top of page


Keep up to date with the latest announcements at Sun Bear Biofuture and in the precision fermentation world.


Sun Bear Biofuture at IBiolC Conference

IBioIC2024_Web-102 (2).jpg

We're thrilled to share our recent participation at the IBiolC 10th Annual Conference held at the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre. Our CTO Ben Williams, exchanged insights with our collaborators, delved into transformative technologies and research partnerships, and even learned about seaweed in biotech. The event served as a platform to showcase our commitment to sustainable solutions.

With a focus on waste-to-resource innovations and discussions on emerging trends like automation and AI, the event underscored Scotland's dedication to fostering a robust bioeconomy. As the bioeconomy gains momentum, we remain committed to driving positive change through our pioneering endeavours.


Welcoming Kwong: Our Continued Support for Sun Bears


We're thrilled to announce that we've extended our commitment to sun bear conservation by sponsoring a Sun Bear for a second year – meet Kwong. As we bid farewell to Panda, who has found a new adoptive home, we eagerly welcome Kwong into our Sun Bear Biofuture family.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Siew Te Wong and the dedicated team at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre for their unwavering dedication to the well-being of these remarkable animals. Their tireless efforts provide care for sun bears and strive to reintroduce them into their natural habitats.

We look forward to sharing updates on Kwong's journey throughout the year and continuing our support for the conservation of sun bears. Stay tuned for more updates! 🐾🌿


Sun Bear Biofuture Receives UK Research and Innovation Funding


We're thrilled that Sun Bear Biofuture has been selected as one of the recipients of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding. This prestigious grant, provided through the UKRI Technology Missions Fund and delivered by Innovate UK, will support 48 engineering biology R&D projects to address health, environment, food production, and sustainability challenges.

This recognition underscores our commitment to driving innovation and sustainability in the biotechnology sector. We're honoured to be among the esteemed winners and look forward to leveraging this funding to advance our research and development efforts in our strain and fermentation process. Congratulations to all the winners, and we're excited to embark on this journey of scientific discovery and positive impact!


panda (2).jpg

Starting the new year where it all began - Panda

Some of you may not know, but we celebrated our pre-seed raise back at the start of 2023 by adopting ‘Panda’ the sun bear. Panda is looked after by the amazing Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.


At Sun Bear Biofuture our mission is to produce everyday essentials more sustainably, starting with an alternative to palm oil. Palm oil is in over 50% of supermarket products, it is the third most impactful food humans produce after only meat and dairy and only grows within approximately 5 degrees of the equator. Subsequent deforestation has resulted in 500m tonnes of CO2 released annually.



Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024

It’s been an amazing year. Starting from scratch. Raising our pre-seed investment, smashing it with grant wins from Innovate UK (5 in total), Go Create (supported by ERDF), Oxford Brookes, AberInnovation and more. Setting up our labs in Oxford. Growing the team to 7. Lots and lots of product development work in the lab and so much learning along the way. We can’t wait for 2024.



New Grant Win, New Partner

We’re pleased as punch to be able to announce another grant win, this time in partnership with the wonderful and world-renowned University College London. Working with them we will be optimising our processes and working to scale up our production capabilities. Thanks, as always, to Innovate UK for supporting us and UCL with this award.



Thank you MassChallenge!

It’s sad to be finishing up the MassChallenge journey. We’ve met some fantastic startups focused on the environment and a network of amazing corporate partners, investors, mentors and of course the MC team. It has been a truly inspiring few months and we look forward to growing and developing the relationships we have only just started.



BDC, It's Easy

We’re back at it with another fantastic grant award from the fabulous Innovate UK. This is in collaboration with the Biorenewables Development Centre and will be exploring our downstream processing methods and feedstocks.



Bears on the Road

This week Laura and the Bens are on the road, spending several days in the Netherlands for the final week of the Startlife Accelerator. It has been a very helpful and supportive programme over the past 4 months, and we’re sad to be completing it.


The access to corporate partners and Wageningen University, where StartLife is based, has created opportunities for a number of really exciting collaborations. We’re really looking forward to continuing the relationship over the coming years.



Innovate UK logo.png

We are very excited to announce that we’ve been awarded a highly competitive Smart Grant by InnovateUK, the UK’s innovation agency, to follow on from our Fast Start award! Over the next year we will be using this project to work on key sections of our process that enable us to scale production of a alternative to palm oil using fermentation.


