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CBMNet awarded ISCF Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst Early Stage Feasibility Projects

CBMNet awarded ISCF Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst Early Stage Feasibility Projects

We are pleased to confirm that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC)  has agreed to provide a grant of £233,222 to the CBMNet to support Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst: Early Stage Feasibility Projects, provided through Wave 1 of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

These funds will be used to support 7 CBMNet projects, which will undertake Early Stage Feasibility Projects where researchers engage with an industrial partner to take steps to demonstrate Proof of Concept within the strategic scope of the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst.

  1. Title: Metabolic Engineering of Yarrowia lipolytica for Co-production of Xylitol and Lipids Fuels using Industrial Waste. PI and Research Organisation: Gary Leeke (Cranfield). Industry Partner: SERE-Tech Innovation Ltd


  1. Title: In silico genome-wide modelling and metabolic engineering of Pseudomonas strains for improved rhamnolipid synthesis. PI and Research Organisation: Claudio Angione (Teeside). Industry Partner: TeeGene Biotech Limited


  1. Title: Detoxification of cyclic monoterpene alcohols by selective esterification. PI and Research Organisation: David Leake (Reading). Industry Partner: Isobionics
  1. Title: Development of novel bacterial strains for production of hydrophobic compounds. PI and Research Organisation: Paul Herron (Strathclyde). Industry Partner: Ingenza


  1. Title: Regulation of methacrylate tolerance in coli. PI and Research Organisation: Ian Kerr (Nottingham). Industry Partner: Lucite International


  1. Title: Membrane selectivity and receptor recognition by chimeric antimicrobial peptides. PI and Research Organisation: Boyan Bonev (Nottingham). Industry Partner: DuPont


  1. Title: Touchy Feely GM Algae. PI and Research Organisation: Mike Allen (Plymouth). Industry Partner: Algenuity



CBMNet and IBCarb awarded BBSRC International Workshop Award

CBMNet and IBCarb awarded BBSRC International Workshop Award

BBSRC has identified industrial biotechnology and bioenergy as high-level priority areas in its Delivery Plan for 2016-2020. Supporting the BBSRC to achieve its strategic goals, this focussed workshop will identify the science and technological barriers that need to be addressed in order to harness the potential of plant ‘cell factories’ for producing biopharmaceuticals. A CBMNet-driven symposium (Manchester, September 2017) brought together key players from Canada, the EU and the UK, to discuss scientific and commercial opportunities and challenges in this space. The goal now is to regroup, with a more focussed set of individuals, to refine the landscape and to identify opportunities for collaborative R&D projects involving academia and industry in the UK and Canada. These aims are synergistic with those of CBMNet and IBCarb in the UK, and with the Canadian Glycomics Network, GlycoNet.

Organisms produce glycosylated proteins for multiple purposes (e.g. stabilizing protein structure; interacting with receptors; self-recognition; etc.). There is a significant body of work on mammalian and yeast cells – both to understand the mechanisms of glycosylation and to manipulate it to synthesize desired glycoforms (including biopharmaceutical applications). Although plants are increasingly being used as a platform for commercial manufacturing of proteins, our knowledge of the glycosylation systems of plants is incomplete. For example, the secretory pathway (the location where glycosylation takes place) and consequences of manipulation thereof are poorly investigated. However, the understanding of basic mechanisms is of utmost importance, because it has a significant impact on the expression level (yield) and quality of a glycoprotein product.

An introductory workshop driven by CBMNet was attended by 22 participants from the UK, Canada and the EU. Expertise spanned cell membrane biology, cell membrane transporters, yeast and bacterial glycosylation, glycobiology, protein secretion, structure/function of a set of nucleotide sugar transporters, glycomics, plant biotechnology, and in vitro remodelling of glycans on therapeutic proteins, enabled a focus on sharing knowledge and gaining a deeper understanding of the native plant glycosylation machinery and the manipulation thereof for the production of proteins with optimized functions. The workshop identified the differences and common features in different species (i.e. mammalian, yeast, bacterial), as a basis to better understand and control protein glycosylation in plants. Identifying potential bottlenecks in the transport of a proteins through the secretory pathway was also considered.

The goal now, through a slimmed-down working group, is to define potential ways forward that will overcome yield- and quality-restricting bottlenecks in plant glycoprotein production processes. This will require the development fundamental understanding, coupled with the generation and deployment of tools to manipulate pathways and processes.

Information Days on 2018-2020 Horizon 2020 Calls for Proposals

Information Days on 2018-2020 Horizon 2020 Calls for Proposals

The European Commission will organise a number of information days in Brussels on the upcoming 2018-2020 calls for proposals in the last Work Programme of Horizon 2020 (to be published in October). These events will provide information on the content of the calls and will often be combined with dedicated brokerage events to support prospective applicants with finding partners for projects. The following events are planned in the coming months

Furthermore, a series of national events is also planned by Innovate UK and the Enterprise Europe Network. A list of planned and confirmed events can be found on the Innovate Knowledge Transfer Network’s website.