The University of Manchester is at the forefront of a bio-industrial revolution. Fossil fuels have been the primary energy source for society since the Industrial Revolution. They provide the raw material for the manufacture of many everyday products that we take for granted including pharmaceuticals, food and drink, materials, plastics and personal care. But our dependency cannot continue. The combined effect of fossil carbon depletion and climate change means we must find cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy. We need solutions that will help us respond to society’s grand challenges: an ever-increasing and ageing population, affordable health care, resource efficiency, food security, climate change and energy shortages.