Biomanufacturing has the potential to be disruptive across multiple sectors.
Fast growth areas identified for Future BRH research focus are:
Small Molecule APIs
(e.g. protein-nucleic acid-small molecule conjugates)
Personal Care Ingredients
Dense Energy Carriers (DECs) from waste streams
Bio-derived Monomers (for sustainable polymers)
Bio-polymerisation (replacement of precious / toxic metal catalysis)
‘Smart’ Bio-functional Materials
Modification of lower value materials to improve performance and deliver new functionality
Addressed through two complementary Grand Challenge (GC) themes that feature a portfolio of industry-interfaced research projects, supported by a programme of Platform Research to develop new tools and technology co-created with Hub, Spoke and industry partners.
GRAND CHALLENGE THEMES
GRAND CHALLENGE 1: AUTOMATED AND INTEGRATED BIOCATALYST ENGINEERING FOR BIOMANUFACTURING
The potential impact of industrial biotechnology on many industrial processes is currently limited by the rate of protein engineering. It simply takes too long to optimise enzymes for their widespread use in manufacturing supply chains. The goal of this Grand Challenge is to engineer biocatalysts up to an order of magnitude faster than the current industrial timeframe.
GRAND CHALLENGE 2: REALISING THE VALUE OF INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY AT SCALE
This theme is changing the economic reality of scaling-up bio-based processes by addressing the entire manufacturing lifecycle, considering aspects such as process intensification, continuous manufacturing, and whole-process modelling. Linking to Grand Challenge 1, the availability of rapidly optimised biocatalysts in sufficient scale is addressed by working closely with the enzyme supply chain.
PLATFORM RESEARCH THEMES
HTP BIOCATALYST ENGINEERING
Automated workflows for library generation, enzyme screening, DNA sequencing and data analysis for enzyme engineering
HTP ANALYTICAL SCREENING
Innovative technologies based on HTP MS that enable accelerated screening of engineered proteins/biocatalysts and industrial strains
CONTINUOUS FLOW BIOCATALYSIS
Platform for continuous manufacture of speciality chemicals using engineered biocatalysts in plug-and-play packed bed reactors
INDUSTRIAL HOST STRAIN ENGINEERING
Enabling tools for predictive and rapid strain engineering for industrial hosts
SCALED BATCH AND FLOW FERMENTATION
Integrated continuous fermentation and DSP platforms with real-time monitoring and control for larger scale chemicals manufacture