A company that took part in the Wilton Centre-backed icreate entrepreneurs programme has taken up space at the Centre to further develop its business.
TeeGene Biotech, a spin out venture from Teesside University, is pioneering research into environmentally-friendly surfactants, a type of wetting agent that lowers surface tension between liquids, called biosurfactants.
These offer a number of significant advantages, especially their environmentally friendly biodegradable nature, and the ranges of potential industrial applications include the treatment of oil pollution and the replacement of traditional synthetic surfactants in cosmetics, soap formulation, healthcare, paint and food processing
An application also being explored further by TeeGene Biotech is an anti-ageing product targeted at the cosmetics industry.
Dr Pattanathu Rahman, Founding Director of TeeGene Biotech, is a Senior Lecturer in Process Engineering and Biotechnology at Teesside University with 20 years of research experience on novel biotechnological approach in bioproduct development, and a recipient of a Society for Applied Technology (SAB) Award of Excellence in Microbial Biotechnology.
He explained that the market for biosurfactants is expanding rapidly.
“The EU has established a market for biosurfactants, with an estimated demand of 679 million Euros last year corresponding to half of the global demand.
“The predicted value for biosurfactant market is 1.8 billion Euros by 2030, which is a 300% increase,” he said.
TeeGene Biotech is offering to provide biosurfactant products tailored to specific industrial applications, produced using TeeGene Biotech’s unique natural strains.
Dr Rahman added: “We are a research-led company, looking to widen the variety of known biosurfactants and bring these to market.
“We want to develop the application area for which biosurfactants are used and branch into other industries. We also lease our platform out to enable access via a franchise model. This enables wider geographical implementation, allowing manufacture in other parts of the world, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation.”
TeeGene Biotech took part in the icreate entrepreneurs initiative, a scheme backed by the Wilton Centre and the UK-wide BEST network of science and innovation parks that was set up to help participants to become investment ready.
Dr Rahman commented: “I am very privileged to have benefitted from the icreate funding and business support training, which is very important for the start-ups like TeeGene Biotech to grow.”
Dr Mike Anderson, the manager of the icreate programme said: “We are delighted that TeeGene Biotech has decided to join our business community at the Wilton Centre as a direct result of our icreate entrepreneur programme.
“TeeGene Biotech has some very exciting products and technology and hopefully we can provide the environment and the support network that will enable them to quickly exploit the opportunities available.”