UKRI Call Eliminating Plastic Waste

Creative Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminate Plastics Waste.


Up to £8m is available for institutional awards for up to 18 months to research organisations to bridge the gaps between UK Research and Innovation research disciplines and respond creatively to the challenge of creating new circular economy approaches to eliminating future plastic waste.  The programme should focus on novel ideas and solutions that include consideration of sustainable feedstocks and materials, manufacturing and recycling processes, consumer behaviour and systems (for example legal, fiscal and policy systems) set within a context of environmental and health benefits.

This competition is being run on behalf of all UK Research and Innovation Research Councils by EPSRC. UK Research and Innovation welcome applications that includes the remits of any of the UKRI Research Councils, and is not limited to the Engineering and Physical Sciences communities. Please ensure that you read the call document thoroughly as there are specific requirements that must be met.

These awards are intended to build on significant relevant research expertise and enabled it to be directed towards addressing the challenge of reducing or eliminating future plastic waste. Therefore there is a requirement for demonstration of an active, current portfolio of relevant research.

This activity is intended to very rapidly catalyse new ideas across the research landscape.

An Expression of Interest must be submitted before 16:00 10 July 2018 via the Survey below. This is not intended to restrict detail in the final submission as minor changes will be allowed.

The Expression of Interest will be assessed by UK Research and Innovation staff on remit to the call, eligibility of the institution based on relevance and size of active portfolio and the ability and readiness to spend funds

Closing Date for EOI Submissions 10 July 2018 at 16:00 Hours;

Closing Date for Full Proposals 16 August 2018 at 16:00 Hours

To find out more and apply see here

Innovate UK Call Reducing Plastic Waste

Businesses can apply for a share of £4 million to support innovative ideas that reduce persistent plastic waste in the environment through new alternatives.

There is up to £4 million for businesses to reduce the amount of plastic entering the environment.

There is up to £4 million for innovative business projects that look at ways of reducing plastic waste through new polymers, processes, designs, recycling regimes and use of biodegradable alternatives.

The funding is provided by UK Research and Innovation and delivered by Innovate UK. This competition forms part of the £20 million package of the Plastics and Research Innovation Fund.

To find out more and apply see here

UK IB Strategy launch

The Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) have launched the new ‘National Industrial Biotechnology Strategy to 2030’, promoted in partnership with the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA). The Strategy has been developed by the IBLF and two collaborative networks in industrial biotech, CBMNet and BIOCATNET.

You can read the press release here

The strategy is available here

Join the BBSRC Pool of Experts

BBSRC is recruiting expressions of interest to join the Pool of Experts, Research Committee E and Follow on Fund Committee. The secretariat are keen to recruit some industrial members for the panels as well as academics.

To find out more see here.

Congratulations to Nicholas Turner on 2018 ACS Catalysis Lectureship!

Professor Nicholas J. Turner of the University of Manchester, U.K., is the recipient of the 2018 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science in recognition of his work in engineering of enzymes for application as biocatalysts. Co-sponsored by the ACS Division of Catalysis Science & Technology and the ACS Publications journal ACS Catalysis, the Lectureship honors the contributions of an individual or a collaborative team for groundbreaking research that strengthens connections between catalysis subdisciplines and has a profound impact on catalysis as a whole. The 2018 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science will be presented at the 256th ACS National Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

You can read more here.

Congratulations to Matt Gibson ACS award winner!

Professor Matthew Gibson (University of Warwick) has won an 2018 Biomacromolecules / Macromolecules Young Investigator Award.

Professor Gibson was selected in recognition of his outstanding contributions in fields of bioinspired materials and polymer chemistry, having successfully translated his basic research findings to industrial partners. Prof. Gibson is acknowledged as having created the field of macromolecular cryoprotectants, which is making a global impact, in addition to his work on glyco-materials and new polymer synthesis.

You can read more here.


Glycobiotechnology 2018 – register now!

Glycobiotechnology 2018 

Where: University Place, University of Manchester, 176 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

When: Monday 3rd September 2018 10.00am until Tuesday 4th September 2018, 4pm

Register here

About: Glycobiotechnology is an essential facet of modern industry, with broad applications in Medicine such as Biopharmaceuticals and Vaccines, Healthy Food and Renewable Biomaterials. This 2-day event will celebrate advances made in glycobiotechnology over the past five years through open academic-industry partnerships within the IBCarb network. The meeting will bring together 200 professionals, academics and students working in the area of glycobiotechnology to showcase latest developments and discuss future opportunities in glycoscience and industrial biotechnology.

Confirmed speakers: Igor Baruskov, University of Liverpool; Eleanor Binner, University of Nottingham; Vincent Bulone, University of Adelaide & Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, SE); Paul Dupree, University of Cambridge; RuAngelie Edrada-Ebel, University of Strathclyde; Matthew Gibson, University of Warwick; David Green, Scottish Association for Marine Science; Stuart Haslam, Imperial College London; Nathalie Juge, Quadram Institute Bioscience; Martina Lahmann, Bangor University; Andrew Laws, University of Huddersfield; Seung Lee, University of Southampton; Frederique Lisacek, Swiss institute of Bioinformatics; Gavin Miller, Keele University; Elaine O’Reilly, University of Nottingham; Barbara Pfister, ETH Zurich; Darren Smith, Northumbria University; Graham Stafford, University of Sheffield; Joachim Thiem, Glycom co-founder and University of Hamburg; Bruce Turnbull, University of Leeds; Jerry Turnbull, University of Liverpool; Jolanda van Munster, University of Manchester; Gerd Wagner, King’s College London; Simon Webb, University of Manchester; Ed Yates, University of Liverpool.

