Proof of Concept funding awardees

AwardeeInstitutionProject titleLink
Round 1
Mike AllenPlymouth Marine LaboratoryALGEBRA: ALGal Environmental and Biotechnological Risk AssessmentDetails
Tom BibbyUniversity of SouthamptonUnlocking the potential of Dunaliella through development of transformation-based strategies for gene manipulationDetails
Seth DavisUniversity of YorkExploiting the genetic potential of Galdieria sulphuraria for industrial biotechnologyDetails
Carole LlewellynSwansea UniversityExploring chlorophyll-f and associated metabolism for improved intensive cultivation of cyanobacteriaDetails
Willie WilsonPlymouth Marine LaboratoryDevelopment of an algal crop protection program through vaccination by novel viruses Details
Round 2
Alistair McCormickUniversity of EdinburghA molecular toolbox to commercialise cyanobacteria: synthetic genetic sensor-regulator circuits for increased yields of phycobiliproteinsDetails
Saul PurtonUniversity College LondonProduction of protein antibiotics in the algal chloroplastDetails
Colin RobinsonUniversity of KentEngineering of supramolecular assemblies for enhanced high-value compound synthesis in the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplastDetails
Michele StanleyScottish Association for Marine ScienceTetramed: Spent media from Tetraselmis cultivation as a source of new bioactivesDetails
Round 3
Attila MolnarUniversity of EdinburghHigh value chemicals from algae: Developing a transgene-free genome editing toolbox to enhance carotenoid productionDetails
Round 4
Katherine DuncanUniversity of StrathclydeAccelerating the biotechnological potential of marine microalgae using a molecular networking comparative metabolomics approach Details
Martin MichaelisUniversity of KentIdentification of algal extracts with anti-cancer activityDetails

Business Interaction Voucher awardees

AwardeeIndustry partnerProject title
Mike Allen (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)Photoquest Ltd.Phytography: Digital High Value Products From Phytoplankton
Jared Cartwright (University of York)Phycosera Ltd.Characterisation of the potential of Chlorella microalgae to produce recombinant proteins under fermentative growth conditions
Peter Eastmond (Rothamsted Research)AlgenuityOptimisation of algal culture for the production of human milk fat substitute
Patricia Harvey (University of Greenwich)Cellexus Ltd.Cultivation of Dunaliella salina, an extremophile, for glycerol and carotenoids using a novel Single-Use Bioreactor
Patricia Harvey (University of Greenwich)Varicon Aqua Solutions Ltd.Development and evaluation of novel nutrient formulations for microalgal cultivation
Alistair McCormick (The University of Edinburgh)AlgaceuticalsAlgae Wiki Database cross correlates microalgae to their high-value molecules under identified growth conditions
Ralph Noble (NIAB EMR)Algaecytes Ltd.Post lipid extracted microalgal biomass as a substrate nutrient supplement for mushroom cultivation
Jagroop Pandhal (The University of Sheffield)TeeGene Biotech Ltd.Characterisation of info-chemical induced EPS from Scenedesmus for sustainable production of bioemulsifiers and biosurfactants
Brenda Parker (University College London)Algafy Ltd.High throughput screening platform for evaluating desirable phenotypes in microalgae
Brenda Parker (University College London)Industrial PhycologyRemoval of heavy metals from wastewater using microalgae: Phycoremediation and metal recovery
Geoffrey Proffitt (Swansea University)AlgaeCytes Ltd.Technical consultancy for the first commercial microalgae pilot module in the UK
Saul Purton (University College London)Algaplex Ltd.Developing synthetic biology tools for Spirulina
Alison Smith (University of Cambridge)Pursuit Marine Drive LtdResearch grade algae - a supply bottleneck in algal research and development
Alison Smith (University of Cambridge)Plessey Semiconductors Ltd & Alfa Laval LtdIncreasing algal growth and harvesting efficiency in glasshouses using LED lighting and centrifuges
Alison Smith (University of Cambridge)J T Environmental Consultants Ltd.Implementing Algebra guidelines to risk assessments of scale-up of non-native species
Alison Smith (University of Cambridge)Feed Algae Ltd.Optimisation of batch-scale cultivation of tropical marine diatoms
Alison Smith (University of Cambridge)MembranologyExpanding the range of algal species suitable for membrane harvesting
Alison Smith (University of Cambridge)Algaceuticals Ltd.Growth optimisation in next generation algal bioreactors for bioactive compounds
Michele Stanley (The Scottish Association for Marine Science)Biopower Tecnologies Ltd.The use of micronisation powders from biomass by-products as growth supplements for microalgae
Seetharaman Vaidyanathan (The University of Sheffield)C-Tech Innovation LtdEfficient cell lysis for extraction of intracellular products from microalgae using pulsed electric field
Seetharaman Vaidyanathan (The University of Sheffield)Varicon Aqua Solutions Ltd.Pilot scale production of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and fucoxanthin in a diatom using a Phyco-FlowTM system
William Zimmerman (The University of Sheffield)Perlemax Ltd.Microalgal flotation - the microbubble way


