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LBNet Funding

Proof of Concept funds (POC) (now closed).

LBNet  Workshops which lead to Proof of concept funds

A number of Grand Challenges formed topics for challenge workshops in the form of creativity sandpits. The network  offered pump-priming funds to multi-disciplinary teams that came up with new innovative ideas for tackling the challenge areas.

LBNet proof of concept fund operational guidelines_May2015

LBNet proof of concept fund operational guidelines_Oct2017

LBNet-POC-fund-operational-guidelines_June 2016

The following POC projects were funded by LBNet:

-“Maximizing the Real Value of Lignin (MaRVeL)”. Lead applicant: Tim Bugg , University of Warwick

-“Arabinoxylan co-production from sugarcane bagasse in integrated biorefineries (ACSIB)”. Lead applicant: Grant Campbell, University of Huddersfield

-“Integrated catalytic processing of lignin”. Lead applicant: Gill Stephens, University of Nottingham

-“LBNet Feedstock Resource”. Lead applicant: Claire Halpin, University of Dundee

-“Screening for new ligninase activities”. Lead applicant: Neil Bruce, University of York

-“Clean and energy-efficient processing of ligno-cellulosic renewable biomass suitable for personal care and high performance materials markets: “Explosion to Implosion”” Lead applicant: Keith Waldron, Institute of Food Research

-“Valorisation of lignocellulosic biomass using anaerobic fermentation”. Lead applicant: Klaus Winzer, University of Notthingham

– “Engineering pathways for targeted lignin degradation in C. necator towards the production of pyridine dicarboxylic acids as bio-polymer monomers”.Lead applicant: Sam Bryan, University of Nottingham

-“Advanced biorefining for high value chemical production”. Lead applicant: Ying Zhang, University of  Nottingham

-“Assessing the suitability of wood pellets for use in biorefining to produce fuels, chemicals and electricity”. Lead applicant: Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York

-“High value semiochemicals from UKBioChem10 platform molecule Levoglucosenone through industrial biotechnology”. Lead applicant: David Withall, Rothamsted Research

-“ABE fermentation of hydrolysates derived from heavy metal polluted waste wood after ionoSolv tm fractionation and steam explosion”: Lead applicant : Jason Hallett, Imperial College London

PoC projects funded by LBNet Dec2018


IB Catalysts Seeding POC funding (now closed).

BBSRC  awarded LBNet £100k from the Industrial Catalyst Seeding fund to support proof of concept projects. This call was for projects with budget requests of up to £25K. Call guidelines: LBNet Catalyst seeding POC funding Operational Guidelines

Project awarded: LBNet IB Catalyst Seeding POC 

-“From lignocellulose to bioplastics: Improved enzyme based production of an aromatic
bioplastic monomer”. Lead applicant : Mark Caddick, University of Liverpool

-“Towards an alternative source of acrylic acid based on algal biosynthetic pathway”. Lead applicant: Thierry Tonon, University of York

-“A new ligninase for biorefining applications”. Lead applicant: Neil Bruce, University of York

-“Merry-go-round: Draff pretreatments using fermentation-derived solvents”. Lead applicant: Nicholas Westwood, University of St Andrews

-“Sweet Polymers: Production of Galactarate Polyesters from Pectin Waste via a Solely Enzymatically Catalysed Pathway” Lead Appicant: Leonardo Gomez, University of York

BBSRC NIBB Business Interaction Vouchers  (BIV)  (now closed)

We offer vouchers (up to £10,000) to be used to encourage and support collaboration between academics and industrialists within the BBSRC NIBB framework. Twenty-three  have been awarded by LBNet so far –  read about them in BIV funded by LBNet Dec2018  The collaboration can be any defined piece of work by the academic partner for the industrial partner. These vouchers are intended to help resource small confidence-building measures between an academic partner and an industrial based partner that are likely to lead to:

  • a longer-term relationship
  • improved interaction
  • new research technology transfer projects

Download an LBNet BIV Application Form LBNet BIV operational guidelines

The following BIV projects were funded by LBNet:

-“Testing the effect of polyethylene glycol as an enzyme enhancer in lignocellulosic hydrolysis”. Academic Partner:  Charles Banks, University of Southampton; Industrial Partner: Nicholas Thompson, Fiberight Ltd.

-“Structural characterisation of novel GH9 family enzymes from marine polychaetes”. Academic Partner: John McGeehan; Industrial Partner: Kirk Schnorr, Novozymes A/S.

-“Valorising poppy straw waste streams”.  Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York; Industrial Partner: Ian Casely, Johnson Matthey.

-“An innovative way to deliver Ca and Cu to plants safely using lignin”. Academic Partner: David Stainton, University of Lincoln. Industrial Partner: Apostolos Papadopoulos, Crop Intellect Ltd.

-“Testing bacterial lignin degrading enzymes for delignification of municipal solid waste”. Academic Partner: Tim Bugg, University of Warwick. Industrial Partner: Nicholas Thompson, Fiberight Ltd.

