THYME proof of concept funded projects

From the first two rounds of proof of concept funding, THYME has funded the following projects, as these projects develop, case studies will be shared. The THYME project has now awarded a total of £523,400 in total across two rounds of funding. 

The commercial viability of sustainable feedstocks for the production of pharmaceutical products.

Exploring the use of glucose derived from sustainable feedstocks, as an alternative to food grade glucose, for antibiotic production.

Lead Institution: BDC (Ana Casas Garcia)

Partner Institution: University of Hull (Linda Whicker)

Industry Partner: GSK

Increasing protein production by exploiting stable protein aggregation.

Exploiting how microbes respond to the formation of protein aggregates (or inclusion bodies) during bioprocess conditions in order to increase the productivity of bio-based protein production.

Lead Institution: Teesside University (Muhammad Safwan Akram)

Partner Institution: University of York (Gavin Thomas)

Industry Partner: Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies

Can we repurpose process-scale assets to demonstrate anaerobic digestion innovations?

Developing a fully costed proposal for the repurposing of a Yorkshire Water anaerobic digestion site as an innovation facility, completing the demonstration pipeline from laboratory to pilot to process scale.

Lead Institution: University of York (James Chong)

Partner Institution: Teesside University (Gary Montague)

Industry Partner: Yorkshire Water

Application of a novel triglyceride oil from Alexanders seed in food products.

Producing, testing and establishing the regulatory status of seed oil from Alexanders (horse parsley):  a potentially high-value food ingredient to replace butter and other solid fats and create low saturated fat, dairy free products.

Lead Institution: BDC (Raymond Sloan)

Partner Institution: Teesside University (Jibin He)

Industry Partner: Naturiol Bangor Ltd, New Holland Extraction Ltd, AMC (UK) Ltd, Bangor University

Scaled-down automated micro-bioreactor system with integrated downstream analytics for bioprocessing.

Developing a micro-bioreactor system with integrated sensors, downstream analytics and means to perform fluidic operations, for a range of miniaturised bioprocessing applications, including cell culture and enzyme-catalysed reactions.

Lead institution: Teesside University (Zulfiqur Ali)

Partner Institution: BDC (Rosie Nolan)

Industry partner: Unilever, Quorn, Croda

Improving the efficiency of anaerobic digestion by further understanding microbial processes.

Understanding the microbial processes occurring within two Northumbrian Water anaerobic digestion facilities and making recommendations for their optimisation.

Lead Institution: Teesside University (Caroline Orr)

Partner Institution: University of York (James Chong) & BDC (Susan Heywood)

Industry partner: Northumbrian Water

Machine learning and metabolic modelling of biofilms in the human gut.

Combining computer science, mathematics and biotechnology to provide insights into how machine learning can help identify the best conditions for specific microbial communities in the gut that are important for human health.

Lead Institution: Teesside University (Claudio Angione)

Partner Institution: University of Hull (Georgios Efthimiou)

Industry Partner: Quadram Institute, Materials Process Institute


A microbubble bioreactor to facilitate rapid growth of the extremophile Galdieria to convert waste bio-glycerol and waste jewellery acid to high-value phycocyanin.

Developing a cheaper process for using single-cell algae in the production of high-value chemicals from industrial waste streams.

Lead institution: University of York (Seth Davis)

Partner institution: Teesside University (Claudio Angione)

Industry partners:  Perlemax, Airedale Chemical, Brocklesby


Enhanced ethanol production in yeast through implementation of unexplored redox balancing pathways

Strategies to produce improved strains of microorganisms used in the conversion of biomass into biofuel, so that efficiency and yield are increased and carbon dioxide emissions are reduced.

Lead institution: Teesside University (Hong Goa)

Partner institution: University of York (Tony Larson)

Industry partner:  Ingenza Ltd


Reclaiming lignin rich sludge after enzymatic hydrolysis for repurposing into a secondary fuel source for thermochemical transformation

Turning a waste stream from biofuel production into a new source of renewable bioenergy.

Lead institution: University of Hull (Vicky Skoulou)

Partner institution: BDC (Peter Hurst)

Industry partner:  Jesmond Engineering


Improving pervaporation efficiency for butanol recovery for fermentation downstream (PV membrane design)

Designing and testing membranes for the separation and recovery of solvents used in fermentation.

Lead institution: University of Hull (Xuebin Ke)

Partner institution: BDC (Mark Gronnow)

Industry partner: Nanjing Industrial Technology Research Institute Membrane (NIM)


Extraction of higher value methyl esters from mixed waste methyl ester stream

Developing a protocol and a business case for extracting high-value chemicals from a waste stream generated in the production of biodiesel.

Lead institution: BDC (Raymond Sloan)

Partner institution: University of Hull (Dipesh Patel)

Industry partner: Argent Energy


Scale-up of the production of immune regulating and anti-inflammatory proteins from the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (Probiotic protein production scale-up)

Lead institution: University of Teesside (Mosharraf Sarker)

Partner institution: BDC (Joe Bennett)

Industry partner: CHAIN Biotechnology Ltd

Building on a previous THYME PC project, this project aims to scale-up the production of bacterial proteins used in the treatment of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.




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