Chair: Mr Meredith Lloyd Evans
Meredith trained as a veterinarian, worked in the animal health industry and in innovation management for a number of years, and founded BioBridge Ltd in Cambridge in 1989, to help bioscience innovations reach and stay in the market. In industrial biotechnology, he was responsible for the ground-breaking report on UK marine biotechnology, worked in the UK Natural Environment Research Council’s BlueMicrobe Knowledge Transfer Network and until August 2009 was a Knowledge Transfer Manager in the UK Technology Strategy Board’s Bioscience for Business KTN. He has organised, chaired and spoken at numerous meetings involving exploitation of marine bioresources. He is a member of the European Society of Marine Biotechnology and is on the US BIO’s Algae Biotechnology Working Group. He is also a member of the European Commission’s KBBE-Net Coordinated Working Group on Marine Biotechnology and contributes to the EU’s strategies for this sector.
Professor Nicholas Owens (Nick), Director of British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
Nick has been Director of BAS since September 2007. His research interests are primarily in the field of biogeochemistry. During his career he has spent over 3 years working on research ships in almost all of the world’s oceans. Between 1993 and 2000 Nick held positions of Professor of Marine Sciences and Head of Department at the University of Newcastle.
From 2000 as Director of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) Nick was instrumental in transforming the NERC-owned centre into an independent organisation within the NERC family. He created a commercial trading subsidiary to maximise diversity of funding and enable exploitation and spin-out research opportunities.
Mr Bevan McWilliam, NERC Business Development Manager, Natural Environment Research Council
Bevan McWilliam is a business development manager within the commercialisation team of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). He splits his time between Swindon-based NERC, his office at the British Antarctic Survey and the other NERC research centres. Bevan identifies and evaluates NERC funded science for market potential, and sources and manages bids for strategic research collaborations between business and NERC research centres. Bevan is particularly invested in creating environmental markets relevant to the UK economy, through leverage of NERC funded science.
He has extensive experience in technology transfer in both Oceania and the UK and has spent the last six years working to commercialise novel engineering solutions and science discoveries. He is holds an MBA from New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington and a BSc (Hons) in microbiology from Otago University.
Dr John Shears, British Antarctic Survey
John Shears is Board Member — Environment and Information and Head of Environment and Information Division (EID) at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). With a BSc and PhD in Geography, John joined BAS in 1990 as Antarctic Environmental Officer. He has been on more than a dozen expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, and is an expert on environmental management in the polar regions. He became a Board Member and Head of EID at BAS in 2006. Currently, he is leading a major strategic review of BAS logistics, operations and support services. He is also a Senior Adviser to the UK Government on Antarctic issues, and leads for the UK on Operational matters at the international Antarctic Treaty meetings. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is currently a member of the Governing Council of the Society.
Biotechnology developed from biological material collected from Antarctica provides new and exciting commercial opportunities. In this talk, BAS will present their perspective on biotechnology from Antarctica and the future possibilities for biotech development using the results of its world-class scientific research and unique biological collections
Dr Kevin A. Hughes, British Antarctic Survey
Dr. Kevin A. Hughes completed his PhD in biofilm microbiology at the University of Edinburgh in association with Unilever Research. In 1997, he joined the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to investigate the impacts of UV and other environmental stresses on Antarctic microorganisms and now manages BAS’s environmental research and monitoring programme. Interests include invasion biology and human impact research (bioremediation of hydrocarbon spills, sewage impacts, disturbance of flora and fauna) and he regularly prepares policy documents on Antarctic environmental issues for the UK Government. Since joining BAS, Kevin has spent over 2.5 years in the polar regions, including an Antarctic winter.
BAS science generates a wealth of new discoveries, some of which may present opportunities for commercialization. In this talk we will present some examples of recent BAS science, with a view to exploring how opportunities can be recognized and developed.
