Startups on UCC IndieBio project

The world’s first and only synthetic biology accelerator programme in Cork is positioning Ireland at the forefront of a wave of innovation that could revolutionise industry across the globe.

Nine cutting-edge start-ups from around the world have taken up residence in UCC as part of the IndieBio programme which is backed by venture capital firm SOSVenture and runs over three months.

The teams, including two indigenous companies — GlowDX and Sothic Bioscience — will work alongside UCC academics for the duration of the programme which IndieBio founder and SOSVentures European partner Bill Liao said is ideally positioned in Cork.

“The IndieBio accelerator programme is the first of its kind in the world in the field of life sciences and Cork was chosen for a very good reason. 

"Ireland and Cork are extremely well resourced in the area of life sciences and key academic partners in Cork make the IndieBio programme a no-brainer for the area,” Mr Liao said.

“Synthetic biology is cutting edge technology and is essentially the merging of digital technology and biology. 

"It is where biology meets automation and programming and has the capability to revolutionise and become an integral part of every major industry from medicine, energy, agriculture to manufacturing.”

The programme is designed to support individuals and companies with an early stage prototype through investment, UCC laboratory space, and mentorship from top industry experts in the hope of developing them into viable companies.

Among the nine companies on the IndieBio programme are:

  • Ageria: Developing foods beneficial to health and longevity;
  • Aranex Biotech: Creating a peanut without allergens;
  • BioCellection: Creating an ocean-friendly fish-farming feed;
  • Efflorus: Producing high-value fragrance compounds from micro-organisms;
  • GlowDX (Ireland): Creating a diagnostic DNA computer for neglected tropical disease
  • PiLi: Developing colours for manufactures from natural sources that won’t hurt the planet;
  • Prospective Research: Working on a way to discover new medicines from streptomyces;
  • Sothic Bioscience (Ireland): Aiming to save the Horseshoe Crab by creating artificial limulus blood.

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