bluemicrobe: about us
BlueMicrobe is the knowledge transfer network that has grown out of the Marine and Freshwater Microbial Biodiversity (M&FMB) programme funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (see site). The aims of the BlueMicrobe network are:
- To make ‘exploitable science’ arising from the M&FMB programme accessible to a wider user community
- To help build the marine biotechnology business sector in the UK
- To develop business and commercial awareness of NERC scientists
- To disseminate knowledge on microbial biodiversity and its potential applications nationally and internationally
This website is a key component of the knowledge dissemination activity. We also hope it will help connect public sector and private sector organisations with research, development and commercial exploitation interests in marine biotechnology, environmental microbiology and related areas.
The M&FMB programme (2000-05) had a budget of £7m and included projects on the chemical interactions within microbial communities; the part such communities play in controlling key biogeochemical cycles that influence the earth’s climate; and whether microbial species are geographically isolated or are ubiquitous. Groups covered included bacteria, archaea, viruses, protists (single-celled animals) and microalgae (phytoplankton). Some of these issues may seem academic – but the answers to them have significance ranging from bioprospecting strategies that might lead to new “blockbuster” drugs, the development of effective counter-measures to marine biofouling, and novel bioreactor designs for commercial production of important bioactive compounds.
BlueMicrobe itself has recently become a core partner in the DTI’s Bioscience for Business Knowledge Transfer Network , demonstrating the increasing recognition of the importance of “Blue biotechnology” in the overall biotechnology scene. Professor Grant Burgess of Newcastle University (and also head of the Dove Marine Laboratory) represents the marine and freshwater bioscience community on the BfB Board.
Members of the BlueMicrobe network can currently enjoy access to all the services offered by Bioscience for Business. For more information on the DTI’s KTNs see: http://www.dti.gov.uk/innovation/tech-priorities-uk/about_the_programme/KTN/page12567.html. The BfB website is currently under development.
IPM Net click here (the DTI’s Integrated Polution Management Knowledge Transfer Network, which developed from the FIRSTFARADAY Partnership) has been working on technology transfer for the M&FMB programme since 2002, to help it ‘develop fundamental research to a point at which industrial investment and exploitation is possible’ The main opportunities identified to date are reflected in the topic area structure of this website.