Professor Paul Bridge, British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
Prof Bridge is a microbiologist who specializes in the characterisation, ecology and population biology of micro-fungi. Prior to his position at BAS he was the Kew Chair of Mycology at Birkbeck College, and before that he worked for 16+ years at the International Mycological Institute (now included in CABI) on mycological activities in agriculture and industry in the UK and overseas. His research areas have included plant pathology, biological control, identification and diagnostics, and rapid screening for fungal physiology and natural products, resulting in some 150 scientific papers and eight edited books.
One aspect of the scientific research at BAS has been the investigation and survey of microbial life and activity in the Antarctic regions. Much of the material associated with this work has been maintained in specialist Antarctic collections at BAS or with collaborators. Major BAS collections include data, fossils, and plant materials deposited in the BAS herbarium, and more recent activities have lead to the development of culture collections and clone libraries of Antarctic bacteria and microfungi.
Dr Matthew Ryan, CABI Biosciences
Matthew Ryan is a microbiologist with specific interests in pure and applied mycology, biodeterioration and natural product research. He is currently the Curator of CABI’s Genetic Resources Collection of 28 000 living fungi and bacteria (which incorporates the UK Collection of Fungal Cultures and the BAS Microbial Culture Collection) and research group leader of CABIs natural products screening programme. He has worked at CABI since 1999 on various projects including biodeterioration of hydrocarbon fuels, genomic stability and cryobiology. He was awarded the ‘George Planer Prize’ of the Society of Low Temperature Biology in 2000.
Dr Paul Cannon, CABI Biosciences
Dr Paul Cannon is a Principal Biologist with 25 years experience in fungal identification, systematics and molecular phylogeny. He also has biodiversity expertise especially in tropical forests, montane and agroecosystems. His work involves survey work for fungi including plant pathogens, diagnostics and other phytosanitary disciplines and I also have an interest in digital imaging and photography and database development.
Microbiological culture collections are immense resources of fully identitifed and authenticated organisms and their derivatives, many of which are available to scientific reserachers. For example, the holdings of the CABI collections of 28,000 living fungi and bacteria are unique in their ecological and metabolic diversity and result from CABI’s project and scientific activities and collaborations over the last 59 years. Fungi in particular, play important roles in the environment and have the ability to exploit almost all niches both natural and synthetic. Not surprisingly their properties are of interest and are being harnessed for use in the environment, medicine, food and industry. In this talk we will use case studies to demonstrate how unique culture collection resources can be utilised in screening programmes for novel nutraceutical, cosmoceutical and pharmaceutical products and how the benefits of these screening programmes can be shared with stakeholders within the spirit of the CBD.
Dr Frank Herkstroter, Procter and Gamble
Frank Herkstroter is Dutch, but educated in various countries, fluent English, German and Dutch; French “rusty” as one of the results of diverse education. He graduated as a dentist in 1985; PhD Medicine Groningen State University, the Netherlands 1990. P&G work to date includes: Expansion of P&G into Central and Eastern Europe; Brand Franchise work (consumer and prescription products); Brand equity work; Fundamental Consumer Understanding; (Medical) Device development; Global Strategy Development; Brand Building Framework; Divestures and Acquisitions; Open Innovation (Connect + Develop)
Procter & Gamble, a consumer goods company you may know from products like Pampers, Oil of Olay, Gillette, Ariel, Oral B and many other products including Personal Health products, decided about a decade ago that for its future growth, it would have to make clear choices of what can/must be developed in-house and what can/must be (co-) developed or acquired with/from the “outside world”. The presentation will focus on why this happened, how the system works, what the expectations are when working together and which opportunities will be addressed to further improve the system. Examples from the cosmoceutical etc fields included to “show and tell” and some do’s and don’ts of working with companies like P&G, but that we found broadly applicable and valid.
Jan Buch Andersen, Biotech Marine Biochemicals
Dr Jan Buch Andersen has extensive experience with start-up companies on both practical in-company and board level. He established own sales and distribution organisation in 1994 growing it over the years building experience with the ups and downs of real business life. He has a worldwide network in the laboratory products area. Strong sales experience in the biotech/pharma/hospital/university sector. Experience with FDA/CE-IVD regulated sales of diagnostic products.
