Building Cross-Disciplinary Communities


Successful PIs will be invited to a meeting with BBSRC on the 12th of June in London.  Successful applicants will be informed as soon as possible after the 22nd of May.


A combined file containing the submitted NIBB Outline Proforma is now available under the documents tab.



The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in association with EPSRC, TSB and the BioKTN, CIKTN and HeathKTN wish to support a number of cross-disciplinary, community-building Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBB).

The expansion of industrial biotechnology and bioenergy (IBBE) approaches and expertise will underpin the development of a sustainable UK Bioeconomy with the potential to maintain future energy security, create innovative bio-based products, and increase the efficiency of a wide range of manufacturing processes, generating sustainable economic growth and creating jobs.  A brief description of IBBE, as it relates to this call, is provided under the Documents tab (and Annex 1 of the call text).

Once established, the Networks will foster collaborative activities between academic researchers and business at all levels to identify and develop new approaches to tackle major research challenges and help deliver key benefits in IBBE through the application of a range of approaches, including genomic, systems and synthetic biology as well as the underpinning sciences such as biochemistry, enzymology, metabolism and microbiology.  The Networks will be cross-disciplinary, working across the boundaries of biology, chemistry and engineering.  Participation from other disciplines including mathematics, computational modelling, environmental science, economics and social science is strongly encouraged. 

The purpose of this call for proposals is:

  • To support a number of Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy and through them, facilitate the development of internationally competitive cross-disciplinary communities capable of undertaking innovative research and attracting further investment from UK and international sources.
  • To provide the resources to support proof of concept funding for a range of  research projects identified by the Networks, ultimately leading to more competitive, collaborative, cross-disciplinary and integrative research proposals to BBSRC and elsewhere.
  • To encourage the interaction between the academic research base and technology-deploying, associated value-chain and end-user businesses, promoting the translation of research particularly involving genomic, systems and synthetic biology.
  • To enable the supported Networks to provide the leadership to develop, in collaboration with business, challenges to be addressed by the BBSRC/TSB IB Catalyst fund.


BBSRC has allocated up to £15M for this networking initiative and aims to fund approximately 10 Networks of varying scales focusing on a broad range of fundamental and strategic questions and challenges facing the IBBE area.  Networks will operate for 3 to 5 years and, whilst highly desirable, are not expected to become self-sustaining beyond this.


Interested parties are invited to register to attend one of two town-meetings, to be held in York (15th February 2013) and London (21st February 2013) by emailing the registration form (Documents tab) to at least 5 working days before the chosen meeting.

The purpose of the town-meetings will be to:

  • Introduce the strategy and explain its aims, scope and future funding options.
  • Bring different research communities and disciplines together and to start building potential Networks.
  • Discuss the use of _connect.

Attendance will be on a first-come-first-served basis, so early registration is recommended.


Deadline for registration to attend town-meeting

8th/14th February 2013

Town meetings

15th/21st February 2013

Closing date for expression of interest

16 April 2013

Assessment of expression of interest

Late May 2013

Meeting with PIs (in London)

12 June 2013

Launch of call for full proposals

Late May 2013

Closing date for full proposals

16 July 2013

Assessment of full proposals

Mid October 2013

Research grants awarded / projects start

November (awarded) / early 2014 (to start)


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Latest discussions

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Launch of the microalgal biotechnology network "PhycoNet"...

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Dear All   Re: Metals in biology -a BBSRC NIBB podcast   Please listen to the opening podcast (attached) and let me know your priority areas of interest so that we can start organising workshops.   Pr...

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We ask that anyone interested in being a member of this proposed network please let us know so we can add you to the list of interested people submitted with the full application. See details below. ...

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Dear All The Natural Products Discovery and Bioengineering Network (NPRONET) outline application was successful and we are working to construct a full application for the 16 July deadline. Many thank...

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All,   Please see the below visualisation of the outcome of the Sift Process.   It is important to remember that some Network ideas not represented here may also have ...

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Upcoming events

Thu 21 Feb 2013

NIBB Town Meeting, LONDON

10:00 until 12:30

Please register 5 working days prior to the meeting by emailing the Registration Form (available...

From BBSRC Networks in IBBE

Fri 15 Feb 2013

NIBB Town Meeting, YORK

12:00 until 15:30

Please register 5 working days prior to the meeting by emailing the Registration Form (available...

From BBSRC Networks in IBBE

A little about BBSRC Networks in IBBE

BBSRC Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy

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