Bringing Together over 100 Businesses & World Leading Experts in Biofilm Research

NBIC brings together over 100 businesses and world leading experts in biofilm research to accelerate the commercial development of new solutions, products and services. We catalyse collaboration between companies, engineers, scientists and clinicians to develop new innovative technologies that prevent, detect, manage and engineer biofilms in industrial, personal, household and clinical environments. 

Research Partners

NBIC is a partnership of 63 leading academic institutions in the UK with an extended network of multidisciplinary researchers at the forefront of biofilm science.

Expertise in Biofilm Research & Management

We also have links with Diamond Synchrotron and the Hartree Centre (High Performance Computing). We have expertise in all aspects of biofilm research and management, from basic biofilm physiology & function, to nanoscale surface engineering.

Being a Research Partner means your organisation will formally join NBIC (if based in the UK and able to receive Research Council/UKRI funding), and be a key part of our consortium in tackling and exploiting biofilms. You will also be able to apply for funding through our specific funding calls.

If you are based internationally or are within a Research Institution unable to receive UKRI funds, we would still like to connect with you and collaborate where possible.

We regularly visit and contact our Research Partners to deepen our knowledge of their capabilities and look to connect them with relevant Industrial Partners and end-users. You will be able to attend our workshops and events, and particiapte in our training.

Benefits to Being a Research Partner

Building on our leading position in national and international biofilm research in partnership with our industrial members, NBIC delivers:

  • Excellence in science: a core team of biofilm scientists and engineers as research and technology translators leveraging >£40M of existing research funding, £26M from BBSRC, Innovate UK and the Hartree Centre, as well as university and industry support.
  • NBIC-funded Postdoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Fellows (IRFs) currently focused on the NBIC scientific strategy and engaged in cutting edge biofilms science.
  • A community of 63 UK Universities/Research Institutions and >100 companies engaged in biofilm research, control and exploitation.
  • Access to Proof of Concept (POC) calls aligned with the NBIC strategy, available for academics and companies to undertake initial exploration of translational research topics, all with professional management of knowledge and intellectual assets.
  • Cross-sectorial workshops and scientific forums: participation with NBIC associated companies and academic community, providing the opportunity to form links, define unmet needs and identify possible collaborations or POC projects. Ability to influence the NBIC strategy, funding calls and set the agenda nationally via funders and regulators.
  • Partnering: support in finding industry and academic partners via our field-based Innovation Consultants’ knowledge of our network.
  • Access to NBIC grants: including the Flexible Travel Mobility Awards (FTMA) and Public Engagement & Outreach grant.
  • Access to facilities: facilities and equipment fit for purpose to enable operational activities and produce technology demonstrators, proven NIHR clinical translation capability, all with access for third parties.
  • Entrepreneurship training: entrepreneurial skills and CPD training for industrial researchers.
  • Geared funding through the building of consortia e.g. Innovate UK projects, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), EU projects and access to undergraduate/postgraduate projects.
  • Public Engagement and Outreach: an industry outreach and engagement programme, to inform research and innovation strategy, and raise awareness with companies about the state of the art.
  • Market analysis: market analysis and market development capability, to evaluate commercial opportunities across a range of potential end-users.

Become a Research Partner

Are you Acadamic Researchers studying biofilms in a University/Research Institution eligible for UKRI Research Council funding?

If you would like to become a member, please contact us and we will visit you.

NBIC will then provide you with the NBIC Consortium Agreement and related documents for you and your legal team to consider.

Once you are ready to accede to the Consortium Agreement you will be asked to provide details of the Academic lead, Legal lead and Technology Transfer lead contact information.


On a specific date, all NBIC members will be informed that new members wish to join.

After a period of due diligence, an Accession Agreement will be sent to all new and existing members; this Accession Agreement states that Academic members shall observe, perform and are bound by the provisions of the Consortium Agreement.

A date will be set for all parties to sign. NBIC will then circulate executed copies once signed by all Academic members. 

Industrial Partner Network

An Industrial Partner is anyone in industry that we are collaborating with, whether via a POC project or having an ongoing meaningful conversation with.

Industry Partner

Definition: A company we have an ongoing meaningful conversation or contact with in the context of biofilms and innovation in this area.

