Our GoalThe overall goal of C1net is to create a vibrant community of UK researchers who will unravel the biological, chemical and process engineering aspects of gas fermentation and realise its potential through commercial application.
To achieve our goal we are:
- Bringing together a UK-based cadre of biologists, chemists, computational modellers/mathematicians and process engineers, to better understand and exploit gas fermentation processes for translation into industry.
- Encouraging participation by feedstock suppliers, technology developers, industry and end-users in the development of the technology.
- Holding a series of sandpits for the discussion and development of cross-disciplinary research projects, including proof of concept studies, to be funded through pump priming funds administered through the C1net Management Board.
- Fostering the development of major integrated grant proposals based on proof of concept studies.
- Organising annual meetings of the leading scientists from the UK, including overseas representatives, open to the wider UK community, providing an update on the latest research findings.
- Maintaining this website to provide regular updates and case studies on the research development.
- Supporting and encouraging participation and development of the PDRAs and students and providing knowledge transfer through workshops and other training activities.
ActivitiesC1net provides a number of events and activities to foster and enhance collaboration between industry and academia; inform policy makers; train the next generation of scientists and educate the general public.
2016, we commissioned a report form E4Tech entitled “The commercial and strategic opportunity offered by gas fermentation in the UK”.
2017, along with BioCatnet, P2P and CBMnet, C1net commissioned a report entitled “Developing Strategy for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in the UK”.
2018, “Opportunities of Methane Fermentation for the UK Bioeconomy”.
Sandpit Events and Partnering Meetings
We will organise regular events to help develop and pump-prime multi-disciplinary projects aimed at generating proof of concept outputs. These will involve a variety of sectors to maximise industrial involvement, and will focus on existing and future national and international funding opportunities.
We will hold regular workshops to provide training for PDRAs and PhD students in key enabling technologies, especially areas such as Gene Technologies, Gas Fermentation and Metabolic Modelling. Additional workshops will cater for emerging areas of importance.
We will hold annual scientific meetings. The first will coincide with planned visits by researchers from the CAS Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology in Shanghai and the Center for Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology in Beijing, who will visit the UK as part of a BBSRC China Partnership “Utilising Steel Mill ‘Off-Gas’ for Chemical Commodity Production using Synthetic Biology”, with LanzaTech, BaoSteel, Sheffield and Oxford Brookes.
We will develop community links, especially to schools through institution specific open days and tailored school visits. Drawing on BSBEC experience, we will maximise impact through engagement with events such as the “Big BangScience Fair” and University Open days . We will also seek to educate and inform policy makers and foster relationships with key stakeholders who can assist in developing and promoting C1net activities and outputs.
Together with the University of Nottingham, we have also developed an outreach game “Game of Fuels” – More details
We will support and encourage the participation by, and development of, the PDRAs and students of C1net members, through participation at sandpit events and the planned annual conferences. In addition, we will encourage young researcher-led joint funding awards between C1net partner laboratories.
Project LeadsThe management board is currently 12 strong, with Professor Nigel Minton
(University of Nottingham) as PI and Professor David Fell (Oxford Brookes) and strong
support from leading experts in the field from industry and academia.
Nigel P Minton – C1net Director
Nigel Minton has an international reputation for excellence in advanced molecular methods for the study and exploitation of microbial chassis. He is the Director of the BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) which is focussed on making chemicals and fuels from C1 feedstocks. His research activity ranges from combating bacterial pathogens, through the development of novel cancer therapies to the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels from C1, C3 and C5/C6 feedstocks. He is the PI on a wide range of grants awards, funded by the BBSRC (sLoLa, IB Catalyst & iCASE), Innovate_UK, MRC, NIH and Europe (HORIZON 2020, Marie Curie ETN, ERA-IB and ERA-CoBioTech). He has served on many national committees, is regularly invited to speak at international conferences and has filed 21 patents. He has supervised >40 PhD students, published >150 articles (ca.10000 citations) and has an Scopus h-index of 48. He is the holder of a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.
David Fell C1net Co-Director
David Fell is a professor of Systems Biology in the Department of Biological &Medical Sciences at Oxford Brookes University. He has worked for more than 30 years on computer modelling of metabolism and its regulation. He contributed to the development of Metabolic Control Analysis and its application to the interpretation of experimental results. He has helped develop elementary modes analysis for finding all feasible routes through a network – now widely used for designing metabolic engineering strategies – as well as building and analysing genome-scale metabolic networks. He holds two BBSRC India Partnering Awards, was a partner on a BBSRC-ANR systems biology project, holds a current EraSysBio+ project with France and has recently been awarded a BBSRC-DBT grant with Professor Minton.
ManagementThe management board is currently 12 strong, with Professor Nigel Minton (University of Nottingham) as PI and Professor David Fell (Oxford Brookes) and strong support from leading experts in the field from industry and academia.
Phillip Wright is Professor of Systems Biology at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He is currently using synthetic biology and metabolic/biochemical engineering approaches to improve energy generation by focusing on measurement and integration of multilevel biological data (e.g. proteomic and mRNA data), mathematical tools and characterising – omics-scale data.
