AD Network Training Roundup – Oct 17

Odour management: An introduction to odour regulation, assessment and control. 6th December 2017, Aqua Enviro Event Suite, Wakefield

Phosphorus Removal and Tertiary Treatment Processes. 7th December 2017, Aqua Enviro Training Suite, Wakefield

Design of Activated Sludge Systems. 20th February 2018, Aqua Enviro Training Suite, Wakefield

Operation & Control of Activated Sludge Plants. 21st February 2018, Aqua Enviro Event Suite, Wakefield

Microscopic Examination for the Operation & Control of Wastewater Treatment Plants. 22nd February 2018, Aqua Enviro Training Suite, Wakefield

Digester operation and making the most of the digestate. 24/25th April 2018 Wakefield

Advanced Training Partnerships, January 2018.

  • Online Training for Biotech Industries via Industrial Biotechnology Distance Learning.

Next modules start January 2018. See: .

~Biorenewable Feedstocks

~Biorefining Technologies

~Carbon Footprinting and Life Cycle Assessment

~Drivers of the Bio-economy

~Waste Stream Valorisation

~Genetics and Genomics

~Biobased Product Development

~Climate Change

  • On- Farm Anaerobic Digestion (AD), May 2018

This 12 week module will explore the role of anaerobic digestion (AD) as an important technology to improve the sustainability of the food production system. See: .

  • The Biovale Special Interest Group are running a learning event  “Focus on Feedstock” on 1 Nov 17 in York


AD Network – Funding Roundup – Oct 17

Supergen Bioenergy Hub Flexible Funding 2017 – Closes 22 Nov 17. £100K available to support up to 4 projects on Supergen Themes, plus £75 for projects which target priorities of the low carbon fuels strategy of the DfT. See the Supergen website.

The Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) scheme aims to increase the knowledge and awareness in UK Universities of cutting edge industrial science, research and innovation. Worth £40K each over two years, there are 10 on offer. Deadline: 4th January 2018

See: .

Royal Academy of Engineering: Industry-Academia Partnership – Colombia, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Thailand. Dealine: 27th November 2017

See: .

AD Publications of Interest

The World Biogas Association provide access to a range of information ranging from current market reports to “A critical review of the VFA/TA (FOS/TAC) method”. See: .

Keep up to date with a host of recent AD publications from the Research Group at Southampton University via their BORRG page. See:

Who’s who. An overview of the state of AD research across Europe unsurprisingly highlights Germany as the lead for papers whilst the Technical University of Denmark stands out as the highest publishing institution. But how did the UK fare…

Technology overview of biogas production in anaerobic digestion plants: A European evaluation of research and development. Rafaela Lora Grando, et al.  Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 80: 44-53. See: .

Integration of Power to Methane in a waste water treatment plant – A feasibility study. Tim Patterson, University of South Wales et al. Bioresource Technology 245(A): 1049-1057 – December 2017. See: .

Biological methanation of CO2 in a novel biofilm plug-flow reactor: A high rate and low parasitic energy process. Savvas Savvas, University of South Wales et al. Applied Energy 202:238-247 – September 2017. See: .

A critical review of integration analysis of microbial electrosynthesis (MES) systems with waste biorefineries for the production of biofuel and chemical from reuse of CO2. Jhuma Sadhukhana, University of Surrey et al. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 56: 116-132 – April 2016

Advances towards understanding and engineering direct interspecies electron transfer in anaerobic digestion. Sajib Barua and Bipro Ranjan Dhar, University of Alberta. Bioresource Technology 244: 698-707-November 2017

AD Network – Roundup of PhD Opportunities – Oct 17

Improving understanding of veterinary medicine degradation and fate in organic fertilisers and anaerobic digestion plants (VetMedDeg) – University of Leeds

Deadline: 6th October 2017

Supervisor: Dr Paul Kay

Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)


Microbial ecology of early stage colonisers in the digestive tracts of large herbivores – Aberystwyth University

Deadline 1st November 2017

Supervisor: Dr G W Griffith

Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)


Innovative biological processes for the production of chemicals from organic waste – Aberdeen University

Applications accepted all year round

Supervisors:  Dr D Dionisi and Dr A Majumder

Self-Funded PhD Students Only


Integration of Sustainability Assessment and Global Optimization for Sustainable Production of Biofuels and Chemicals – University of Manchester

Applications accepted all year round

Supervisors:  Dr R Cuellar-Franca, Dr N Zhang and Dr J Li Application

Self-Funded PhD Students Only


Isolation, Characterization and Genome Mining of Novel Environmental Bacteria and Archaea – University of Huddersfield

Applications accepted all year round

Supervisor: Prof Humphreys  and Dr S Rout

Self-Funded PhD Students Only


Chemistry for the Bioeconomy: novel transformations in hot water – Aberdeen University

Applications accepted all year round

Supervisors:  Dr M J Plater, Dr W T A Harrison and Dr A Raab

Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Supergen Buoenergy Hub Flexible Funding 2017 – Invitation for proposals – closes 22/11/17

Proposals are invited for research-related activities which support the Supergen Bioenergy hub’s core objectives. 