Industry Collaborators

Definition: A company that has committed funding and resources to NBIC activities. Examples include Proof of Concept (POC) projects, NBIC facilitated collaborative research, studentships, membership to NBIC Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and consultancy/contract work with academic partners.

Benefits to Being an Industrial Partner

NBIC is keen to connect with businesses of all sizes from any sector with an interest in biofilms. If you are addressing the prevention, management, detection or engineering of microbial communities for your customers or in your operational activities, then we want to hear from you.

  • We will listen to your needs.
  • We will aim to explore your unmet needs, problems and opportunities so that we can better understand.
  • We can connect you to the best Academic Partners for your needs.
  • We can work with you to develop problem statements as a search for solutions for circulation to our academic community (if you wish these can be anonymous initially).


  • You can receive our newsletter with all the current NBIC, funding and biofilm community news.
  • You can receive our Partner Searches where academics/companies briefly summarise their expertise or technology in search of partners or collaborators.
  • You can attend our Academic/Industrial cross-sector workshops or our more focussed sectorial workshops.
  • You can access our Doctoral Training Network (BITE) to access PhD studentships with one of our academics.
  • You can apply for our Proof of Concept (POC) Funding to progress collaborative translational science in conjunction with one of our academic partners (SMEs can also receive up to 50% funding of their costs). Note: a level of matched funding (cash/in-kind) is requested from Industrial Partners.
  • We can help you seek scientists from within the NBIC Academic community for employment.
  • We can also connect you with world leading international biofilm centres of excellence.

Opportunities & Applications

Translation of new discoveries in biofilm science provide opportunities for company growth by transforming industry capability.

The exploratory and testing power of NBIC across a range of scales, from laboratory to full scale engineered systems, provide exciting opportunities to develop new technologies and products to detect, engineer and harness biofilms.

NBIC has an unrivalled ability to work with companies to test solutions & products across these application areas:

One-Health & FMCG

e.g. catheter technology, respiratory, wounds, AMR, orthopaedic, oral healthcare, personal care and homecare, medical device technology, nutrition, veterinary medicine, human and animal microbiome. Demonstrated NIHR clinical biofilm translational capacity and infrastructure.

Marine & Maritime, Oil & Gas

e.g. fouling and corrosion, Sensor technology, Marine Biotech, Algal Biofuels. Access to research and testing facilities at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and Plymouth Marine Labs.

Food & Soil

e.g. contamination in poultry, farming, aquaculture and the food industry, from farm to consumer. Strengthened by the partnership with the new £75M BBSRC Quadram Institute Norwich.

Built Environment

e.g. water systems and technology, hospital and industrial, decontamination and infection control.

Integrated Biorefineries

e.g. harnessing biofilms to convert waste into useful products, fuels, power, heat, and value-added chemicals from biomass.

Strengthening Industry Capability

NBIC’s mission is to catalyse company growth through the exploitation of world-leading biofilm research.

In collaboration with businesses, it offers a range of academic and professional support to strengthen industry capability, its skills base and technological and business potential:

Become an Industry Partner/Collaborator

If you are interested in becoming an Industrial Partner/Collaborator, get in touch with our CEO or Innovation Consultants.

UK Biofilm Capability Funding
Professor Jo Slater-Jefferies

Jo joined NBIC in April 2018 and is also a Director and Trustee of the Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research (AAIR) charity and Associate Dean of Enterprise for the Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Southampton. She started her scientific career as a Senior Scientist and Quality Manager at Sciona Ltd, a spin-out company combining lifestyle data and genetic analysis, and between 2011 and 2018 she held the position of General Manager for EpiGen, a global research consortium. Jo holds a BSc Honours in Molecular Biology and an industrial sponsored PhD from the University of Portsmouth. In 2014, Jo received a MBA, and in 2017 became a Chartered Manager at the Chartered Management Institute.

William Green

Innovation and Partnership Manager

William joined NBIC in November 2018. William started his scientific career at Fugro EMU Ltd as a Project Manager in the microbiology laboratory delivering water and environmental testing to a range of clients, including the NHS and Carnival UK. He then moved to the University of Portsmouth where he built and maintained the commercial offering of the University’s research equipment, including bimolecular services, geotechnical services, marine science, materials testing, motion capture, human performance, canine facial expression recognition, imaging and 3D printing. William has a degree in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the University of Portsmouth.