April 2018 newsletter

The PHYCONET April 2018 newsletter is now available. If you would like to receive the next newsletter direct to your inbox, please join us by completing the short form on the Membership page.

Workshop: use of marine biological resources in commerical R&D

IBioIC are participants in the Interreg funded project “European Marine Biological Resource Centre Biobank”. The project is organising a 1 day workshop on “Practical steps for facilitating the use of marine biological resources for commercial R&D in the context of new Access & Benefit Sharing Legal Framework” on 16 May in Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique HQ in Plouzane, France. The workshop will bring together industry (end-users), European culture collections (providers) and ABS competent national authorities to formulate needs and issues related to legal security during access to biological/genetic resources. More information on the workshop can be found here.

A survey on your awareness of ABS legislation (Nagoya protocol) has been prepared to obtain information in relation to the needs of companies in the framework of the recent regulations on Access to biological/genetic resources and fair Sharing of Benefits on their utilization (ABS), and to identify use-cases that the EMBRC as marine biological resource provider, could be testing to help such companies. The information obtained will serve as the basis for the above workshop. The questionnaire results will only be used by the EBB project and will be shared with the project partners but will not be made available to any third parties. The results will be anonymised when reporting. The questionnaire should make no more than 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed here.

March 2018 newsletter

The PHYCONET March 2018 newsletter is now available. To receive the next newsletter direct to your inbox, please join us by completing the short form on the Membership page.

UK-China Microalgal Biotechnology workshop

PHYCONET, in conjunction with the Center for Microalgal Biotechnology and Biofuels at the Institute of Hydrobiology in Wuhan, China, is organising an international workshop, to be held 19-21 September in Wuhan. The objective is to bring UK and Chinese microalgae researchers together to identify the challenges and bottlenecks in characterisation, production and commercialisation in the production of bio-products from microalgal biomass. Specific objectives are to:

  • Provide a forum to facilitate exchange of knowledge and collaborative links between UKand Chinese researchers from academia and industry, thereby advancing the developmentand exploitation of algal biotechnology.
  • Establish an informal network of researchers that strengthens UK-Chinese connectionswithin the algal biotech sector, and raises the profile of PHYCONET in China.
  • Gather expertise and understanding of the bottlenecks in developing and commercialisingalgal bio-products and establishing sustainable algal biorefineries.
  • Identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of how these barriers can be overcome, andhow this knowledge deficit can be addressed.
  • Explore joint funding opportunities and assemble ‘grant ready’ teams to develop researchproposals.
  • Agree an action plan for implementation.

Senior researchers from academia and industry are invited to apply for this workshop by the deadline of 5pm on 20 April. This workshop is supported by a BBSRC ‘International Workshop’ award, and PHYCONET anticipates being able to provide funding for travel expenses and accommodation for up to 10 UK delegates. Successful applicants will be notified by 4 May.To apply, click here.

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Wave 3

The Government is inviting ideas as to what to support during the third wave of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Proposed challenges should combine the best ideas from academia and industry to create tangible benefits for the UK in productivity and economic growth.

Submitted proposals should either be drafted collaboratively by a consortium of industry and academia, or be able to provide evidence of an industry-wide requirement.

You will need to explain and evidence what the challenge is, the positive impact in addressing it, and the capabilities and strengths that we already have in the UK that would help us to become a world-leader in its research and commercialisation.

The deadline for expression of interest challenges is 18 April 2018.

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/industrial-strategy-challenge-fund-tell-us-what-to-support

Pilots4U survey

Pilots4U aims to set up one very visible, easily accessible network of open access pilot and multipurpose demo-infrastructures for the European bio-economy with Europe-wide coverage. If you have brought, or are looking to bring a bio-based, biorefinery or biotechnology innovation process towards commercialisation, your participation in a short survey is requested, in order to gather information about the type of equipment and services that organisations require during this process.

Survey responses will be completely anonymised and only if you provide contact details will you be contacted in case of any follow-up questions. The survey can be accessed here.

Student seeks summer internship

Abdulwahab Hassan is a 4th year Bio-engineering student from Uskudar University, Istanbul. He is interested in pursuing a career in the field of applied biotechnology, and is particularly interested in research on algal biofuel production mechanisms. He wishes to carry out an internship this summer (which will be fully funded by his university), either in an academic setting or with a company. He previously carried out a research project on algal growth optimisation for effective biofuel and is keen to gain more experience in the field of microalgae research. Further details are available in Abdulwahab’s CV. He can be contacted directly at: abdihudh@gmail.com

Beyond the lab: developing your Industrial Biotechnology career conference

PHYCONET, along with other NIBB, is supporting this 2-day conference organised by Cogent Skills, which is aimed at PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and early career industry researchers, to be held 18-19 July at York University Exhibition Centre. The objective of the conference is to broaden delegates’ awareness of possible careers outside of the university laboratory, and highlight the professional skills they will need in addition to their technical skills.

At this two day event:
  • Find out about current job & career opportunities in industry
  • Reflect on your career to date and identify skill gaps
  • Learn about communicating science and creating impact
  • Get tips on how to write funding applications and business cases
  • Find out about the latest science and training opportunities available to you
  • Industrial Speakers and Panel members will include speakers from Innovate & KTN
  • Meet with non-lab practitioners for 1-2-1 session to discuss your future plans
  • Network with your fellow delegates and speakers at the conference dinner
  • Overnight accommodation is also included

The programme can be viewed here. PHYCONET has been allocated 15 places at this conference. PHYCONET members can apply for this FREE event by submitting the application form by 5pm, 4 May. Successful applicants will be notified by 16 May.

February 2018 newsletter

The PHYCONET February 2018 newsletter is now available. If you would like to receive the next newsletter direct to your inbox, please join us by completing the short form on the Membership page.

Business Interaction Voucher funding awarded (December 2017 call)

Congratulations to the following, who have been awarded BIV funding:

  • Alison Smith (University of Cambridge), who will work with Algaceuticals Ltd. on the project “Growth optimisation in next generation algal bioreactors for bioactive compounds”.
  • William Zimmerman (The University of Sheffield) who will collaborate with Perlemax Ltd. on the project “Microalgal flotation – the microbubble way”

We have remaining BIV funds, for 3 x £10,000 projects. The next and final call will close at 5pm on 15 March 2018. Please refer to the “Funding” page for details.

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

    Read more ›

  • 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

    Read more ›

  • 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:

    Read more ›