Facilitating International Engagement
& Collaboration in Biofilms

Through international partnerships, we are dedicated to strengthening our collaboration with the global scientific biofilm community while prioritising outreach to key developed and emerging regions. 

Our International Strategy 

Our international strategy is anchored on the following pillars:

  • Fostering alliances with leading biofilm academic centres committed to advancing the field and fostering academic, industrial and regulatory collaborations.  
  • Fostering international industrial connections that catalyse the expansion of the UK’s scientific and industrial prowess in translational biofilm research. 
  • Pledging to expedite investible projects aimed at revolutionising agriculture, environment, food and health sectors, thereby addressing pressing global biofilm challenges and driving beneficial societal transformation. 
  • Cultivating new partnerships in regions supported by international grants, with a particular focus on empowering the developing world.   
  • Advocating for the UK biofilm community on esteemed international biofilm platforms, networks, and collaborative working groups. 

Together, through our unwavering commitment to international cooperation and innovation, we are poised to make significant strides in tackling biofilm-related issues and driving meaningful global change. 

 

UK-Singapore Partnership

The UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) works on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to identify and facilitate new research collaborations across the breadth of the UK’s research base. They supported NBIC’s interactions with Singapore researchers – NBIC visited Singapore in February 2018 to participate in a joint workshop with the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), where complementary areas for strategic R&D collaboration were identified. 

In February 2019, SIN supported a second visit by NBIC which led to the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with SCELSE and the Singapore National Biofilm Centre (SNBC).

The NBIC leadership team and three Industry Partners (Bioquell, Fourth State Medicine and Varicon Aqua) showcased the UK’s global leadership in biofilms and the investment offer in Health and Life Sciences by participating in a biofilms research and industry symposium at the UK-Singapore Investor Club, which SIN organised with the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Finally, NBIC took part in a launch ceremony – ‘When Microbes Mean Business’ – where NBIC signed two MOUs with SCELSE and SNBC, paving the way for a truly academic-industry partnership that will cement the UK and Singapore as global leaders in biofilms research and innovation. These agreements will facilitate joint R&D programmes, sharing of knowledge and expertise, researcher exchanges and trade between the UK and Singapore, strengthening our global position in biofilm research and innovation.

UK-USA Partnership

NBIC first signed a MOU with the Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) at Montana State University (USA) in October 2018, and are successfully continuing to work together to develop projects and exchanges.  

Further to this, NBIC were awarded a BBSRC International Workshop grant to bring the two groups together to identify fundamental challenges in the field of micro-metal interactions. This workshop took place in November 2019 in London in order to identify the key knowledge gaps and research challenges for future projects and research collaboration.

The workshop brought together key complementary academic expertise and thought-leadership from industry in biofilms, contamination of metal surfaces and biocorrosion processes across the life and physical sciences and engineering domains within NBIC, CBE and internationally.

In April 22, NBIC and CBE co-hosted a workshop on Biofilm Regulations and Standardisation in Medical Devices and Pharma sectors, which took place in Birmingham. The meeting brought together over 40 representatives from industry, academia, metrology and standardisation and regulatory bodies to map the current landscape, needs, trends and expectations in biofilm standardisation within the UK and to establish industry and regulatory participation in a forward working group. The meeting was supported by the BBSRC Global Partnering Award and closely aligned to the mission of the International Biofilm Standards Task Group (of which both NBIC and CBE are co-founders).

UK-Argentina Collaboration

In October 2022, NBIC co-organised, with Argentine researchers, a workshop titled ‘Biofilms in Agriculture’. The aim was to bring together researchers and industry representatives from both countries to foster collaborations in plant-microbial interactions and sustainable crop production. Supported by a BBSRC Global Partnering Award and the SAMIGE (Argentine Society for General Microbiology), the event explored the utilisation of biofilms as biofertilizers, biostimulants, and biocontrol agents. Through this dialogue, key research gaps and challenges were identified, leading to the definition of priority areas for future collaborations between the UK and Argentina. Subsequently, a white paper was published in CABI Agriculture and Bioscience Journal, outlining these priority areas.  

UK-Ghana Collaboration

In collaboration with the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) at the University of Ghana, organised a 3-day workshop which took place in Accra, in October 2023. Over 30 delegates attended the workshop, including representatives from the UK’s and Ghanaian’s academic institutions, industry, networks, and regulatory agencies, to share knowledge, discuss research and development priorities, as well as learn about the available at the two countries infrastructure and technologies, with the aim to identify areas for future collaboration in biofilm-related research concentrated around biobanking and antimicrobial discovery platforms. 

Developing a Global Network

  • NBIC is representing the UK biofilm community at the European COST Action on Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (Euro-MIC), aimed at a creating a synergistic collaboration and communication between materials scientists, engineers, microbiologists, chemists and integrity managers from academia and industry to create more sustainable, safe and reliable MIC management practices. 
  • We took part in the 2023 Banff Innovation Summit in Canada, with NBIC’s CEO Professor Jo Slater-Jefferies invited as part of a delegation of international leaders. Jo is currently championing the project, ‘International Platforms for Bioresource Technologies’. 
  • We are developing MOU with University of Ghana and also actively building partnerships with ARC Training Centre for Biofilm Research and Innovation at Flinders University, Australia, and the Indonesian Biofilm Research Collaboration Centre. 
  • We supported the German Research Foundation’s priority program on ‘Productive Biofilms’ bid, by the Institut für Technische Mikrobiologie, TU Hamburg, along with SCELSE and Center for Biofilm Engineering. This grant provides an opportunity to fund research visits by international scientists through the Mercator Fellow Program during the lifetime of the project. 

Our International Partners

We’re developing relationships with key biofilm centres of excellence across the world.

Interested in Working with Us?

If you’re interested in working with us, please contact our CEO, Professor Jo Slater-Jefferies.

Southern Policy Centre Seminar

Professor Jo Slater-Jefferies

NBIC CEO

Jo joined NBIC in April 2018 and became the CEO in October 2022. Jo is leading NBIC to deliver NBIC’s global strategy across research, innovation and training.