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BBSRC building biotech skill base

BBSRC building  biotech skill base - 1 November 2013. iStock

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Biome Bioplastics and the University of Warwick will accelerate the commercialisation of industrial biotechnology research.

As a leading developer of natural plastics, Biome Bioplastics is conducting pioneering research in the field of industrial biotechnology aimed at significantly improving the costs, functionality and performance of bio-based polymers.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Warwick is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board with funding of £164,000. It will fund a Postdoctoral Associate's work to transfer knowledge and expertise of lignin degradation, a waste product of the pulp and paper industry.

Earlier this year the company received funding from the Technology Strategy Board to investigate bio-based alternatives for the oil derived organic chemicals used in the manufacture of bioplastics. This research is being undertaken in conjunction with the University of Warwick's Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining and is focused on the feasibility of deriving these chemicals from lignin.

"The KTP project is an important part of extending our competence in the biosciences field and will help to ensure the effective exploitation of the technology we are developing", explains Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines. "The Associate's work will complement our research projects, allowing us to apply the technology to a broader range of lignin-degrading bacteria and help drive the results through to commercialisation".

Tim Bugg, Director of the University of Warwick's Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining commented: "It is crucial that pioneering academic work in the field of biotechnology is quickly and effectively embedded into industry. The KTP project with Biome Bioplastics is a great example of how business and academia can work together to propel this revolution."

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) support UK businesses wanting to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge and expertise available within UK Universities and Colleges.

ENDS