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NBIC workshop to explore challenges, opportunities and advances in biofilm engineering

Posted on 08/02/2019

What are biofilms?

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) is holding a workshop on Biofilm Engineering on Tuesday 30th April in Edinburgh.

Biofilms are formed by groups of microorganisms when cells stick to each other or adhere to a surface. They can occur in a multitude of situations across the built and natural environment, and can have effects across multiple sectors and supply chains, including manufacturingfoodmedical devices and transport. In fact, biofilms are part of everyday life – from the plaque that builds up on our teeth to the biofouling on ships’ hulls.

Bacteria forming a biofilm on a surface

Biofilm Engineering Workshop, 30th April, Edinburgh

Biofilms tend to be regarded as a problem, but they can be a useful resource providing benefits such as the removal of pollutants, the potential production of pharmaceuticals and the production of biofuels on an industrial scale, as highlighted in last year’s KTN report.

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) is hosting its second industrial/academic cross-sector Workshop on Biofilm Engineering on Tuesday April 30th at the EICC venue in Edinburgh. The workshop follows on from the successful first workshop, which covered Biofilm Detection.

Dr Mark Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of the National Biofilms Innovation Centre, said:

“This will be an essential session for anyone in an industrial or academic setting with an interest in biofilms and exploiting an understanding of their uses at the interface with engineering and process applications and who is keen to meet others who share this interest. This event is open to all commercial/industrial concerns and to UK academics whose institution is either currently, or plans to be, a member of NBIC.”

“We will be discussing how to harness their benefits from knowledge of their composition, function, ecology and evolution. This includes developing and improving engineered platforms and solutions e.g. wastewater, biotechnology, resource recovery from wastewater, microbial fuel cells, aerobic and anaerobic bio-refinery. The scope for this theme also includes precision tools for microbial community engineering using synthetic biology.”

The workshop will explore problem areas, unmet needs and opportunities in commercial contexts and will review the current state of scientific progress in biofilm engineering.

Anticipated outputs will include:

  • Opportunities to make new connections and form new collaborations
  • Additions to the evolving NBIC map of the biofilm scientific/needs landscape
  • Agreed priorities and opportunities for translational projects and research investment to influence funders and drive NBIC activities

Please email nbic@biofilms.ac.uk to express your interest in participating in this workshop.

The workshop will take place on Tuesday April 30th (10:00 – 16:00) at the EICC, The Exchange Edinburgh, EH3 8EE. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

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