Arild Johannessen is a co-founder of BioProtein AS which has merged into Calysta Inc., where he holds a position as Vice President of fermentation. Calysta is a market leader in gas fermentation using methane as the sole carbon and energy source. Calysta has specialised in production of the nutritional single cell Protein FeedKind,
as well as developing processes for production of platform chemicals using patented tools for genetic manipulation of methanotrophs.
Dr. Wimalasena is a Senior Scientist at Calysta responsible for small to large scale Fermentation activities including newly developed market introduction facilities located at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), at Teesside, in northeast England.
Calysta is developing and commercialising FeedKind® protein, a sustainable, traceable alternative feed ingredient for fish, livestock and pet nutritional products.
Sean Simpson is the Chief Scientific Officer and Cofounder of LanzaTech, the market leader in the commercialization of gas fermentation technology using steel mill off-gas for the production of low-carbon fuels that do not compromise food or land resources.
Gary Smith is the VP R&D Biotechnology of INVISTA, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibres. The company’s advantaged technologies for nylon, spandex and polyester are used to produce clothing, carpet, air bags and countless other everyday products.
Stephen Poulston is a research scientist and Team leader at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre, a corporate research centre for Jonhson Matthey. Johnson Matthey is a world leader in catalysts and process technology for the production and conversion of methane and syn-gas.
Michelle Gradley is the Director of Process Biotechnology at ZuvaSyntha Technology, (BST). BST is committed to the development of novel processes for the commercial production of commodity chemicals and fuels from syngas from carboxydotrophic acetogens.
Dr Krabben is Principal Scientist at Centre For Process Innovation Ltd, at Redcar, Teesside.
Reuben Carr is Bioprocess Team Leader at Ingenza, a worldwide leader in the application of IB and synthetic biology. Ingenza provides efficient scalable bioprocesses to manufacture chemicals,biologics pharmaceuticals and biofuels, from sustainable sources.
Dr Green is the founder and Chief Executive of CHAIN Biotechnology, an innovative fermentation company focused on high value speciality chemicals.
OutreachWe will develop community links, especially to schools through institution specific open days and tailored school visits. Drawing on BSBEC experience, we will maximise impact through engagement with events such as the “Big Bang Science Fair” and University Open days.
We will also seek to educate and inform policy makers and foster relationships with key stakeholders who can assist in developing and promoting C1net activities and outputs.
“Game of Fuels”
Together with the University of Nottingham, we have also developed an outreach game “Game of Fuels”.
Louise Dynes (C1net member, SBRC Outreach and Communications Officer) applied for and was awarded funding from the University of Nottingham’s small grant fund and together with match funding from the BBSRC’s Network in Biotechnology and Bioenergy, C1net; Louise has developed a game with the C1net Network Manager, Jacque Minton.
The initiative was to produce an interactive game with the aim to help educate pupils about renewable energy particularly biofuels and the techniques and processes involved in developing them. The game is to be used as a permanent outreach tool to play in schools and at science fairs in order to help educate secondary school pupils and adults as part of a stimulating and fun activity.
Aims and Impact of the Game:
- Raise awareness about renewable energy focusing particularly on biofuels and to provide an understanding of climate change and global warming, as well as the processes involved in producing these fuels. This was achieved by designing the game in a way to help educate pupils as part of a stimulating and fun activity
- The game complements sections of Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum, including: cells and organisation, material cycles and energy, cellular respiration, DNA and genes. The game also gives pupils an introduction to microbes and microbiology
- Parts of the game give players not only scientific knowledge surrounding this topic, but also an insight into the social aspects too. This includes facts about political, publicity and people matters with the intension to give the players real life scenarios about how biofuels are currently perceived
- The game has been created as a permanent tool which can be reused throughout schools and science fair outreach programmes creating a sustainable activity with long term benefits
- By using this game we hope to raise aspirations in this area of science and industrial biotechnology with the aim that students will consider studying this new and exciting topic at University in the future.
How to Play the Game:
Each player chooses a game-piece consisting of a miniaturised pick-up truck containing a feedstock; they will also be given a fact card with information on about their particular feedstock. Each player rolls a die and moves their vehicle ahead from the feedstock origins through the preparation and production processes to the final product.
There are challenges along the road; if a player lands on a PPP (Politics, Publicity & People) space they will be given a fact which can either hinder or enhance their movement along the board. If a player lands on a normal road space, they will be required to answer the question correctly in order to continue and if a player lands on a C space (Conference) this means they are at a scientific meeting and will need to say, out-loud, one sentence about their fuel from their fuel fact card and everyone playing gives them a round of applause. There are also STOP! spaces, if a player lands on this space they must read out their disaster and go back the number of spaces as instructed.
The players proceed through the necessary steps and required technologies for a sustainable fuel production. The game concludes when one of the players has developed their entire bio-industrial line production and has made their final product.