Dr Ian Fotheringham, Managing Director and founder of Ingenza, has been awarded an MBE for services to Industrial Biotechnology in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. This accolade recognises Ian’s position as a well-known industrial biotechnology expert. He originally gained extensive industrial experience within the Monsanto group based in the United States before founding Ingenza, the UK’s leading synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology company, in 2003. Since then, the company has grown organically, working across diverse sectors from fuels to biopharmaceuticals, thanks to its innovative technology platforms. Ingenza’s customer base now includes an impressive list of multinational corporations, and it has helped to commercialise the work of several academic groups, as well as creating joint ventures with promising start-ups to invest in revolutionary technologies.
This award further celebrates Ian’s investment into his team; he has consistently encouraged innovation and training of the next generation of scientists through modern apprenticeships, that offer high quality jobs with excellent training for school leavers, as well as specially designed programmes co-developed with universities to offer part-time degree studies. On top of this, the company has also sponsored graduate level employees to study for a PhD while retaining their connection to the company.
Alongside the successes of Ingenza, Ian has helped drive the formation of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre in Scotland, where he is an active member of its governing board. He also sits on the board of the Industrial Biotech Leadership Forum – an industry body advising government – and two other UK biotech SMEs, and has chaired boards responsible for European funding into industrial biotechnology. Ian commented: “I am overwhelmed to have received this prestigious award. I think it is vital to help grow this promising sector, and I am very proud of the work we do at Ingenza. It is a real honour to be recognised for this.”