Bacteria
Picture by IBM Research

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has funded 13 unique collaborative Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB) to boost interaction between the academic research base and industry, promoting the translation of research into benefits for the UK.

Professor Mark Smales and Professor Martin Warren of the University’s School of Biosciences and the Centre for Molecular Processing will each be directors of one of the networks, which pool skills from academia and business to develop research projects with the potential to overcome major challenges in the industrial biotechnology and bioenergy arena. The networks will drive new ideas to harness the potential of biological resources for producing and processing materials, biopharmaceuticals, chemicals and energy.

BioPronNet and Metals in Biology: The elements of Biotechnology and Bioenergy – bioscience networks to benefit UK economy

Metals in Biology: The elements of Biotechnology and Bioenergy

Professor Warren, who is Professor of Biochemistry, will co-direct the Metals in Biology Network (The elements of Biotechnology and Bioenergy) alongside Professor Nigel Robinson of Durham University.

Professor Warren, who is also Head of the School of Biosciences, said: ‘Biosciences here at Kent has always had a strong reputation for industrial biotechnology and our involvement in running these networks reflects that standing. These networks will produce new ideas that will benefit people’s lives in many different ways.’

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: ‘To get ahead in the global race we need to turn our world-beating science and research into world-beating products and services, as set out in our Industrial Strategy. These networks will unlock the huge potential of biotechnology and bioenergy, such as finding innovative ways to use leftover food, and creating chemicals from plant cells.’