Tuesday, October 19, 2021

New funding to tackle skills gaps in UK bioscience industry

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC), co-led by the University of Nottingham, has received funding as part of a £22.5m investment from the UK Government to address skill gaps in the UK bioscience industry.

The Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP) scheme, run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will address these skill gaps through doctoral training led by businesses. The collaborative partnerships will work across the BBSRC’s strategic priorities areas such as Net Zero+, Tackling Infections, Transformative Technologies and more.

The NBIC is led by four universities, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton. The funding has been awarded to the Centre in partnership with portfolio medical technology business – Smith+Nephew and the NBIC Industry Advisory Board.

The Smith+Nephew and NBIC Consortium will focus on developing interdisciplinary scientists for small, medium and large companies, addressing biofilm challenges that have a £45bn impact in the UK.

NBIC Nottingham Co-Director, Professor Miguel Cámara, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham, said: “The CTP will enable the NBIC industrial community to develop breakthrough technologies to address the economic impact of biofilms in collaboration with our academic partners whilst training the new generation of researchers in this area.”

NBIC CEO, Dr Mark Richardson, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to award these studentships. Led by our Industrial Advisory Board, these will enable the development of interdisciplinary scientific talent for the biofilm sector in the UK. This will support our enduring mission of harnessing the UK’s academic and industrial strengths in biofilms through research, innovation and training.”

A total of 225 studentships have been awarded CTP funding, in partnership with academia and industry, spanning 29 businesses and 12 academic research organisations. The four-year studentships will be delivered over the period 2022-28 with £22.5m of funding from BBSRC, and more than £14m cash and in-kind co-investment from industry partners.

BBSRC Executive Chair, Professor Melanie Welham, said: “With the awards we have announced today BBSRC underlines its commitment to work with industry to support the next generation of bioscience researchers. Projects will span areas vital to our strategic priorities, such as tackling infections and helping to meet our net zero goals.”

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