Translating Biofilm Research Into Innovative Solutions

Driving global leadership at the forefront of research, training and innovation in biofilm technologies, by addressing the grand challenges important to the UK’s future prosperity​.

Our Vision

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre exists to create a fusion of world class interdisciplinary research and industry partnerships to deliver breakthrough science and technologies to control and exploit biofilms. Our vision is to create a truly pioneering and national centre, by bringing together the original four core universities (Edinburgh, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton) and a partnership that has now expanded to include 59 research institutions, support from a growing base of more than 260 companies, and an inclusive strategy to new companies and research institutions.

A Centre for Innovation & Knowledge

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre is an Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) jointly funded by the BBSRC and Innovate UK. At NBIC we aim to connect scientists specialising in biofilms across the UK, and to provide a mechanism for our research and development partners to explore their unmet needs with our academics.  

Addressing Challenges & Unmet Needs

Biofilms are central to our most important global challenges – from antimicrobial resistance and food safety to water security – and exert significant economic, social and environmental Impacts. NBIC was launched in 2017 to address these challenges and bring together the best of UK research and businesses to drive the translation of biofilm research into innovative solutions.


Microbial biofilms have a global impact across multiple industrial sectors, valued in excess of $5tn per annum. NBIC will capitalise on its role as the UK’s national centre and deploy its interdisciplinary research power, critical mass, connected infrastructure and energised innovation ecosystem to deliver future ambitions.

UK Biofilms Programme

NBIC will collectively drive a UK Biofilms Programme to tackle the biggest open research and innovation questions in the field and deliver global leadership and breakthrough science and innovation to Prevent, Detect, Manage and Engineer (PDME) biofilms. 

Policy Parterships

NBIC will enter into active partnerships with government and policy makers to deliver step-changes in standards and regulations for novel biofilm solutions. 

Global Leadership

NBIC will assume global leadership via enhanced interactions with established global centres, while nucleating new relationships and networks with countries with rapidly expanding economic and healthcare challenges. 

Training the Next Generation

NBIC will educate and train the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs by delivering a co-created programme of training that addresses key skills gaps identified by our industrial and academic communities. 

Driving Innovation and Growth

NBIC will accelerate and translate knowledge-rich solutions to industry and the market via academic-industry collaborations, driving innovation and growth in multiple industrial sectors, nucleating new industries and spin-outs, and contributing to the Place agenda via close engagement with regional partners. 

Active Consultation

NBIC’s delivery and ambitions will remain agile, informed by active consultation across academia, industry and end users, alongside evolving national and global priorities and challenges. 

Our Four Strategic Themes

NBIC is addressing four strategic themes: Prevent, Detect, Manage, and Engineer biofilms by capitalising on world class underpinning research and infrastructure to address sectoral challenges identified together with our industry members. It dedicates the resource of our Interdisciplinary Research Fellows to support the NBIC fundamental research and training strategy, and who also conduct focused Proof of Concept collaborative industry projects. 


Knowledge-based design of surfaces and materials


Innovative sensing, tracking and diagnostic technologies


Kill, remove or control established biofilms from exploiting their life cycle dynamics


Control and direct complex microbial community processes in process applications

Our Impact

Driving the adoption of innovative solutions across industry sectors to deliver breakthrough science and technologies.