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PHYCONET – New BBSRC funded network aimed at exploiting microalgae is launched

PHYCONET, a UK-wide, industry-focused network enabling biologists, engineers and industrial partners to consolidate their knowledge and expertise to unlock the IB potential of microalgae.  The focus of the network is on high-value products from microalgae (including cyanobacteria) industrially cultivated in an intensive and controlled manner using PBR technologies.

 The main objectives of the PHYCONET network are as follows:

1. Build on current expertise and progress in algal genomics, synthetic biology and systems biology to develop key species as phototrophic platform strains for the IB sector.

2. Exploit the knowledge-base in bioinformatics, ‘omics, metabolic modeling and biological chemistry to identify new algal genes and metabolic pathways that could be exploited commercially, either through transfer to platform strains or industrial cultivation of the natural species.

3. Develop a robust, cost-effective and scalable photobioreactor technology for the IB sector.

4. Advance cultivation and downstream processing technologies.

5. Assess opportunities and barriers to commercialization.

Proof of Concept funding is available for projects in all five areas.  Each grant (up to £100K, lasting 1-3 years) will involve at least two members, with one an industrial partner.  In addition, (subject to pending BBSRC approval) forty £5K Business Innovation vouchers will be granted for projects no longer than 6 months in duration.

The application process will be online through the PHYCONET website, which is currently being developed.

The network will also host a 1-day conference on Monday 14th April 2014 at University College London, details to follow.

 In the meantime, any queries can be addressed to networkmanager@phyconet.org.uk.

Follow on Twitter @PHYCONET.

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Webinar on funding opportunities for Industrial Biotech & SynBio

This KTN webinar provided an update on the upcoming funding opportunities for industrial biotechnology & synthetic biology, with particular focus on the remit of each competition and where applications are likely to fit best. 

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