • Patent, trade mark and design searches, either to assess novelty/registrability or to determine freedom to operate
  • Advice on exploiting IP rights, enforcing them against infringers and defending them from attack
  • Advice on the impact of third party intellectual property rights
  • Assistance with IP portfolio management
  • IP Audit
  • 10% discount on our time charges for work undertaken before 31 December 2015 for any companies connecting with us through this event and that do not win an award.

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Skillfluence are a smart, agile, experienced team and our aim is to impact the outcomes of scientific startups by enhancing professional and business skills. We specialise in understanding how strategic planning, entrepreneurship, creativity and communication enhance the work of science, engineering and technical professionals.

For the IBLF 2015 Awards we offer 5 awards with the choice between two flexible options:

  1. Entrepreneurship is fast paced and intense; it’s important to be able to step back from the day to day to plan and accelerate your business performance. Join us with your team for a full day and overnight hotel stay* to focus on Business Modelling and Strategic Planning. We’ll work with you to assess the outcomes you want to achieve then design, organise and facilitate the entire experience from start to finish. After the event you will have a stronger more cohesive team and vision, clearer objectives, improved financial planning, a set of measurable milestones and prioritised actions designed to drive your business forward.
    *maximum 10 people
  2. Pivot or persevere. Perhaps the most difficult task any entrepreneur will face in developing a successful business is deciding when to persevere on their current course and when to pivot by making a significant change to the business model or product offering based on customer or market feedback.

    Skillfluence uses “Lean Startup” methodology to deliver a scientific approach to business decision making and solution generation. We will design a Business Model Canvas that considers all aspects of your business including revenue streams, key resources, customer relations and distribution channels. This is a systematic process that will help you understand, design and implement your business and compete in a complex, changing economic landscape. On completion you will have a visual representation of your Business Model Canvas as well as clear steps to support your decision making.

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Ouzman IP Ltd is a boutique IP firm specialising in biotechnology and life sciences. With qualified attorney staff with over 20 years’ experience, we have very significant specific expertise within this sector. We can advise on any aspect of Intellectual Property (IP) as required. For example, we can conduct an IP audit to assess what rights a client has and what steps are needed to protect those valuable assets within the business. We can also advise on IP strategy, critical for a small business with finite resources as well as preparing and filing patent applications, trade marks and design registrations.

We love to assist small start up companies and spin-outs and pride ourselves on being there for your clients when needed.Our quality of service is second to none and as our costs are highly competitive we think we are the best value biotech IP firm you will encounter!

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Biorenewables Development Centre

The BDC’s open-access facilities are set up to demonstrate the commercial potential of novel technologies at any point in the bio-based supply chain, with a special focus on:

  • pre-processing and processing;
  • plant and microbial molecular analysis;
  • microbiology; and
  • analytical assessments

93.5% of our clients said they would recommend us to others and many use our scientic research to:

  • inform their business strategy,
  • drive investment and
  • develop improved products and processes.

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Gill Jennings & Every LLP

A leading firm of patent and trade mark attorneys with decades of experience helping ambitious start-up companies achieve commercial success by developing and implementing tailored IP strategies. Our clients value the intelligence and creativity of our attorneys and the commercial approach to identifying, protecting and exploiting IP that is fundamental to our philosophy.

Within our Chemistry & Life Sciences patent group we have a dedicated Industrial Biotechnology Team. We understand the technical and commercial challenges facing companies working in this field and are experienced in helping clients protect and exploit innovations relating to industrial biotechnology, including biofuel generation and renewable energy, synthetic biology and microbiology.

There are two parts to our offering to an IBLF Award winner. The first part is an Innovation Capture Session (ICS). This is a half-day IP consultancy session designed to identify the key IP around your current and intended activities so that we can advise on options for protecting the IP, as well as related commercial issues. Topics covered during the ICS will include IP overview, discussion of business considerations, advice on searching, identification of additional information required prior to drafting an application, filing strategy, timings and costs. The IP strategy developed during the session will be summarised in a written document. The second part of our award is the drafting and filing of a provisional UK patent application for an invention identified during the ICS. 

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Swansea University

The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research, CSAR, was commissioned at 2005, and is based at Swansea University’s Department of Biosciences. The centre offers research and technological development expertise to businesses wishing to engage in the algal biotechnology area. Our areas of expertise encompass:

  • Microalgae strain library
  • Water quality control technologies
  • Modelling to optimise process design and operation
  • Harvesting, concentration and separation technologies
  • Production of lab scale quantities of algal biomass
  • Physical and chemical characterisation of products
  • Screening for bioactive properties
  • Materials testing
  • Development and evaluation of feed additives
  • Macroalgal (seaweed) hatchery

The CSAR has access to a comprehensive range of laboratory analytical techniques and equipment. The multi-disciplinary team have considerable experience with laboratory, pilot commercial and field based experiments including focusing on optimising conditions for microalgal growth and production of algal biomass. The subsequent analysis of growth conditions and estimation of biomass composition is carried out by the in-house analytical labs. The team have experience with downstream processing, particularly harvesting of algal culture with microfiltration/centrifugation techniques and preservation by spray or freeze drying.

The CSAR possess several microalgal growth laboratories, including 20 x 100L batch culture capacity, 1 x 400L tubular horizontal photobioreactor (controlled environment labs) 2 x 600L tubular horizontal photobioreactor and 1500L Vertical tubular PBR (greenhouse location).

Offering: 4 awards

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