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International Development Research @ Cambridge


BBSRC invites applications for collaborative research projects on the theme of Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in the Developing World that address challenges relating to industrial biotechnology and bioenergy in the developing world.

Call type: grants for collaborative research proposals

This call will develop the potential to utilise different biogenic feedstocks (for example crop residues) for the purpose of generating multiple (valuable) products (for example energy, pharmaceutical/ chemical precursors and clean water) in a sustainable way using biotechnologies to help support economic and welfare activities in the developing world.


Industrial biotechnology is the use of biological resources for producing and processing materials, chemicals and energy. These resources include animal cells, plants, algae, marine life, fungi and micro-organisms.

There is a large unmet need in the developing world covering a range of non-food and non-clinical applications and industrial biotechnology can help meet many of those needs, leading to wealth generation and sustained economic development.


This call seeks proposals to support collaborative research projects that will:

  • Use excellent research involving biological systems to solve key problems in the developing world
  • Utilise widely available biogenic feedstocks and through the application of biological systems, convert those feedstocks to generate multiple (valuable) products
  • Use the products generated to support improved economic and welfare developments in the hosting country.

Integral to the call will be appropriate chemical and engineering approaches alongside the use of biological mechanisms to ensure processes will function effectively.

Funding level

Funds can be requested for up to three years and projects must be completed by 1 February 2022. Applications must not exceed a maximum of £2 million (at 100% of their full economic cost).

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


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