Our partners

Our partners are national and international organisations with an interest in antimicrobial surface development for medical and commercial use.

Research collaboration partners

National Biofilms Innovation Centre

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) is an Innovation Knowledge Centre (IKC) funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)Innovate UK and the Hartree Centre, and is led by four Universities (Edinburgh, LiverpoolNottingham and Southampton), with a consortium of 63 academic partner institutions across the UK.

The University of Liverpool stands as one of NBIC's leading research institutions, playing a vital role through its esteemed Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces, expertly led by Professor Rasmita Raval. At this hub, interdisciplinary expertise in surface and materials science seamlessly merges with advanced imaging techniques across the physical and life sciences. The hub's precise studies shed light on the critical role surfaces play in biofilm formation, often at nanoscale and single-cell levels. This enables the establishment of structure-property relationships governing microbial adhesion, biofilm development, and antimicrobial action. The Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces fosters seamless collaboration between researchers, industry professionals, and clinicians, facilitating a dynamic environment where science and innovation progress hand in hand.

It is the central hub where academia, industry, government, and public policy come together to tackle the grand challenges biofilms present, impacting around $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. The centre also supports the development of technologies to prevent, detect, manage and engineer biofilms through translational Proof of Concept funding.


The Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON) is a world-leading centre for infection innovation and research and development – working with industry, academics, and clinicians to save and improve lives around the world by supporting innovation and progressing the development of antimicrobial products and treatments.

Established in 2020, iiCON brings together industry, academia, and the NHS in a concerted effort with a clear aim: to save lives globally by accelerating the discovery and development of new treatments, diagnostics, vaccines, and preventative products for infectious diseases.

Based within the North West of England and led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, iiCON’s partners are Unilever, Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, University of Liverpool, Evotec, and Infex Therapeutics.

Industrial collaboration partners

Boots UK Ltd

Boots is the UK's leading health and beauty retailer and operates in six countries. They specialise in developing skincare treatment and topological medical solutions.

Croda International Plc

Croda International is a British speciality chemicals company based at Snaith, England. They specialise in creating speciality chemicals including surfactants, dietary supplements and fatty acid amides.

De Puy Synthes

DePuy Synthes are part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies and provide one of the most comprehensive orthopaedics portfolios in the world. They specialise in joint reconstruction, trauma, craniomaxillofacial, spinal surgery and sports medicine solutions.


Scapa Healthcare a strategic partner specialising in Advanced Wound Care, Consumer Wellness and Medical Device Fixation. They design, develop and manufacture skin-friendly innovative medical device fixation and topical solutions to improve people’s lives.

Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology company specialising in the design and manufacture of medical technology to aid mobility. They work in advanced wound management, orthopaedic reconstruction and trauma recovery.


The Materials Innovation Factory is co-founded by the University of Liverpool and Unilever as part of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund. The £81 million facility is dedicated to the research and development of advanced materials, and brings together materials chemistry expertise with the latest computational and robotic equipment to accelerate research.

Gencoa Ltd

Gencoa is a customer-focussed company providing expert solutions for the vacuum coating sector throughout the world. For over 25 years, Gencoa has been perfecting its range of magnetron sputter cathodes and plasma deposition components, in addition to the introduction of process control and sensing products.


Revolymer is a differentiated specialty chemical company focussed on the development of novel polymers, responsive encapsulation and targeted delivery systems.

Plus over 50 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

NHS partners

Liverpool Health Partners

Liverpool Health Partners is a thriving network of 12 world-leading organisations who are working together to develop groundbreaking research. Our programmes have been strategically developed to address the diverse and complex needs found across Cheshire & Merseyside. By working with these needs at a local level, we are able to create an impact at a global scale.

Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Royal Liverpool University Hospital is a specialist centre for nephrology, renal transplantation, nuclear medicine, haematology, lithotripsy, dermatology, urology and dental services. Its High Consequences Infectious Disease (HCID) unit, one of five in England, was critical in the country’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also a national centre for ocular oncology (eye cancer) and a regional centre for pancreatic, urological, ocular, testicular, anal, and oesophago-gastric cancers, specialist palliative care, specialist radiology and specialist pathology and chemotherapy services.

Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Alder Hey Children's Hospital is a NHS foundation trust and one of the largest children's hospitals in the United Kingdom. The hospital is a centre of excellence for oncology and muscular dystrophy as well as spinal, heart and brain conditions.

It was the first UK Centre of Excellence for Childhood Lupus and is a Department of Health Centre for Head and Face Surgery. It is one of four national centres for childhood epilepsy surgery, a designated Children's Major Trauma Centre, as well as a joint service with the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The NIHR was established in 2006 to "create a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public".

Since that time, they have helped to shape the health and social care research landscape more broadly. Working in partnership with the NHS, universities, local government, other research funders, patients and the public, they fund, enable and deliver world-leading health and social care research that improves people's health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.

WoundTec Healthcare Technology Co-operative

Established in January 2013, the National Institute for Health Research Healthcare Technology Co-operative for Wound Prevention and Treatment (NIHR WoundTec HTC) establishes competitive tender processes for health economics study on real-world wound-care provision in the NHS.

Academic partners

Back to: Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces