Uppsala BIO opens BIO-X to projects in green and industrial biotechnology

29 Mar 2011 | News

Yesterday Uppsala BIO posted yet another call in its program BIO-X, which takes research to proof-of-concept. For the first time they are looking for projects that can offer solutions in what is usually called green and industrial biotechnology, that is, solutions in e.g. plant production, forest improvement, bioenergy, or food technology.

BIO-X offers research teams custom-tailored project support in the form of contacts with customers and end-users, expert evaluations, project planning, and IP support. One or two projects will also be provided with about SEK 1 million in funding per year and per project for up to two years.

The starting point for the BIO-X program is always the needs in society that can be addressed with solutions from biotechnological research and development. This time the solutions sought are those that can lead to innovations in fields critical to our common future.

It’s a well-known fact that our ecosystems are facing a number of major challenges. Greater population pressure sharpens the competition for access to water and land to produce food, even though we in the West throw away huge amounts of food. Climate changes are placing new demands on plant production. The need for new large-scale and sustainable energy solutions is growing ever more urgent.

The use of biotechnological solutions to develop new types of renewable energy, to replace chemicals in industrial contexts, and to allow sustainable production of forests and food is an economically vital application of research.Ahead of this new call, Uppsala BIO has recruited new members to the BIO-X Advisory Board, the group of individuals with experience from research and its applications in industry that assess project proposals and pilot them forward.

BIO-X is seeking project ideas that are too early for commercial financing, but too far advanced to qualify for ordinary research funding. Uppsala BIO welcomes applications from international teams with members from academia, industry and end-users, even it the main applicant must be affiliated with the Swedish University of Agriculture or Uppsala University.
”We are truly humbled as we venture into a new territory, and we are highly appreciative that our Advisory Board will be able to offer researchers experience from the foodstuffs industry, biorefining, plant production, and environmental issues,” says Kristin Hellman, Uppsala BIO, who is in charge of the call for proposals.  ”Their experience from industry complements our own experience with guiding research projects toward proof-of-concept.”

”BIO-X is a unique program that offers research teams active process support to advance research findings into proof-of-concept in close collaboration with users and industrial developers,” says Erik Forsberg, Managing Director of Uppsala BIO.

”Many applications of biotechnology to develop bioenergy or solutions for food technology, for instance, have relatively long horizons, and the economic and technological risks involved are deemed to be high. The BIO-X process reduces many of these risks considerably. BIO-X is therefore a key tool in fostering innovative solutions also in green and industrial biotechnology,” he continues.

 The call for proposals in green and industrial biotechnology is open through May 27. All information about the call is available at www.uppsalabio.se/bio-x.

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