Training & Conference funding awardees

Alison SmithUniversity of CambridgeMolecular Life of Diatoms in Seattle, USA (7-10 July 2015): PDRA Katherine Helliwell presented her talk "Vitamin B12 cycling between aquatic microbes: cooperation versus competition".
Seetharaman VaidyanathanUniversity of SheffieldEuropean Phycological Congress 2015 in London (23-28 August 2015): PDRA Maria Huete-Ortega presented her talk "Linkage between photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism on the accumulation of lipids in microalgae".
Carole LlewellynSwansea University5th Annual World Congress of Marine Biotechnology 2015 in Qingdao, China (6-8 November 2015): PDRA Claudio Fuentes-Grunewald presented two talks, "Biotechnological applications of marine bioactive compounds from the red microalgae Porphyridium purpureum" and "Performance of the new internal LED photobioreactor".
Saul PurtonUniversity College LondonMBI course "Downstream Processing: From Cell to Column: Integrated solutions for Rapid Bioprocessing of Biologics" in London (16-19 November 2015): PDRA Laura Stoffels attended this training course.
Seetharaman VaidyanathanUniversity of SheffieldThe 6th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts (San Diego, June 2016): PDRA Maria Huete-Ortega presented talk "“Molecular basis of lipid production in Phaeodactylum tricornutum (CCAP 1055/1) under nitrogen starvation: a systems investigation”" and poster "Effect of culture conditions on lipid productivity in marine microalgae".
Steven KellyUniversity of OxfordPHYCONET/IBCarb meeting on Algal Polysaccharides in Edinburgh (14-15 July 2016): PDRA Ellis O'Neill gave a talk on de novo transcriptome sequencing of the alga Euglena gracilis revealing unexpected capabilities for carbohydrate metabolism.
Brenda ParkerUniversity College LondonEuropean Symposium for Biochemical Engineering Sciences in Dublin (11-14 September 2016): Brenda presented her research on scale up for recovery of intracellular products from Chlamydomonas and Phaeodactylum.
Katherine DuncanUniversity of StrathclydePHYCONET/HVCfP workshop on High Value Products from Algae in Nottingham (1-2 November 2016): Katherine gave a flash presentation on using molecular networking for algal comparative metabolomics.
Alison SmithUniversity of CambridgeGordon Research Conference on Chloroplast Biotechnology (8-13 Jan 2017, Ventura, California): PDRA Doris Gangl presented a poster on metabolic engineering of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using synthetic biology approaches.
Mike AllenPlymouth Marine LaboratoryVietnamese Algae Conversion workshop (12-14 Jan 2017): Mike gave a talk on technologies for harvesting algal blooms at the Vietnamese Algae Conversion workshop (12-14 January 2017, Hanoi University), which aims to develop joint UK-Vietnam projects in areas such as algal biotechnology and bioremediation.
John DayScottish Association for Marine ScienceAlgem training day (6 July 2017): Research Support Scientist Naomi Thomas attended this training event at Algenuity.
Seetharaman VaidyanathanUniversity of Sheffield7th International CeBiTec Research Conference Bielefeld (24-27 September 2017): PDRA Maria Huete-Ortega presented a talk: "Study of the molecular regulatory mechanisms involved in lipid biosynthesis in microalgae".
Olga SayanovaRothamsted ResearchRothamsted Research staff members Chiara Gandini, Alex Pudney, Krisztina Sarkozi and Richard Smith attended the Algem training at Algenuity on 31 October 2017.
Mike AllenPlymouth Marine LaboratoryMike attended the MBRE 2018 conference on 5-6 March 2018 in Glasgow, where he presented a talk: "Genetic engineering of microalgae: potential and problems".
Daniel NowakowskiAston UniversityChristopher Thomas from Daniel's group attended the MBRE 2018 conference on 5-6 March 2018 in Glasgow and presented a talk on "Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algal Feedstocks".


