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Engineering Biology Mission Hub

The UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub team have been awarded £2.5m as co-investigators with a new £12M 'Preventing Plastic Pollution with Engineering Biology (P3EB) Mission Hub', funded by the UKRI Technology Missions Fund and the BBSRC.

The Hub is led by Professor Andrew Pickford at University of Portsmouth, with co-investigators Professor Helen Hailes (Chemistry), Dr Jack Jeffries (Biochemical Engineering), Professor Mark Miodownik (Mechanical Engineering), Professor Paola Lettieri and Dr Andrea Paulilo (Chemical Engineering), Dr Brooks Paige (Computer Science) and Professor Christine Orengo (SMB).

The team will tackle the urgent environmental challenges of plastic pollution, working to create new ways for the sustainable deconstruction of synthetic plastics. The team will be developing impactful engineering biology platforms to enhance the performance of enzymes and microbes for the deconstruction of a wide range of plastics. The team will also develop environmentally friendly, innovative methods to create higher-value products from waste. Alongside this approach, the team will be developing sustainably sourced monomers to make future recyclable-by-design plastics, in support of the transition to a circular plastics economy.

These efforts will support UK businesses in meeting their carbon reduction goals, contribute to sustainable clean growth, and help incentivise plastic waste recovery and recycling to prevent pollution and the use of fossil fuels, from which most plastics are derived. This work builds upon previous multidisciplinary research at the UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub.

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