Meeting Minutes – IBCarb Glycoenzymes for Bioindustries 020414

IBCarb Glycoenzymes for Bioindustries – Minutes

Wednesday 2nd April 2014, 10am – 4pm MIB, Manchester

Delegates: Prof Sabine Flitsch (MIB), Dr Ian Rowles (MIB), Dr Daniel Spencer (Ludger), Dr Simon Charnock (Prozomix), Prof Harry Gilbert, (Newcastle), Prof Neil Bruce (York), Dr Miguel de Abreu (Almac Sciences), Dr Yvonne Armitage (KTN), Dr Neil Dixon (MIB), Dr Claire Doherty (MIB), Dr Sarah Shepherd (MIB), Dr Andy Hacking (Dextra), Dr Chloe Heywood (BBSRC), Dr Isabella van Damme (Mars), Dr Kristina Marx (Bruker),
Dr Chris Lawson (Glycomix), Dr Rod Watson (Bruker), Dr Alec Kettle (Bruker), Ketan Patel (DCN Corp), Dr Chris Birchall (Glythera), Dr Stuart Brown (Yprotech), Dr Pete Carney (UK CPI), Doug Howard (Bouygues), Dr Nathalie Juge (IFR), Prof Andy Laws (Huddersfield), Dr Kay McClean (CTech Innovation), Dr Tom Screen (Yprotech), Dr Graham Stafford (Sheffield)

Skype: Dr Charlie Bavington (Glycomar)

Apologies: Dr Douglas Cossar (Croda), Dr Camilla De Filipi (Siyemi Learning), Dr Andrew Ellis (Biocatalysts)

Introduction to IBCarb by Professor Sabine Flitsch and BioCatNet by Dr Ian Rowles
Prof Sabine Flitsch welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced IBCarb – Glycoscience Tools for Biotechnology and Bioenergy, a newly established BBSRC NIBB (Network in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy). IBCarb has 2 funding streams available, Proof of Concept funds and BBSRC Business Interaction Vouchers, which are also available from BioCatNet NIBB. The main aims of the meeting were to help build closer links between academia and industries as well as formulate proposals for the NIBB funding opportunities as well as the TSB IB Catalyst fund.

Dr Ian Rowles, Network Manager for BioCatNet gave an introduction to BioCatNet, a BBSRC NIBB dedicated to discovery, development and scalable production of biocatalysts for the whole IB community.

Flash presentations from various speakers
A series of talks were given. Firstly, Dr Daniel Spencer (Ludger) gave an ‘Introduction to Ludger’ and an overview of the research and capabilities of the company. Dr Simon Charnock (Prozomix) gave a presentation on ‘Glycoenzymes for Bioindustries’ and an overview of Prozomix and how its research capabilities fit into the meeting theme. Professor Harry Gilbert (Newcastle University) gave a talk entitled ‘Can we use genomic data to identify novel plant cell wall degrading enzymes?’. Professor Neil Bruce (University of York) gave a presentation on research from his group into ‘The role of plant glycosyl transferases in the detoxification of metabolites and mining Arabidopsis for GT biocatalysts’. Next, Professor Sabine Flitsch (MIB) gave a talk on her research into the ‘Application of glycan arrays to study glycoenzyme activity’. Finally, Dr Miguel de Abreu (Almac Sciences) gave a brief company overview followed by some relevant case studies to demonstrate Almac’s biocatalytic capabilities.

Delegate networking session
After a networking lunch, a Speed-Dating session took place where academics and industry representatives shared their research interests and identified potential for future research collaborations.

Breakout project discussion session
The meeting delegates then reconvened for a group discussion on a TSB IB Catalyst application and agreed to submit a joint application in Glycoenzymes.

Three main application areas of glycoenzymes were identified; Pharma, Food and Materials, and formed the basis of the project work packages. Each work package was expanded and interested parties assigned to each. A further work package in enabling technologies for all 3 applications was identified. As the discussion progressed project outputs became apparent and a list of suitable target glycoenzymes was also generated. In addition, training opportunities in the form of industry secondments for early career researchers were agreed.


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