The Bioprocessing Research Industry Club (BRIC), a public-private collaboration between two UK research councils and the local biopharmaceutical community, has awarded £3.5 million (€5.02 million) for university research aimed at clearing processing bottlenecks that are hindering the development and manufacture of new biopharmaceuticals.

The money will go to eight research teams at the Universities of Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Strathclyde as well as Imperial College London. This is the second round of funding by BRIC: the first supported nine projects at 10 universities with funding of more than £5 million. The common aim is to improve the bioprocessing techniques and systems that underpin biopharmaceutical development and production.

Established in 2005 by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), BRIC is managed by these organisations along with bioProcessUK, the knowledge transfer network that operates as a stand-alone business unit of the UK’s BioIndustry Association (BIA).

Partnering the research councils in BRIC are 17 industrial organisations, including Antisoma, Cambridge Antibody Technology and GlaxoSmithKline. They contribute to a joint fund of more than £14 million to support academic research projects in bioprocessing.