The Data City has secured a research project with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to help map engineering biology and power the next groundbreaking advancement in biological sciences.

The work underpins government plans to invest £2 billion over the next ten years to develop a robust and diverse ecosystem of engineering biology. The programme will help capitalise on the numerous opportunities that arise from the underlying science and technology.

DSIT is using The Data City’s platform with its real-time industry classification (RTIC) methodology to produce their own RTICs to identify and gather companies working in the engineering biology field.

Delivered by cutting-edge AI, the platform combines all the data needed in one place, from open data sets and website text to company financials and investment data, to enable users to make impactful discoveries in minutes.

The RTICs were developed through a collaboration between DSIT experts and analysts, with feedback from the cross-Whitehall Engineering Biology network and analysts from The Data City. DSIT led the taxonomy development as well as RTIC building and quality assurance. The work has informed a National Vision for Engineering Biology Policy paper that will guide future activity ranging from world-leading R&D to infrastructure investment.

Engineering biology RTICs are a source of information for innovative UK companies in the sector, helping to fuel future investment and growth. In addition, the RTIC structure and keyword filters make it easy to find companies in key emerging sectors such as gene editing, bioprinting and biomanufacturing.

Leeds-based The Data City was initially engaged by DSIT in early 2023 to help drive the growth of the UK economy and support the government’s Growth Plan exploring science, technology, research and innovation cluster formation and performance. The collaboration involved identifying groups of businesses with a high potential for growth and sharing characteristics that can be defined as a cluster.

Recent progress in UK biological sciences has been both innovative and significant, with scientists making leading contributions to the Human Genome Project, developing mRNA vaccines to fight COVID, and designing the smallest, highest-accuracy devices capable of long reads of DNA.

Alex Craven, CEO of The Data City, said: “It is great to be part of a significant government initiative that will help innovators in this sector navigate the risks they deal with developing, scaling and commercialising their products.

“It is widely acknowledged that the UK has the key infrastructure, knowledge and capital to become a pioneer territory for engineering biology research. Having access to detailed data about engineering biology companies can transform investment decisions, helping create defined investment strategies and policies.

“The UK is perfectly positioned to lead the world in engineering biology, quantum technologies, AI, semiconductors and future telecommunications. As engineering biologists make use of a wider range of tools, they will supercharge innovation and growth across our science and tech sectors.”

The Data City team has spent the last eight years working with industry bodies, academic and sector experts and government departments to build an extensive library of new economy sector classifications that, once classified, are made available to all of its customers.