Biofilm Engineering Workshop Highlights

We hosted our second workshop: Biofilm Engineering, at the end of April 2019 in Edinburgh. Over 85 delegates from Academia and Industry attended in order to explore unmet needs and opportunities in Biofilm Engineering.

65 delegates were from our Academic (including potential) partners, and 24 from Industry. We arranged everyone into 11 discussion groups and supported the groups through two rounds of preferred topics discussion.

We are grateful to everyone who attended and participated. The day was full of engaged and intelligent discussion and insight gathering. 34 delegates also took the time to feedback to us. Thank you for letting us know that you like the way we organize these events. We also hear your suggestions, and will endeavour to appoint facilitators for each group to guide your discussions and round up more showcases at future Workshops.

We also had a resident illustrator who captured key insights throughout the day.

What is Biofilm Engineering?

The aim is to harness the benefits of microbial communities from knowledge of their composition, function, ecology and evolution, in order to:

  • Exploit biofilm understanding at the interface with engineering and process applications.
  • Improve engineered platforms and solutions e.g. wastewater, biotechnology, resource recovery from wastewater, microbial fuel cells, aerobic and anaerobic biorefinery.
  • The scope for this theme also includes approaches for microbial community engineering eg in the gut.

Key areas addressed at the Workshop

  • Engineering biofilms for benefit in a human or an animal e.g. health, sustainability;
  • Creating a bespoke biofilm community for a defined process outcome or benefit e.g. energy production, waste water management, recycling;
  • Approaches for investigation, monitoring or studying  biofilms in the engineering setting e.g. sensing, imaging;
  • Approaches to optimise or enhance biofilms for engineering purposes e.g. surface design, stimulation, reactor design.