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BBSRC boost for international funding opportunities

1 March 2012

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has joined forces with 14 partners from across Europe to announce two new funding calls; one focusing on bioenergy, the other on industrial biotechnology.

This marks the third ERA-IB call and the sixth ERA-NET Bioenergy call. The calls are part of European Commission funded work aimed at encouraging organisations and scientists from different countries to network and share resources. BBSRC is contributing a total of £6M.

For both new calls, projects must have between three and eight partners from at least three of the ERA-NET countries.

The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is 30 April 2012, with full proposals being submitted by the end of July. Projects are expected to start at the beginning of 2013.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is a UK partner involved in both ERA-NET calls and the Energy Programme is a partner on the ERA-NET Bioenergy call.

The ERA-IB call is available for innovative industrially relevant research and development projects covering topics including: improved enzyme systems for new and more efficient bioprocesses, down-stream processing and fermentation and biocatalyst processes. For a full list of the scope of the projects, funding partners and funding criteria, visit:

The ERA-NET Bioenergy call has two main topic areas: innovative biogas production and sustainable biomass for energy purposes. For a full list of the scope of the projects, funding partners and funding criteria.

A webinar is taking place on 5 March 2012, 15:15 -16:15 (GMT), for those interested in applying. To take part, visit (Participant code: 582290), or call the conference: +44 (0)11 8370 0026.

Following last year's announcement by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, of plans for a £10M joint call in sustainable bioenergy research between the UK and India, BBSRC will be issuing a joint bilateral call for proposals which will open in April. BBSRC and the Indian Government Department of Biotechnology are both contributing £5M to this call.

This pre-announcement is to enable interested researchers in the UK and India time to identify potential project partners with a view to assembling multidisciplinary teams comprising project partners from both countries.

For more information about this call and eligibility, visit:

Speaking about all these opportunities, Dr Colin Miles, Head of Strategy Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy at BBSRC, said: "These calls offer UK and international scientists an exciting opportunity. International collaborations are a vital way to make better use of resources, develop new skills, exchange knowledge and ultimately make the most of global resources to ensure we have the best scientific knowledge to tackle major global issues facing us all."

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