CBMNet IN-FOCUS 2016-2017: Our Network’s Impact

A welcome from Professor Jeff Green, CBMNet Director…

Welcome to the latest issue of IN-FOCUS. Since its launch in 2014 CBMNet has worked to build an international community of academics and industrial biotechnology practitioners to raise awareness of the importance of membrane function, and in particular the transport of substrates and products, in creating efficient bioprocesses. Our many events have brought together over 400 academics and industrialists to share knowledge and discuss a range of challenges where a better understanding of membrane function could provide innovative solutions. These meetings have cemented new relationships between academia and industry and the resulting collaborations, supported by our Proof-of-Concept and Business Interaction Voucher schemes, are now developing as longer-term partnerships and applications for further funding. At this point it is appropriate to thank our Network Manager Dr Jen Vanderhoven for her exceptional work in organising events, supporting developing collaborations and administering CBMNet finances.

“CBMNet has led the way in open, inclusive and interesting meetings that both inform of novel science and bring people together in useful teams. Their funding applications have been rigorously reviewed and their success in grant capture and stimulating new collaborations is excellent. Also their ability to encourage formation of new teams without even a hint of self-fulfilment in the leadership team – who seem to revel in the success of others as much as themselves – is exceptional. I think their outreach via websites, art installation and newsletters, including brokering partnerships via the network, is a great example of best-practice”

CBMNet Member, 2017

Working with the management board has been one of the many privileges of being a part of the CBMNet team. The high levels of knowledge, expertise and creativity embodied in the management board have contributed greatly to the success of CBMNet activities and ensured that our events attract leaders in the relevant fields. One of many highlights was the CBMNet Scientific Session entitled Membrane Transporters held during the 2016 Microbiology Society Annual Conference. This attracted world-leading experts in the full range of biological transport systems to share their knowledge and experience with industrial representatives and early career researchers (ECR). It has been a particular pleasure to have helped deliver several activities focused on ECRs. The CBMNet Vacation Scholarship Scheme has introduced undergraduate bioscientists to the world of IB and our bespoke nationwide IB careers event was full of energy and enthusiasm, as was our ECR Research symposium and our CBMNet short course in IBBE held at CPI and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechologies on Teesside. The generosity of our industry partners in sharing their IB insights and opening their work places to offer fascinating insights into operating commercial IB plant was greatly appreciated by all attendees. In its present incarnation CBMNet has another 18 months to run so I would encourage you to keep an eye on our website for up-coming events and register early to avoid disappointment. As well as our event schedule we are actively helping members form consortia and co-ordinating grant applications.

“My experience with CBMNet has been one of the finest and most fruitful examples of academic-industry exchange, networking and developing collaborative projects that I have experienced. This is all the more remarkable, because I have experienced plenty of such events in other academic‑industry partnership involvement”

CBMNet Member, 2017

Download IN-FOCUS here

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