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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

National Biofilms Innovation Centre: Fourth Proof of Concept Call

Published: 20 January 2021
Proof of concept call

On Tuesday 1 December 2020 NBIC will launch their fourth Proof of Concept (POC) funding call for projects that establish the feasibility of a concept, idea or technology from any application sector, which is aimed at preventing, detecting, managing or engineering biofilms. These projects should be collaborative between a research institution and commercial partner (or other customer stakeholder).

The University of Southampton has a large and interdisciplinary group of biofilm academics and researchers, with projects focused across a range of scales and fields of applications including biofouling, marine pelagic biofilms and bioremediation. Our researchers are engaged in the many opportunities and research challenges that lie in understanding how best to manipulate the activity of biofilms.

Combined, NBIC’s previous three POC calls received 144 applications from companies and research partners, from which NBIC have awarded 65 projects, representing a £3.6m investment from NBIC and a total value of £5.4m. Details of all awarded projects can be found on the NBIC website

Project funding can only be awarded to research institutions who have acceded to NBIC or who are on track to accede by the time funding is decided. NBIC expects to award successful projects lasting on average 6 months, and for NBIC’s contribution to be on average between £25-50K in total for each project.

In light of the current global focus on safer environments and environmental sustainability NBIC are particularly keen to receive collaborative project applications that consider either or both:

  • Hygiene and sanitation to impact on infection control in the home, industrial, transport and/or institutional environment.
  • Clean technologies that minimise negative environmental impacts.

Dr Mark Richardson, NBIC CEO said,

“NBIC is entering its fourth year and now has over 50 partner research institutions and a wide community of industrial and commercial partners. We anticipate a diverse set of applications from a range of sectors. As ever, we rely on our supportive academic and business community to act as assessors of the applications. We are also grateful to UKRI for the funding that has allowed this translational programme, now consisting of 65 projects, to develop momentum. Whilst we are keen to receive projects that address the current challenges of hygiene and infection control, we are also open to applications that address our core themes across all sectors”.

The POC application portal is now open, and will close at 23:59pm on Friday 12th February 2021. Full details of this funding call can be found on NBIC’s POC funding webpage, which also includes eligibility details, FAQ’s, Intellectual Property and finance guidelines.

If you’re an academic in a research institution or a commercial organisation with a desire to join our mission to achieve breakthroughs in biofilm innovation, please contact us at

About the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC)

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) is an Innovation Knowledge Centre (IKC) funded by the BBSRCInnovate UK and the Hartree Centre and is led by four Universities (Edinburgh, Liverpool, Southampton and Nottingham), with a consortium of 52 academic partner institutions across the UK. It is the central hub where academia, industry, government, and public policy come together to tackle the grand challenges biofilms present, impacting ~$5 trillion in global economic activity, from food and health to ships, clean water and energy. NBIC’s mission is to establish a network of research and innovation capacity to catalyse partnerships with industry to achieve breakthrough innovations and impact.


Natasha Nater – Communications Manager
+44 (0) 2380 594446

National Biofilms Innovation Centre, Building 85, Institute of Life Sciences, University Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ

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