Former Tomorrow’s World presenter set to address biotechnology event

Parry is encouraging start-ups to show the positive impact their offering can make to everyday life and the environment. Picture: contributed.
Parry is encouraging start-ups to show the positive impact their offering can make to everyday life and the environment. Picture: contributed.
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A renowned scientist and former Tomorrow’s World presenter has been announced as one of the keynote speakers at the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) annual conference next month.

Vivienne Parry will address the event, which is now in its sixth year and expected to attract more than 450 delegates – including IB business leaders, policy-makers, investors and innovators and technical experts from around the world. They will congregate in Glasgow on 5 and 6 February, and will see innovative companies exhibiting their smart solutions to a global audience.

Parry, a scientist by training, is the head of engagement at Genomics England and a UK Research and Innovation board member – and has extensive writing and broadcasting experience that has “inspired a generation of scientists”.

She said industrial biotechnology (IB) start-ups “need to get out and tell people what they are doing, quickly showing the solution to a problem – scientists can sometimes struggle to communicate to policy-makers and the public the significance of what they are doing to save the planet.

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“Keep it simple and show the real value in your product and the positive impact it can make to everyday life and the environment. When I listen to someone presenting their concepts, I want them to excite me about the potential of their product in a way that is not hyped, but is really clear.”

Mark Bustard, commercial director at IBioIC, said a “change in mindset” is needed if startups are to capitalise on their innovations. “Companies like ScotBio, Cellucomp and Celtic Renewables are all fantastic examples of award-winning organisations who are… driving science to generate and make products.”