Outline program:

Day 1: Monday 3rd September 2018

09:30-10:30: Registration

10:30 – 17:30: Talks (includes lunch and refreshment breaks).

17:30: Networking hot fork buffet & exhibition of the Sweet Existence artwork with the artist Karen Barber

Day 2: Tuesday 4th September 2018

09:00 – 16:00: Talks continued (includes lunch and refreshment breaks).

Register here

Industry exhibits are welcome. Please contact directly to arrange.

Accommodation will be provided for IBCarb members*. You will need to book this on your behalf and we will reimburse you the costs after the event. Costs up to £120 max will be refunded via an expenses claim form which can be downloaded here. Completed forms should be sent to the IBCarb network manager after the event.

There are a number of hotels in Manchester city centre which is within walking distance of the meeting venue. See here:

Here is a list of nearby hotels, by distance, to the meeting venue and/or Piccadilly train station:

  • Crowne Plaza, Booth Street West
  • Holiday Inn, Oxford Road
  • Travelodge Manchester, Upper Brook Street
  • The Pendulum, Sackville Street
  • Hotel IBIS, Princess Street
  • Motel One, London Road
  • Macdonald Manchester Hotel, London Road

* Due to BBSRC rules you will only eligible for free registration and accommodation if you are a member of IBCarb at the time of the event. Membership of the network is free of charge. Please see for registration and T&Cs.

Travel bursaries of up to £200 are available for PhDs and PDRAs attending this event. Visit for details on how to apply.

The IBCarb management team & organising committee:

Professor Sabine Flitsch, University of Manchester & IBCarb Director

Professor Rob Field, John Innes Centre & IBCarb Co-Director

Dr Timothy Miller, Croda Europe Ltd

Dr Stuart Haslam, Imperial College London

Professor Stephen Eichhorn, University of Bristol

Dr Cleo Kontoravdi, Imperial College London

Professor Nathalie Juge, Quadram Institute, Norwich

Dr Sarah Allman, Reading University


BBSRC has launched a call for proposals titled ‘Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in the Developing World’ .

The call is up to £5 million and aims to support a number of collaborative research projects addressing challenges relating to industrial biotechnology and bioenergy in the developing world.

This call will develop the potential to utilise different biogenic feedstocks (for example crop residues) for the purpose of generating multiple (valuable) products (for example energy, pharmaceutical/ chemical precursors and clean water) in a sustainable way using biotechnologies to help support economic and welfare activities in the developing world.

The call is funded from the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). As well as being scientifically excellent, research supported under it must meet the criteria for classification of expenditure as Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Funds can be requested for up to three years and projects must be completed by 1 February 2022. Applications must not exceed a maximum of £2 million (at 100% of their full economic cost).

Applications must be submitted via the Je-S system by 6 June 2018, 16:00

Further information can be found on the BBSRC webpage here:

ISCF Wave 3

Ideas invited on what to support during the third wave of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Proposed challenges should combine the best ideas from academia and industry to create tangible benefits for the UK in productivity and economic growth.

Submitted proposals should either be drafted collaboratively by a consortium of industry and academia, or be able to provide evidence of an industry-wide requirement.

You will need to explain and evidence what the challenge is, the positive impact in addressing it, and the capabilities and strengths that we already have in the UK that would help us to become a world-leader in its research and commercialisation.

The deadline for expression of interest challenges is 18 April 2018.

Further information can be found here:

PhD Bioactive Sugars – sweet alternatives to antibiotics

Norwich Research Park, Doctoral Antimicrobial Research Training (DART)

MRC iCASE PhD studentship – Bioactive sugars – sweet alternatives to antibiotics

Supervisors: Rob Field (John Innes Centre), Nathalie Juge (Quadram Institute), Simone Dedola (Iceni Diagnostics)

Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, is recognised as one of the most serious global threats to human health in the 21st century.  In this context, alternatives to antibiotics to prevent or to treat infectious diseases are urgently needed. Pathogen species present a wide range of strain-specific carbohydrates and carbohydrate-binding proteins on their cell surfaces, which provide novel opportunities and targets for detection, prevention and intervention through diet or with novel therapeutics.

This project will explore the development of new integrated chemical and biochemical methods for the production of bioactive carbohydrates that have potential to tackle bacteria associated diseases of humans and farm animals. Some of these carbohydrates will be further modified to use as probes to determine the molecular mechanisms underpinning their impact on pathogens, with the aid of structural, microbiological and cell biology studies. Specifically, they will be evaluated for their ability to act: as prebiotics for commensal microorganisms; as receptor decoys for pathogens; and as immune stimulants for the host.

Capitalising on their extensive and synergistic expertise in carbohydrate biochemistry and glycobiology, this project will be run jointly between Rob Field’s group at the John Innes Centre and Nathalie Juge’s group at Quadram Institute Bioscience. It will also involve extensive engagement with the industrial partner, Simone Dedola at Iceni Diagnostics, which is co-located on the Norwich Research Park along with JIC and QIB.  The project would suit an ambitious student, with either a chemical or a biological background, who is keen to work across traditional discipline boundaries. Previous experience in some aspect of glycosciences (chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology) is desirable but full training will be provided.

Informal enquiries may be directed to