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Business & Economy

Funding boost for bioscience researchers in Tees Valley

Researchers at Teesside University could benefit from new funding that’s been made available to help explore ground-breaking developments in bioscience.

The new funding has been granted through the THYME project which is a collaboration between Hull, York and Teesside Universities to boost the bioeconomy across Yorkshire, the Humber and the Tees Valley.

Seven projects, totaling almost £350,000, have been funded already in the first round of the THYME proof of concept funding. Teesside University are partners on six out of the seven projects.

Each project, worth £50,000, involves collaboration with a partner in industry as well as one of the three universities.

Teesside University partners will benefit from the new £22.3 million National Horizons Centre in Darlington.

The center aims to develop the technical, innovation and management skills and knowledge needed for the bioscience sector to grow and generate jobs in the Tees Valley.

The THYME projects Teesside University is involved with are:

–      Quadrum Institute and University of Hull – Using machine learning techniques to model the best conditions for microorganisms in the human gut to underpin the improved efficiency of a probiotic product.
–      Unilever, Quorn, Croda and University of Hull – Developing a micro-bioreactor system for a range of miniaturised bioprocessing applications. Providing a rapid and low cost means of acquiring physiological, metabolic and productivity data within a variety of cells.
–      Fujifilm Diosynth technologies and University of York – Increasing the productivity and reducing waste in microbiological protein production by exploiting how microbes react to the formation of protein aggregates.
–      Northumbrian Water and University of York – Investigating the microbiology occurring within the Anaerobic Digestion process during waste water treatment and generating recommendations for AD process optimisation.
–      Naturiol Bangor Ltd and University of York (lead partner) – Determining the feasibility of oil extracted from Alexanders seed as a highly valuable food ingredient to create low saturated fat, dairy free products.
–      Yorkshire Water and University of York (lead partner) – Investigating the feasibility of an Anaerobic Digestion innovation facility to test and demonstrate new AD processes and technologies.

Dr Geoff Archer, head of knowledge exchange at Teesside University, said: “We are delighted to be able to use the expertise and facilities at Teesside University and the National Horizons Centre to work with our partners on these projects.
“Each project will involve cutting-edge research and they are projected to make a huge impact on the development of the bioscience industry by generating the vital skills and knowledge to help grow this important sector.”

The THYME project is part of a multi-million investment package to drive university commercialisation across the country through Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund (CCF).