-“Sonochemical pretreatment of biomass”. Academic Partner: Leonardo Gomez, University of York. Industrial Partner: Narinder Bains, SERE-Tech Innovation Ltd.

-“Softwood Waste as a Source of Renewable Platform Chemicals”. Academic Partner: Leonardo Gomez, University of York. Industrial Partner: Gary Wheatley, Advanced Extraction Technology Ltd.

-“Investigating the potential for integrating large scale biofuel and bioenergy  production”. Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York. Industrial Partner: Mark Flower, Drax Group Plc.

-“Investigation of a route to bio-based polymers using an ionic liquid”. Academic Partner: Jason Hallett; Industrial Partner: Paul Mines, Biome Technologies Plc.

-“Assessing the potential of cocoa crop residues for biorefining and bioenergy applications”.  Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason. Industrial Partner: Isavella Van Damme, Mars Chocolate UK Ltd.

-“High-throughput industrial enzyme analysis and optimisation of DASH for commercial research service”. Academic Partner: Paul Dupree. Industrial Partner: Kirk Schnorr, Novozymes A/S.

-“Feasibility of extracting value from lignocellulose held in complex matrix waste materials” Academic partner: Stuart Wagland; Industrial Partner: Tom Everitt, Ecoganix

-“Testing of bacterial lignin degraders for delignification of distillery spent for anaerobic digestion”. Academic Partner: Tim Bugg, University of Warwick; Industrial Partner: derek Rodman, Clearfleau Ltd

-“Levoglucosan and cellobiosan utilisation for bioethanol production (a preliminary investigation)”. Academic partner: David Leak, University of bath; Industrial Partner: John Nicholas, Nova Pangeae.

-“Cannabinoids extracts from hemp by-products”. Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York. Industrial Partners: Damien Bove, Adact Medical Ltd & Richard Essery, Harrison Spinks.

-“Continuous bio-production of pyridine 2,5-dicarboxylate using lignin-derived monomers, vanillin and guaiacol, towards sustainable biopolymer manufacture. “Academic Partner: Sam Bryan, University of Nottingham; Industrial Partner: Paul Mines, Biome Technologies Plc.

-“Characterisation of new LPMOs from insects, algae and oomycetes”. Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York;  Industrial Partner: Kirk Schnorr, Novozymes A/S.

-“Process design for cost effective sugar production from lignocellulosic waste”. Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York;  Industrial Partner: Simon Walker, Jesmond Engineering.

-“Improving the performance of cellulase coctails with pectinases”. Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason, University of York;  Industrial Partner: Kirk Schnorr, Novozymes A/S.

-“Towards 3D Printable Lignins Derived From Tomato Waste Streams”. Academic Partner: john Hardy, Lancaster University. Industrial Partner: Steve Price, Biotech Services Ltd.

-“Developing enzymes to improve the effectiveness of the anaerobic digestion of municipal green waste”. Academic Partner: Simon McQueen-Mason. Industrial Partner: Christine Parry, Amur.

-“Scoping study for a biorefinery approach to valorise waste horse bedding”. Academic Partner: Simon Cragg, University of Portsmouth. Industrial Partner: Jon Scargill, Red House Stables.

-“Ethanol production from Novapangaea mixed sugar streams by re-using the hemicellulose sugar stream acidity to convert the post thermolysis anhydrosugars to glucose”. Academic Partner: David Leak. Industrial Partner: Martin Spangsberg Holm, Nova PangaeaTechnologies.

BIV funded by LBNet Dec2018

LBNet Early Stage Career Fellowship (LBNET-ESCF) (Now closed).

The LBNet Early Stage Career Fellowship (LBNET-ESCF) provided support for researchers wishing to undertake independent research in the area of industrial biotechnology and bioenergy applications using lignocellulosic biomass. The LBNET-ESCF  supported the transition of early stage researchers to fully independent research leaders. Awards were for 12 months and  2 fellowships were awarded:

-“Harnessing anaerobic deconstruction of wheat straw for fuel, platform chemicals and bio-degrading enzymes (ADconstraw)”. Matthew Reilly, Harper Adams University.

-“Pectinases for improving biomass digestion”. Carla Botelho-Machado, University of York.


  • Applicants should have a PhD or be expecting to have undergone successful PhD viva prior to 16 December 2016
  • Applicants should not exceed five years in active postdoctoral research employment prior to announcement of the awarded LBNET-ESCF(16 December 2016)
  • Applicants must have agreement from a BBSRC-eligible research organisation to host their fellowship for its duration

The LBNet ESCFellowship_operational guidelines

Consortium Building Meetings (now closed).

We  encourage the formation of international consortia, led by UK coordinators, to develop proposals for major international funding opportunities such as Horizon 2020, ERA, G8 and similar programmes that align with the remit of LBNet. Such proactivity will widen the impact of the network into the international arena, increase the funding drawn down by UK groups and ensure that the UK is leading the way in this internationally competitive area. Download a Consortium Building Meeting Application form

External Funding opportunities

Horizon 2020 BBSRC (IB Catalyst, ERA-CAPS second call, IPA, etc )

Lignocellulosic Biorefinery Network