Ingenza apprentices making a real contribution
Biotechnology Company Ingenza Ltd. based at the Roslin BioCentre employs three Modern Apprentices. Ross Hepplewhite, 18, Kirsty Glendinning, 18 and Jonathan Selfridge, 17, each joined Ingenza from nearby local high schools.
“The transition from high school to a professional environment can be challenging for the most experienced individual but the apprentices have thrived in their work here at Ingenza” said Dr Fraser Brown, Senior Chemist at Ingenza. “We are now at the stage where we rely on Ross, Kirsty and Jonathan to aid us in critical project work and assist us in all our departments, whether it be chemistry, molecular biology or fermentation, the apprentices are always keen to help out” continued Dr Brown.
Ingenza currently employ 20 members of staff ranging from PhD, masters and degree qualified personnel. Ross, Kirsty and Jonathan are working towards their HNC in Life Sciences at Forth Valley College where they attend lectures and tutorials one day a week.
“We try to let the apprentices do what they enjoy most in the lab but more importantly we work with them to help them progress in areas outside of their comfort zone” said Dr Ian Archer, Head of Process Development at Ingenza. “Jonathan enjoys the technical and theoretical challenges of chemistry and Ross has a strong interest in bioprocess development whereas Kirsty is more focussed on molecular biology techniques, so it’s great having a variety of skills amongst the three apprentices” continued Dr Archer.
Ingenza’s Modern Apprentice, Kirsty Glendinning, described her apprenticeship so far: “Some people might think that apprentices don’t get any of the good jobs to do but here at Ingenza I’m working on the tasks I like doing.” Kirsty continued, “I’ve settled in well here and hope to have a future in science, I feel part of the team.”
Caroline Strain, Head of Chemical Sciences, Scottish Enterprise, said: “It's great that Ingenza is supporting talented young Scots in highly skilled jobs. Apprenticeships provide young people with another route into the sector, allowing them to gain work experience and qualifications at the same time. “The opportunities for young people in the chemical sciences sector are considerable, given it employs 14,000 people and accounts for a quarter of Scotland's manufacturing turnover. I wish the new apprentices the best of luck in their jobs and that their journey will inspire others to consider the same path.”
Notes to editors
Ingenza Ltd, located in Edinburgh, UK, is the biocatalyst and bioprocess development unit of Richmond Chemical Corporation. Since its inception in 2003, Ingenza has established a worldwide customer base and platforms for the commercial application of its proprietary technologies to manufacture chiral compounds, proteins and high value chemicals.
Ingenza’s scientific and commercial team draws upon a history of success in applied biocatalysis and the development of technology and products for the fine chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries. Ingenza offers tailored microbes and biocatalyic solutions on a client specific basis and applies its enabling technologies in strain construction for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, bioprocess optimization and the enhancement of microbes used in the production of biofuels.
Chemical Sciences Scotland
Chemical Sciences Scotland is a unique partnership of industry with Scotland’s world-renowned academic sector and government agencies. Its aim is to ensure the chemical sciences have a vibrant future, creating high value opportunities for skilled people and innovative companies. The chemical sciences are at the heart of Scotland’s economy and underpin its key life sciences, energy, chemicals and electronics industries. For more information log on to www.chemicalsciencesscotland.com
Key facts about Scotland’s chemical sciences sector
- The chemical sciences industry is Scotland’s second top export sector, with exports worth around £2.7 billion.
- The Scottish chemical sciences sector accounts for 15 per cent of the UK industry, employing 14,000 directly and 70,000 through dependent services.
- There are 150 chemicals companies, generating £9.3 billion revenue in Scotland.
- The chemicals sector accounts for 25 per cent of Scottish manufacturing by turnover.
- The sector has the 2nd highest Gross Value Added (GVA) per employee of any industry in Scotland (£181,700).
- The sector accounts for 50 per cent of all industrial R&D in Scotland (including pharma).
- There are 13 universities and six colleges which have research and teaching excellence in chemistry and engineering in Scotland, and together they produce 500 graduates per year. Four of the UK’s top 10 chemistry departments are in Scotland.
- The industry has a long and established history in Scotland. The country which gave the world innovators such as Joseph Lister has become a base for some of the world’s biggest chemical sciences operators. INEOS, Exxon, GlaxoSmithKline, BASF, DOW, Fujifilm and BASF are some of the major players which have made Scotland their home.
- FujiFilm’s Scottish business is the world leader in inkjet dyes while INEOS’ refinery and petrochemical plant at Grangemouth is its largest globally, producing 3 million tonnes of fuel per annum (9 million litres a day) and 2 million tonnes of chemicals per annum.
- UNESCO has designated 2011 the International Year of Chemistry, which will celebrate the achievements of chemistry and its contribution to humankind. A number of major European and worldwide chemical sciences events are taking place across Scotland to mark IYC 2011.