A SPECIALIST body set up to drive growth in the industrial biotechnology (IB) sector has made a new, key appointment to boost industry growth and innovation.

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) has appointed as commercial director Mark Bustard, who comes from the Centre for Process Innovation where he was business development director for the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington.

Over his 25-year career, he has gained experience developing the growth of bioprocessing by supporting businesses to scale-up, assisting companies to build collaborations and helping them to access funding opportunities. Bustard has also been a steering group member for the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership and recently led the secretariat function for the UK Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce.

Earlier in his career, Bustard was director of research for Chemical Engineering and a lecturer in Bioprocessing at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

He said: “The focus, now that we are in phase two of the national plan, is to ensure a sustainable business model is in place that supports members to achieve success, linking them with academic research, providing skills development and qualifications, and networking and collaboration opportunities. I am looking forward to building the team to support this.”

Anne Glover, who chairs the IBioIC governing board, said the appointment demonstrated IBioIC’s commitment to delivering the national plan for industrial biotechnology.

“I am confident that his leadership of the commercial team will help to drive significant growth in the sector by supporting members and academic research partners,” she said, while also welcoming Iain Hunter as its new interim CEO.

“Iain joins us from the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences where he is research professor in molecular microbiology. Involved with IBioIC since 2013, Iain was one of the team of five who made the bid for our initial funding and has most recently been chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, a role which he relinquishes to take up this position.”