Confirmed Funding of a Further 26 Projects Tackling and Exploiting Biofilms

A second portfolio of projects launched in the UK between universities and industry partners with a primary focus on controlling and exploiting biofilms

NBIC are delighted to share that a further 26 projects have been awarded funding from the second Proof of Concept (POC) call launched earlier this year. We received 49 applications from 29 different Research Institutions involving 31 companies. This second group of projects address a wider range of sectors and challenges than our first POC call (read more). We reserved 30% of funding for projects with an Engineering theme to build on our workshop in Edinburgh in April 2019. The collaboration between NBIC affiliated research institutions and industry is key to understanding biofilms and producing innovative solutions to the societal challenges they present, currently impacting ~$5 trillion dollars in global economic activity (approx. double the UK GDP). All projects work across the major strategic NBIC themes: prevent, detect, manage and engineer biofilms, and are a step forward in capitalising on the world-class research based in the UK to tackle the sectoral challenges identified with industry partners.

All project applications were sent to a pool of 50 assessors from academia and industry, and each project was assigned one academic and one industry assessor. Projects were assessed rigorously, across a number of key criteria, including: the quality of the collaboration; the quality of the science; the level of innovation; the potential for future application and the next steps if successful; the credibility of the project plan and the work needed to be done; the demonstrated extent of engagement with industry or external stakeholders and their level of commitment and the alignment of project goals with the NBIC strategy. The review panel consisted of 5 Academics and 5 Industrialists, all with biofilm research or industry experience in R&D.

The NBIC’s contribution is between £25-50k for each project. In total NBIC is investing approximately £1.4m in these projects. Projects were also encouraged to propose additional sources of funding and in-kind support (in order to enhance the quality of the bid and the outcomes anticipated), bringing the total value to £2m. NBIC will help to support and facilitate the relationship between Research Institutions and Industry Partners and project leads are expected to report to NBIC on a regular basis regarding project progress.

Delivering translational research is at the heart of our mission to harness the UK’s Academic and Industrial strengths in biofilm related science and technology. We were once again delighted with the breadth and quality of the 49 project proposals received in the call and are pleased to have been able to support over half of those received. We are grateful to the UK academic and industrial community, for not only participating in the call, but also engaging in the review process and demonstrating what a supportive network the UK Biofilm Community truly are. With their help we now have 51 exciting biofilm projects across the UK.

Mark Richardson

CEO, NBIC

Research and Innovation are central to the UK government’s long-term Industrial Strategy to raise productivity and earning power, and Innovation Knowledge Centres (IKCs) are a key vehicle in achieving this. NBIC is an IKC funded by the BBSRC, Innovate UK and the Hartree Centre, specifically focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities biofilms present, and finding innovative solutions to overcome or utilise them by joining world-class researchers and industry together.

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