The Supergen Bioenergy hub invites proposals for its “flexible funding” programme.  A total of £100,000 is available to support up to 4 projects at institutes eligible to receive RCUK funding. We are pleased to also be able to offer additional funding of up to £75,000 for projects which target priorities of the low carbon fuels strategy of the Department for Transport. The priority areas eligible for this enhanced funding are specified below.
Applications for research funding should support the hub’s objectives  and submissions should specify which of the priority areas they are addressing.

The funding can be used to support bioenergy research and research-related activities, including exchanges and visits to develop new research collaborations, preparatory work for large strategic bids, feasibility studies, work with industrial partners to advance implementation, work with other stakeholders to support bioenergy policy development, secondments to improve research impact etc.

NB: It is a condition of funding that successful applicants engage with the Supergen Bioenergy hub in relation to the funded activity.  Full details and application form available from the website.

AD Network Events Roundup – Oct 17

The 2nd Annual Food and Drink Engineering & Processing Summit, Coventry -7th November 2017. Food and Drink Business Europe has over 20 years’ experience in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. See: .

BIOSURF/Bin2Grid EU projects Final Conference, Brussels – 24th November 2017

These EU Horizon 2020 projects have been running for 3 years and their joint (free) final conference is in November. Further details at:  and . For more information, please contact the EBA secretariat at .

World Biogas Association/EESC: Making Carbon Count: pricing in externalities to drive the Circular Economy, Brussels – 11th December 2017. See: .

BioCatNet/RSC Biotechnology Group: BIOTRANSFORMATIONS: From science to industrial application, London – 19th December 2017. See: .

3rd International IET/SynbiCITE Engineering Biology Conference 2017, London – 12/13th December 2017.  See: .

Water Innovation Network: Bioresources – Getting the most out of sludge, Peterborough – 24th January 2018. This event is your chance to collaborate with Anglian Water to improve the anaerobic digestion methods and processes to produce more energy, and to make further suggestions on how to get the best return from sludge. See: .

European Biogas Association 2018, Antwerp, 24-26th January 2018. The theme to this bi-annual conference will be ‘Greening gas’. See: .

REA Event – UK Biomethane Day 2018, Birmingham – 2nd May 2018. A fantastic networking opportunity, where developers and operators can meet financiers, feedstock providers, waste hauliers, government officials and suppliers. See: .

IBioIC Annual Conference, Glasgow, 25-26th January 2018. See: .

RWM Exhibition, NEC Birmingham,11-13th September 2018. RWM is the leading community for the Waste, Energy, Recycling and Water sectors to network, learn and trade. With over 450 exhibitors and 11,000 visitors you can join them 11-13th September 2018   NEC Birmingham. See: .

Biogas Science 2018, Torino, Italy, 16-19th September 2018. The deadline for Abstracts for this conference is 30th November 2017. We still have a number of ECR Conference Travel bursaries available – contact us for details. See:!/sez_11 .


The 2016 Autumn Statement provided an extra £2 billion a year for the science budget by the end of the Spending Review period, including funding for an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. In 2017, the Government committed to “meet the current OECD average for investment in R&D—2.4% of GDP—within ten years, with a longer-term goal of 3%”.

The Industrial Strategy Green Paper, in January 2017, included proposals for an ‘Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’ and envisaged sectors making the case for ‘sector deals’. The Government has since announced the first investments from the fund, including the Faraday Challenge for battery development focusing on electric vehicle applications.

The Green Paper also highlighted a Government review of practices of universities’ Technology Transfer Offices; an independent Review of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) by David Connell; a possible expansion of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) or of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships; the “importance of place”, with “increasing our focus on commercialisation and later stage development … likely to increase the opportunities for catch-up in more parts of the country”; a “review of government and research council laboratories and their potential to drive local economic growth”.

More recently, the Government announced plans for a ‘Knowledge Exchange Framework’ to compare universities’ engagement with businesses; a third wave of ‘Science and Innovation Audits’ to map local research, innovation, and infrastructure strengths; and allocations from a ‘Connecting Capability Fund’.

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) will be operational from April 2018. It will bring together bodies that are currently separately responsible for research and innovation spending.

The Committee would welcome written submissions, ideally by Monday 30 October, on:

  • The coherence and links between the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the ‘sector deals’;
  • The model adopted by the Faraday Challenge and its suitability for future investments in other sectors under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund;
  • The rationale and coherence for the distribution of funding:
  • between the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (and its individual ISCF schemes) and the rest of the Science budget;
  • between the various initiatives to financially support innovation and commercialisation of research;
  • between the two arms of the ‘dual support’ system—funding via the research councils and funding via Research England;
  • between innovation and research.
  • The balance between different parts of the country in Government funding of research/innovation, the effectiveness of such place-based financial support, and how planned place-based funding might affect that balance in future;
  • What further measures the Government should take to use its spending and facilities to strengthen innovation, research and associated ‘place’-based growth.

Submitting written evidence

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    b) have numbered paragraphs
    b) include a declaration of interests.

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
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