An outline of the Tromso model for bioprospecting in the Arctic regions will be given. The interactions between the University-funded bioprospecting and characterisation activities and associated commercial activities in numerous commercial niches will be described and the application of results in a commercial landscape will be documented by specific examples of successes and failures.
Professor Monique Simmonds, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Monique Simmonds is head of the Sustainable Uses of Plants Group at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She co-ordinates Kew’s research into the medicinal uses of plants, and has extensive experience of work with different government organisations in developing countries.
Jon Williams, Aquapharm Biodiscovery
Jon Williams joined Aquapharm as Business Development Director in July 2009. Jon brings a unique blend of expertise in business development, natural product exploitation and microbial fermentation gained from a range of progressively more senior management positions held at, respectively, Summit plc, Avecia and AEA Technology combined with academic qualifications from Oxford and Exeter University. His primary focus at Aquapharm is the commercialisation of functional ingredients and industrial biotechnology products from Aquapharm’s marine microbe collection.
Jon will provide a rapid-fire run through of Aquapharm’s pioneering efforts to discover and develop novel functional ingredients, pharmaceuticals and industrial biotechnology products from its marine microbe collection. The overview will include insight into the company’s background, its successes to date and the opportunities and challenges it faces as an emerging company seeking to commercialise its unique assets.
Dr Surinder Chahal, Croda Enterprise Ltd.
Surinder Chahal studied Chemistry and chemical technology at the University of Bradford, completing a thesis on organophosphorus acids for hydrometallurgical extraction in 1987. He joined Croda as development chemist in 1987 and spent a few years optimising a fermentation process before moving into the personal care business focusing on speciality ingredients for the cosmetic market, in particular proteins. He has presented on the subject of Speciality Proteins on many occasions at various venues around the world. He is author and co-author of a number of scientific papers and articles and inventor and co-inventor on a number of patents. Dr Chahal Currently has a dual role within Croda as Vice President — R&D for Enterprising Technologies, a corporate research unit looking at developing and acquiring new technologies [including biotechnologies] for the global business, and as Vice President - R&D for Croda’s Suncare and Biopolymers actives business.
Croda is a major supplier into the global personal care market and leader in speciality skin care actives. This presentation will focus on one innovative marine derived active and its application in skin care, describing its origins in deep oceans, functionality and commercialisation.
Dr Philip Dudfield, Galapagos SASU
Phil Dudfield obtained his BSc and PhD in chemistry at the University of Southampton followed by postdoctoral studies at the University of Geneva. He joined Schering Agrochemicals in 1985 working in fungicide research and proceeded to fulfil a number of senior research positions in both the UK and Germany. In 2003 he joined BioFocus and was responsible for their compound library and natural product businesses. Since 2008 he has been in charge of anti-infective research at Galapagos based at their Paris site. He has been involved in many natural product projects over the years, not least in his present role.
Marine Natural Products — Challenges from a Drug Discovery Perspective
Dr Matt Mowlem, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Matt is the head of the Centre for Marine Microsystems and leader of the sensors development group at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. An engineer by training (MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics 1996, PhD Optoelectronics and Engineering materials 2002) his current research focuses on the development of technology to enable environmental science. This includes the development of novel miniaturised chemical and biological sensors, and the development of the “submersible” technology for the exploration of subglacial lake Ellsworth.
Lake Ellsworth: Exploring Antarctica’s Hidden Worlds
Subglacial lake Ellsworth is one of over 140 lakes present beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. This lake will be explored by a UK led consortium with two fundamental scientific aims: (1) to determine whether, and in what form, microbial life exists in Antarctic subglacial lakes, and (2) to reveal the post-Pliocene history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. To meet these aims, the consortium will undertake the direct measurement and sampling of water and sediment within subglacial Lake Ellsworth in West Antarctica. This talk will describe the challenges of this experiment and the technology required to explore this hidden world.