Ingredients that don’t cost the earth. Building sustainability with engineering biology and AI.

COP28 Spotlight

NetZero by 2030. Responsible investment. Environmental action. Social inclusion. Impact-first – that’s the mission. The driving force behind UKI2S.

As a national seed investment fund, we’re doing our part to invest in the innovations that will define our future and make a real difference to our people and planet. Alignment with the UN’s SDGs is integral to achieving our mission.

In line with COP28 it’s time to show you how we’re working with innovative startups to facilitate the change we all want, and need, to see.

Let’s go back to COP21 in 2015 where parties of the UNFCCC agreed to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C by 2050. To reach this target emissions must be halved by 2030, so what we do and the changes we make over the next 7 years are critical.

This year’s conference is focused on:

  • Fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030.

  • Transforming climate finance, by delivering on old promises and setting the framework for a new deal on finance.

  • Putting nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action.

  • Mobilising for the most inclusive COP ever.


“Our mission is to create AI-defined bioengineered ingredients that don’t cost the earth, driving responsible consumption and production of products, improving our planet’s climate and giving intensively-farmed land back to nature.”

‘Going green’ isn’t as easy as it seems

Many of the products and services we rely on day to day are powered by fossil fuels. But there is a solution, thanks to bioengineering, where we can produce the materials we need sustainably.

twig reprograms tiny living microbes to convert waste from the food industry into commonly used, yet sustainably-made ingredients. The challenge? There are multiple codes which would reprogram them, and we just don’t know which will be the most successful.

That’s where AI comes in! twig feeds masses of data to its machine learning models which generate insight into which microbes work well, and what the next steps are to getting those ingredients to market.

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twig’s mission aligns with SDG’s…

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Palm oil made from microbes rather than intensive farming? Rubber tyres made from microbes, not fossil fuels? This is the type of ingenuity we’re keen to support!

twig is leveraging tech to produce everyday products which can be produced at scale, with lower costs and higher climate-positive impacts.

We have invested £350,000 in twig, as well as providing strategic support.

  • £800k in grants
  • £350k in investment

Russ Tucker, Co-Founder and CEO, twig:

“We’re really proud to be backed by The UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund because they are as passionate about science and sustainability as twig. Having successfully backed science companies before, their support and advice has helped us to refine our strategy and position us for the growth to come.”