Our very own Lisa Sargeant organised a stunning seminar entitled ‘Biofeedstocks: Cultivating a Bio-Based Future’ on 3rdApril 2012. With over 90 people registered to attend, the event appealed to a wide variety of people from PhD students to professors. Bringing together aspects of chemistry, chemical engineering and biology, the event included excellent speakers from both industry and academia. Dr. Steve Martin from TMO Renewables kicked-off the first session with a particularly engaging talk on the TMO story, and how one man’s idea can be transformed into a million-pound business. Prof. Chris Hardacre from Queens’ University Belfast provided an interesting talk from the chemistry perspective on catalytic conversion of bioresoureces, and the session was wrapped-up by our newly appointed professor in Biology and Biochemistry, David Leak delivering an excellent overview of metabolic engineering.
The second session did not disappoint either. Dr. Jon Deely provided a balancing argument, with the challenges faced by BP using bio-feedstocks, followed by Prof. Gill Stephens’ down-to-earth talk on the use of ionic liquids in biocatalysis. Dr Yvonne Armitage from the Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network ended the day with ideas of how industry and academia can be further entwined. Discussions carried on further into the evening, aided by a glass (or two!) of wine and finally dinner at the Bath Ales pub, The Salamander. Many thanks to all who attended.