Highlighting the Importance of Biofilms at Change Makers Live 2023

On 2 March 2023, NBIC Liverpool Director Professor Rasmita Raval attended the business and innovation conference, Change Makers Live 2023, where she delivered a talk on the importance of biofilms. The presentation included an educational piece on beneficial and detrimental biofilms, as well as highlighting the multidisciplinary strength of the NBIC consortium across the UK, and leadership within the global scientific biofilm community.

Change Makers Live is a national conference, hosted by Downtown in Business, exploring innovative solutions to the challenges facing the UK and global economy in the twenty-first century. The 2023 event in Liverpool gave leading entrepreneurs, academics, opinion formers, and politicians a platform to offer solutions to the key issues that are exercising decision-makers not just in the UK, but around the globe. Both Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education, and Wes Streeting, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, addressed the conference.

Professor Rasmita Raval at Change Makers Live 2023.

Biofilms play a critical role in both infection and AMR, with up to 80 per cent of associated microbial infections linked to biofilms. They are sophisticated communities of microbes with defence mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years. These dense communities are able to cooperate, communicate and have a greater resistance to antibiotics and anti-microbials than individual organisms. Most chronic wounds, such as diabetic ulcers, are infected with biofilms that stop them from healing. Once a biofilm is formed and developed it is almost impossible to overcome. Therefore, it is important for surface scientists to instead focus on preventing biofilms forming in the first place.

The Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces, a co-founding partner of NBIC, was founded in 2014 to address these issues. Harnessing over 20 years of research leadership in surface science at the University of Liverpool, the hub is a multidisciplinary initiative tackling the economic burden of microbial activity on materials, surfaces and interfaces in UK industry, and addressing the urgent problem of increasing AMR.

Professor Raval’s recent article for The New Statesman titled, ‘On the front line against infection and anti-microbial resistance’ featured in ‘Healthcare: A crisis of equality,’ a Spotlight edition from fellow Change Makers Live 2023 speaker and shadow minister for health, Wes Streeting MP.

You can read the full article on The New Statesman website.