New Environmental Biotechnology Innovation Centre (EBIC)
The EB Network is pleased to be supporting the new Environmental Biotechnology Innovation Centre (EBIC), led by Cranfield University. The Hub brings together scientists from ten UK universities to advance the abilities of micro-organisms to monitor the environment and remove pollutants. It’s the first research group of its kind in the UK.
The new centre is being established with £13 million of funding from the Technology Missions Fund of UK Research and Innovation – the UK’s national funding agency for investing in science and research – and support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which invests in bioscience research and training in the UK. Bioscience is the study of living organisms.
EBIC Project Lead and EBNet Co-Investigator Fred Coulon says, “They may be tiny, but micro-organisms have ‘superhero’ properties which give them enormous potential to have a positive impact on our world.”
“Using advanced technologies, the research team will create entirely new organisms or enhance the functions of existing ones. By doing this, we can design micro-organisms that are better suited for environmental tasks like converting waste into valuable resources.”
Our Primary Investigator Em. Prof. Sonia Heaven says, “EBNet is delighted to have contributed to the development of this Hub, which will ensure continued advances in the vital area of Environmental Biotechnology”.
Cutting-edge techniques from synthetic biology, biotechnology and environmental engineering will be used. With a focus on responsible and ethical research practices, the research team is set to examine and develop new ways to tackle three key areas:
1. Next-generation biosensing for environmental monitoring and surveillance
2. Bioremediation targeting environmental pollutants, promoting cleaner and healthier ecosystems
3. Enhanced wastewater and waste management to improve resource recovery, optimise treatment processes and reduce waste generation
Engineering biology is identified as one of the UK Government’s five critical technologies in its Science and Technology Framework .