Centre for Enzyme Innovation
At the Centre for Enzyme Innovation, we're researching solutions to some of the most pressing global environmental problems.
Learning from the natural world, we are working to deliver transformative enzyme-enabled solutions for the circular recycling of plastics.
Following a £5.8 million award from the Research England Expanding Excellence Fund in 2019, and a £1m award from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership in 2020 through the HM Government Getting Building Fund, we're creating new state-of-the-art facilities and recruiting specialist researchers from across the world to join our team.
News from the CEI
We currently have 30 scientists covering a wide range of disciplines including microbiology, molecular biophysics, biochemistry, enzyme engineering and synthetic biology, biotechnology, and more recently, polymer chemistry.
Hosted in our new custom laboratories, we have the expertise and facilities required to help tackle the challenge of plastic pollution and develop enzyme-based low energy, low carbon, biorecycling solutions.
Our research sits at the interface between enzymes and polymers with a focus on both pure and applied research in biocatalysis.
We are expanding our research and innovation activities to address the diverse range of plastics, including mixed waste streams and composites, materials that are often incinerated or end up in landfill and leak to the environment.
Our research is divided into 4 areas
- Discover new enzymes from the environment that break down plastics
- Engineer these enzymes to enhance their activity, stability and yield
- Deploy enzymes by pilot scale fermentation and industry-ready formulations
- Apply these enzymes in proof-of-concept biorecycling and upcycling processes
How we work
The pipeline allows for the streamlined development of enzymes from discovery through to recycling applications.
Enzymes break down waste plastic polymers into building blocks that are purified and re-polymerised, allowing infinite recycling of the materials as part of a circular plastics economy.
Recent research outputs
Brandon C. Knott, Erika Erickson, Mark Devin Allen, Japheth E. Gado, Rosie Graham, Fiona Kearns, Isabel Pardo, Ece Topuzlu, Jared Anderson, Harry Austin & 10 others, , 28 Sep 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 10 p.
The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium The COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, Dr Samuel Robson, Dr Garry Scarlett, Dr Yann Xavier Claude Bourgeois & Miss Angela Helen Beckett, 1 Jul 2020, In : The Lancet Microbe. 1, p. e99-e100
Charlotte E. Mardle, Layla Goddard, Bailei Claude Spelman, Helen S. Atkins, Miss Louise Butt, Professor Paul Cox, Dr Darren Gowers, Dr Helen Vincent & Professor Anastasia Callaghan, 9 Jun 2020, In : Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports. 23, 100773.
Researchers from the Centre for Enzyme Innovation receive funding from a wide range of external sources, including the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the National Environment Research Council (NERC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Commission, Innovate UK, Diamond Light Source, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Johnson Matthey.