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Warwick Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining

WCIBBA new interdisciplinary research centre for industrial biotechnology and biorefining was launched at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) on 21 March. The Warwick Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining (WCIBB) builds on existing strengths in chemistry, life sciences, engineering and manufacturing.

Industrial biotechnology and bioenergy are key research priorities for funding councils. The centre will establish new links with the growing UK biotechnology sector in biorenewables, bioplastics, and renewable materials for manufacturing.

WCIBB will be a one-stop shop for academics and industrialists covering the full range of industrial biotechnology activities from plant science and genetics, through biochemistry and fermentation, to product synthesis and manufacturing.

WCIBB openingShown at the opening are, from left to right: Rob Edwards (DEFRA), Merlin Goldman (TSB), Paul Law (BIOME), Alexei Lapkin (School of Engineering), Alex Amey (standing front centre, BBSRC), Timothy Bugg (Department of Chemisty), Lawrence Young (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (Life Sciences and Medicine) and Capital Development) and Nigel Stocks (School of Engineering).

Professor Tim Bugg (Chemistry), whose research on bacterial enzymes for lignin degradation is sponsored by BBSRC and TSB, will be WCIBB Director.

Tim said:

Working out new ways to use biotechnology, chemistry and engineering to make renewable chemicals and materials from plant biomass, rather than crude oil, is a huge scientific challenge for the 21st century, and we have all the skills and facilities at Warwick to make a big impact in this area”.

The new centre was officially opened by Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Lawrence Young, and Professor Robert Edwards, Chief Scientific Officer from FERA. Guests were given a tour of the WMG facilities and visited the ground-breaking car built from bio-sourced renewable materials.

Find out more on the WCIBB web site.