Doctoral Training Centre in Biofilms Innovation, Technology and Engineering

The Doctoral Training Centre in Biofilms Innovation, Technology and Engineering (BITE) will train PhD researchers at the interface of Physical and Life Sciences to understand the behaviour of biofilms, which are central to the global challenges of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Health, Food Security, Clean Water and Energy. BITE is a world class interdisciplinary partnership between Universities of Liverpool, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Southampton, all core founding partners of the £26.5M National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC).

What are Biofilms? Biofilms are communities of micro-organisms that stick to each other within a matrix or at a surface and represent the dominant mode of life for bacteria on earth. Biofilms impact on a ~$5 trillion global economic activity, approximately twice the UK’s GDP, and impact on health and major UK industrial sectors.

BITE DTC provides a unique training experience to the next generation of research leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs so that they can deliver breakthrough science and technologies in the cross-disciplinary field of biofilms. The four partner universities, alongside international institutes, major national facilities and a large industrial consortium have come together to deliver the UK’s first graduate training centre that will address the skills and knowledge gap in the biofilms field. Our research will span the fields of physical, mathematical, engineering, life and clinical sciences.

BITE PhD projects will:

  • Drive international research challenges by working with leading groups in the partner universities and by encompassing exceptional interdisciplinarity to revolutionise training in the biofilms field;
  • Involve cohort training with students across the four institutions creating a highly-networked DTC community whose access to a world-leading infrastructure and knowledge-base will enable it to compete with the international best;
  • Embed innovation and entrepreneurship to catalyse high impact translation of ideas into technology and enhance the business and career prospects of its students;
  • Involve participation of stakeholders, including industry, government departments and laboratories, charities, NHS, external and internal research institutes for example, through NBIC collaborations;
  • Instill skills of effective leadership, clear communication and problem solving.

All research projects fit within the following BITE Research Themes:

  1. Biofilm Prevention - Design of surfaces, interfaces and materials to prevent biofilms.
  2. Biofilm Detection - Innovative sensing, tracking and diagnostic technologies to detect biofilms.
  3. Biofilm Management - Kill, remove or control established biofilms from exploiting their life cycle dynamics.
  4. Biofilm Engineering - Control and direct complex microbial communities in process applications.

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