We’re proud to be driving change in producing sustainable everyday essentials, and to be selected by Innovate UK in a pool of inspiring, game-changing projects.



MassChallenge 2023

We are delighted to have been selected to take part in the world renowned MassChallenge Switzerland accelerator following two tough judging rounds.

We'll be in a cohort with some of the world's best startups working in agrifoodtech innovation, working on the "Sustainable Food" sector. It's a real honor and we can't wait to start!

74e0bf1f-36f6-4883-ad85-f5538d547425 (2).jpg


Solutions Catalyst

Last week we completed a collaboration with AberInnovation and several partner colleagues from Aberystwyth University as part of our Solutions Catalyst project, during which we explored a range of production and downstream processing methods.


Here you can see our CTO Ben checking out a sample of the oil we produced. This is a really exciting advancement of our R&D and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the fantastic team over in Wales.


Sun Bear Adoption

2023 Panda Adoption Certificate - Sun Bear Bioworks.png

With fewer than 1000 sun bears left we felt we needed to do something pro-active, and so we've adopted a sun bear to support the wonderful work of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre ( and the work they do to rescue and protect these beautiful animals.


Whilst our mission is to prevent 100 million tonnes of carbon annually by 2030 we know action is needed now, so this small gesture at least starts us on our way. The sun bear is clearly important to us and is a key part of our founding story. The tragedy of the impact we have all caused on the planet led us to choose a name that reminds us every day of our mission. Thanks and lots of appreciation go out to the BSBCC from all of the Sun Bear Biofuture team!


StartLife 2023 Entry


Sun Bear Biofuture have been selected as one of only 9 companies to partake in the 10th cohort of the world famous StartLife accelerator programme. This provides the Bears an opportunity to engage with the global heart of food innovation in the Food Valley of Holland. Working with the Startlife team, an amazing network of mentors and coaches, many corporate partners and of course Wageningen University will be a real honour.


The programme starts in March and runs through to June. With so many goals to achieve this year the Sun Bear team will be able to access lots of support around IP, new product development, regulations and to develop many new relationships. We're proud to have been accepted and really look forward to beginning soon.


Pre-seed raise closed

IMG_20230209_175632143 - resized.jpg

It's official - Sun Bear Biofuture have closed their pre-seed raise, which was led by the wonderful Unruly Capital and supported by the fabulous Tiny Supercomputer Investment Company and Plug and Play Tech Center.

Ben Wilding, CEO of Sun Bear Biofuture, said ‘We’re so pleased to have 3 fantastic investors onboard that each bring something unique to support us on our journey. The team is really excited and we cannot wait for the next phase of our journey as we seek to have a truly positive impact on the environment with our alternative oil.’

Stefano Bernardi, founder of Unruly Capital, had this to say about the investment:

“At Unruly we believe the future will be bio-built. As a species we don’t really have another choice. Palm oil is one of the simplest targets: it is an awesome product in most dimensions but one: sustainability. We’ve seen a few startups already try to tackle the issue, but think the team at Sun Bear have what it takes to bring to market a cost-competitive alternative at scale. And that’s immensely valuable.”

IMG_6540 (1).jpg


New starters

A big welcome to Reuben and Emma, our new starters who have joined us as Junior Research Assistants.  They will be working with Laura in the lab to accelerate our R&D work, and we're super happy to have them onboard.

We will be hiring further in the new year, so please reach out if you are interested in working with us.



Grant announcement

Sun Bear Biofuture has been awarded a Go-Create grant to advance our lab work and improve our microbial strain!


This project is part-funded by the Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) programme and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).



Lab Space Opening

We're very excited to have moved into our new lab space! Sun Bear Biofuture is now carrying out experimental work in the BioInnovationHub on the Oxford Brookes campus. Thank you to everyone who helped us on our search, and to the team in Oxford for being so welcoming.

Carbon13 logo.jpeg


Carbon13 Funding

We are delighted to have received our first round of funding from Carbon13 and to be progressing into Phase 3 of their accelerator program. Many thanks to all those we have spoken to in the last few months and the Carbon13 team for helping us reach this stage!

See announcement.

bottom of page