The UK's world-leading expertise in the research of biofilms has been recognised this week with the launch of a new National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) which will have high performance computing support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) Hartree Centre.
Biofilms are a community of one or more types of microorganisms that can grow on many different surfaces, such as plaque on teeth. Microorganisms that form biofilms include bacteria and fungi and because biofilms are everywhere they present a range of different challenges and opportunities to a diversity of industries from agriculture to healthcare. This new centre will advance biofilm science and innovation by bringing together those at the cutting edge of research with innovators in business to better understand how to manage, detect and engineer biofilms and to enable greater exploitation of the science and commercial opportunities they represent.
NBIC is a major, £12.5million five-year investment which forms a key part of The UK Biofilms Programme which is led by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK. The investment is also supported further through an in-kind contribution of up to £1million worth of access to the high performance computing facilities from STFC's Hartree Centre.
Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said:
“By better understanding biofilms and how we can manage and engineer them, we can influence ongoing scientific discoveries in medical diagnosis and treatment and improve environmental protection. This new centre is an excellent collaboration between Research Councils, Innovate UK and universities, and with our commitment to invest an additional £2.3bn for R&D in 2021/22, we are ensuring that our world leading researchers get the support they need and continue to thrive through our Industrial Strategy." Read the full press release