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Final cohort selected for Innovate UK Microbials Accelerator Programme


Microbial Accelerator Cohort Companies

11 groundbreaking SMEs are celebrating having made it through to the second phase of the LYVA Labs/BioNow Innovate UK Microbials Accelerator.

The successful innovation companies have already completed an online pre-accelerator course and will now receive tailored business and mentorship support on the accelerator. They will also be supported to apply for a closed £100k Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility call in 2024.

The 11 companies are Agile Life Sciences, AMPLY Discovery, Booby Biome, BugBiome, Ferryx, LightOx, Matrix Bio, MetalloBio, Oxford Silk Phage Technologies, Oxford SimCell, and Vitec Microgenix.

The programme is aimed at SMEs that are developing microbiomes, biofilms, bacteriophages, and biotherapeutics. 38 businesses applied to the accelerator from across the UK, 35 met the eligibility criteria, and 24 were accepted onto the online pre-accelerator. The three-month online course was co-ordinated by BioNow, with modules delivered by LYVA Labs partners iiCON, University of Liverpool (UoL), CPI, and the Innovation Agency (IA), alongside expert advisers, and successful business leaders.

The course taught participants how to commercialise their products, technologies, and services and to become investment ready. The companies also gained access to partners’ facilities and resources.

LYVA Labs’ Innovation Ecosystem Partner, Hannah Randles, who heads up the accelerator, said: “The original 24 SMEs are an incredible bunch of enthusiastic, engaged, and motivated entrepreneurs. It's been a great experience getting to know them all and starting to understand their businesses and aspirations for the future.

“If you’re part of the wider microbials network - scientist, academic, investor, regulatory expert, IP expert, or another microbials business looking to partner or share your experience – get in touch with us at LYVA Labs to reach out to the 24 innovative microbial pioneers.”

The second phase of the accelerator is led by LYVA Labs, and the 11 SMEs will receive mentoring tailored to their technology from the partners. This will include advice on how to scale their product for manufacturing, clinical trial design, state-of-the-art R&D support, and access to NHS patients and clinicians.

The government recently unveiled Liverpool as England’s second Investment Zone, with a particular focus on the health and life sciences sector, a move that could unlock £320 million of private investment and deliver 4,000 jobs to the city region.

Lorna Green, LYVA Labs CEO said: “Partnering with Innovate UK on this national programme has been a great experience for LYVA Labs. The experience we have gained from delivering this programme will help us to devise future programmes that offer bespoke support for innovative SMEs and larger businesses, as our region continues to lead the way in microbial developments.”