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Building on research in prevention, detection, management or engineering of biofilms

Posted on 04/07/2018

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre has opened its first Proof of Concept funding call.

Biofilms are created by microbial communities for a range of reasons, with a fundamental focus on the survival, maintenance and growth of the members of the community themselves. Whilst they are often perceived as a problem, they can provide benefits such as the removal of pollutants, the potential production of pharmaceuticals and the production of biofuels on an industrial scale, as highlighted in a recent KTN report.

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) is an Innovation Knowledge Centre (IKC) jointly funded by the BBSRC, Innovate UK, and the Hartree Centre. It aims to connect  scientists specialising in Biofilms across the UK, and to provide a mechanism for industrial partners to explore their unmet needs with our researchers .

NBIC has launched a call for proposals for Proof of Concept (PoC) projects from interested parties who have the experience and knowledge necessary to investigate and exploit areas in which biofilms play a central part. All projects proposed will be considered and ranked on their merits based on a number of criteria, with the intention that the selected projects will form a high quality portfolio of initial stage Proof of Concept projects.

Bacteria forming a biofilm on a surface

In this first PoC call they are looking for proposals that are a joint collaboration between at least one Company (micro, SME or large) or stakeholder with a UK presence and one (or more) UK University/Research Institution, which should be a part of the NBIC consortium. The project will be expected to establish the feasibility of a concept, idea or technology from any application sector which is aimed at preventing, detecting, managing or engineering biofilms. This can be in a laboratory, model or real world setting in order to give confidence for further work. The PoC programme is not aimed at basic research, but is expected to build on existing research, findings or technology and show how the collaboration will move the research towards practical exploitation in a specified application. In Technology Readiness Level (TRL) terms these projects are likely to be at levels 2-4.

The project may be the first between a set of collaborators, or may come from an existing relationship. They expect to fund between 20-30 projects lasting on average 6 months and for NBICs contribution to be on average between £25-50K in total for each project. Projects are encouraged to propose additional sources of funding or support in-kind that will enhance the quality of the bid and the outcomes anticipated.

The application deadline is 24th August 2018.

If you wish to apply, or to know more about this first NBIC PoC call, please email nbic@biofilms.ac.uk.