The University of Portsmouth will share £100m of funding, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) announced today.
The funding will go to six new “Engineering Biology Mission Hubs” and 22 “Mission Award” projects across the country to help engineer biology to address global challenges, drive economic growth, and increase national resilience. We aim to build great possibilities in science.
The University's Center for Enzyme Innovation (CEI) is part of the Plastic Pollution Prevention through Engineering Biology (P3EB) mission hub, which also includes Bangor University, Cambridge University, Edinburgh University, Imperial College London, University of Manchester and University College London. will be led. . The P3EB Mission Hub will receive £11.2 million from the UKRI Technology Mission Fund over the next five years, of which £3.5 million will support CEI in Portsmouth.
The P3EB Mission Hub is a pioneering effort aimed at transforming post-consumer plastic waste using cutting-edge engineering biology techniques. Together, CEI will use its converting enzyme technology to add value to plastic waste, encourage its recovery and retention, and reduce the amount that ends up in landfills, incineration, or disposed of in the environment.
Professor Andy Pickford, Director of CEI and Principal Investigator of the P3EB Mission Hub, said: “Our approach is enabled by our broad expertise and influential project partners, and guided by our engagement with the public and policy makers. Our mission is aligned with industry needs. We are committed to delivering comprehensive and lasting change, supporting the UK's transition to a circular plastics economy and creating jobs and wealth for this country.
“We are delighted that DSIT, UKRI and BBSRC share our vision and are determined to make a positive impact on the economy, society and most importantly our environment.”
Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donnellan said: “Long-term growth is the only way to deliver the improved public services and living standards that all Brits want for themselves and their families.”
“However, as history has shown, the real drivers of growth are technological and scientific advances, and despite our existing strengths in these areas, we cannot pat ourselves on the back and roll with the ball. We cannot turn our eyes away from this.
“Consolidating the UK as a science and technology powerhouse by 2030 is not just a slogan. It is about growing the economy, continuing to create well-paid jobs and making Britain better, healthier and more prosperous. This is a goal we must achieve if we want to build a brighter future.
“A comprehensive set of new announcements and pledges will be essential to making the UK a science and technology powerhouse by 2030 and delivering long-term change across the country.”
Since its conception in 2019, CEI has provided innovative enzyme-based solutions for circular recycling of plastics. Over the last year, the company has accelerated research that could take these enzymes to the next level of large-scale recycling. The jump from the laboratory to real-world applications requires an approach that combines state-of-the-art facilities, excellent researchers and, importantly, close collaboration with government, business and leading research institutions across the UK. Is required.
CEI forms part of the university's Revolutionary Plastics Institute, recently launched following the success of the Revolutionary Plastics Initiative, which informs national and global policy on plastics and pioneers advanced enzyme recycling technologies. and has contributed to important discussions on the United Nations Convention on Elimination. plastic pollution. The Institute operates as a network of interconnected researchers and innovators across the university, strengthening and expanding the world's leading plastics-focused research, innovation, and education community.
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