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Centre for Enzyme Innovation

Organisational unit: Research Centre



Organisation profile

At the Centre for Enzyme Innovation, we're researching solutions to some of the most pressing global environmental problems. We're learning from the natural world – working to deliver transformative enzyme-enabled solutions for circular recycling of plastics. 

We were recently awarded £5.8 million from the Research England Expanding Excellence Fund. Coupled with significant investment by the University, this major funding will speed up our progress towards finding a solution to one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges – plastic waste.


Our research is divided into 3 phases:

  • Discover – This phase involves finding new enzymes from the environment that break down plastics.
  • Engineer – This phase involves two key stages:

    • Enzyme activity, which involves developing efficient and stable enzymes to break down plastics
    • Enzyme production, which includes developing molecular control systems for efficient enzyme production and yield
  • Deploy – This phase involves developing the conditions and processes essential to achieving production and operation of the engineered enzymes at an industrially relevant scale.

In June 2019, we received £5.8 million through the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, from the Research England Expanding Excellence Fund.

Our researchers from the Centre for Enzyme Innovation also receive funding from 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.

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