What is Metals in Biology, a BBSRC NIBB?

Metals in Biology: elements of biotechnology and bio-energy is one of thirteen unique collaborative Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB). Our aim is to develop multidisciplinary collaborations in the metals in biology community between industry and academia. Our goal is to accelerate the exploitation of transformative discoveries in this sub-discipline. We are especially interested in funding studies involving metallo-enzymes (interrogating the properties of their metal centres or manipulating their metal centre) or manipulating the supply of metal cofactors for the purpose of industrial biotechnology relevant to any of our seven themes.

What will we be doing?

Seven key areas

We will be assembling teams and submitting grant applications to a variety of funding agencies in seven areas, see Themes.


There have been numerous activities organised by the Network including the Community meeting in December 2016 and other activities are yet to be finalised.


The teams will be developed via workshops of 2 types: Open scoping workshops for about 20 people and follow-up ad hoc workshops for smaller defined grant teams to put together specific applications. Contact us with a list of the seven areas you are interested in so we can plan the workshops, if you are interested in more than one area, give a priority order. If you already have an idea for a grant application and a team, let us know and we can arrange ad hoc workshops to help you to develop the grant.

Grant applications

Information about the IB Catalyst fund up to round 5 can be found here.
Outcomes of the business interaction vouchers and proof of concept awards can be found here. If you want to prepare to respond to future opportunities why not hold a consortium building meeting? Contact us for details.

How do you join the Network?

It’s free to join the Network, simply complete a membership form and email to: metals.bbsrcnibb@durham.ac.uk.

Where can you access articles on the Metals in Biology BBSRC NIBB?

An article “Metals are the Elements of Life” is available by clicking on book below.

Short items relating to events can be viewed below:

(1) “Metals in Biology: Elements of the Bioeconomy” includes features on the background to the events ‘Metal-related antimicrobials’ and ‘Metal circuits for synthetic biology’ and is available here

(2) “Industrial biotechnology workshops kick-start academia-industry collaborations” which features the events ‘Characterising and utilising Rhodococcus enzymes for industrial biotechnology’ and ‘Industrial applications of metal-microbe interactions’ and is available here
A case study following outcomes of the Rhodococcus event is also available here

(3) “Researchers come together to push green science forward” features the event ‘Metal circuits, synthetic biology & C1 gases’ and is available here

2014 Opening Podcast

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Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst

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