Undergraduate Summer Studentships

Eleanor BinnerUniversity of NottinghamProof of concept study to extract EPA from wet microalgal strain ALG01 (in collaboration with AlgaeCytes Ltd)
Oliver EbenhoehUniversity of AberdeenOptimising the storage of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in triacylglycerol for microalgae using a mathematical model
Brenda ParkerUniversity College LondonExamining the interactions between cultivation and downstream processing for recombinant protein production in microalgae
Glen WheelerMarine Biological AssociationElucidating functional forms of vitamin B12 in microalgae
Tom BibbyUniversity of SouthamptonTapping the unused potential of photosynthesis
Eleanor BinnerUniversity of NottinghamMicrowave-assisted depolymerisation of an algal polysaccharide
John DayThe Scottish Association for Marine ScienceA paradigm shift in algal cultivation: exploring the potential of heterotrophic and mixotrophic cultivation of the holdings of the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa
Attila MolnarUniversity of EdinburghEstablishing a transgene-free genome editing protocol for a cell-walled algae Chlamydomonas nivalis
Brenda ParkerUniversity College LondonAlgal-BPV educational tool
Alison SmithUniversity of CambridgeHow does 3’UTR choice affect transgene expression in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Michele StanleyThe Scottish Association for Marine ScienceEvaluating the potential of marine microalgae for the production of omega 3 enriched phospholipids for use as encapsulation agents and sterols for liposome stabilisation
Elinor ThompsonUniversity of GreenwichRoutes for manipulating the carbon concentrating mechanism of cyanobacteria: regulatory proteases
Seth DavisUniversity of YorkTransformation and heterologous expression of a Galdieria sulphuraria candidate enzyme in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Chris HoweUniversity of CambridgeThe transition to heterotrophy in the dinoflagellate Esoptrodinium
Luke MackinderUniversity of YorkDevelopment of a combinatorial Golden Gate assembly platform for multigene expression in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Attila MolnarThe University of EdinburghComparing and assessing nucleotide precision gene-editing technologies in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Alison SmithThe University of CambridgeUsing riboswitches to regulate and optimise production of diterpenes in Chlamydomonas
Michele StanleyThe Scottish Association for Marine ScienceEvaluating the potential of marine microalgae for the production of terpenes


IB Seeding Catalyst Funding awardees

AwardeeIndustry partnerProject title
Mark Caddick
(The University of Liverpool)
UnileverProcess development for the production of natural UV-protectants
Anil Day
(The University of Manchester)
AlgaeCytesOne step transformation of a platform microalgal strain to boost Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid yields
Attila Molnar
(The University of Edinburgh)
Scottish BioenergyOptimizing the single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide repair templates for CRISPR-mediated genome editing in micro-algae
Alla Silkina
(Swansea University)
ufraction8Evaluation of microalgae dewatering cultures using massively multiplexed microfluidic systems

Phyconet News

  • December 20, 2018

    The PHYCONET December 2018 newsletter is now available. This is our last newsletter, as the funding for the PHYCONET network finishes on 31st December. If you would like to be updated about the new Algae-UK network starting in early 2019, please email

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  • November 10, 2018

    Our final annual conference was held at the Wesley Hotel in London on 8-9 November. Attended by 75 delegates, the meeting included presentations from awardees of our various funding schemes – Proof of Concept, Business Interaction Vouchers and IB Seeding

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  • November 8, 2018

    BBSRC has announced, with the support of EPSRC, that £11M is to be committed to funding six Phase II Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBB), and we are delighted that the application submitted by PHYCONET Director Saul Purton, “Algae-UK:

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