Talent4BBI is the first industry led PhD MSCA programme in Ireland, managed by BiOrbic, the Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre located in University College Dublin (UCD). The programme brings together a pan-European network of 10 industry and 8 academic partners across 8 Member States and 1 Associated Country. Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be located in Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden Netherlands and Belgium.

The primary aim of Talent4BBI is to train a cohort of 10 highly skilled industry-ready ESRs equipped to lead the future of the European bio-based industry sector.

This programme provides a unique opportunity for the ESRs to develop key skills, competencies and experience required by the bio-based industries through a targeted training programme for future bioeconomy leaders.

During the 60-month programme duration, the 10 ESRs will undertake 48 month PhDs co-hosted by industry and academia. Three additional industry partners will actively participate and contribute their expertise through summer and winter school training events.

The programme structure offers a unique opportunity for graduates to thrive in both industrial and academic research settings while also enhancing the ESR’s career opportunities in line with the MSCA COFUND work programme objectives. Talent4BBI’s selection process will be guided by principles of openness, transparency, merit, impartiality, and equality for the ESRs.

Talent4BBI will directly impact the European Research Area by developing a highly qualified and career-driven talent pool, driving effective cooperation between industry and academia, and boosting the development of bio-based industries. The call opened in November 2021.

ESR PhD positions

Pauric Donnelly

Title – Yeast bioprocess development using systems and synthetic biology.

Industry – Alltech

Academic – UCD

Country location – Ireland

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Praveen Kumar

Title – Development of new lignocellulosic biomass valorisation processes to supply the petrochemical industry with sustainable carbon.

Industry – Bloom

Academic – EPFL

Country location – Switzerland

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Ana Del Hierro

Title – Development of bioprocesses for the bioeconomy using continuous manufacturing.

Industry – Bionet

Academic – UCD

Country location – Spain

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Maria Ciotti

Title – Transition to a biobased economy: prospective LCA as a tool for critical guidance in technology development.

Industry – Italbiotec

Academic – Chalmers

Country location – Sweden

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Lorenzo Garcia Tejada

Title – Production of lactic acid by a yeast-like fungus.

Industry – Corbion

Academic – RWTH-Aachen

Country location – Netherlands

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Panos Kopsiaftis

Title – Fermentative lactate production from lignocellulosic feedstocks by a thermophilic microorganism

Industry – Corbion

Academic – Wageningen

Country location – Netherlands

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Darren Issacs

Title – Enzyme development for sustainable production of pharmaceutical ingredients.

Industry – EnzyPep

Academic – Groningen

Country location – Netherlands

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Khaled Al Shwafy

Title – Novel catalytic routes towards carbon efficient lignocellulose biorefineries.

Industry – Sappi

Academic – KU Leuven

Country location – Belgium

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Natália Silvério

Title – How to affect change on farms for the benefit of farmers, their communities and the environment through the use of emerging knowledge and tools of the modern bioeconomy.

Industry – Glanbia Ireland

Academic – Teagasc & UCD

Country location – Ireland

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Oscar Dario Yepez Ceron

Title – Increasing the efficiency of downstream processes that valorise dairy side streams.

Industry – Carbery

Academic – UCD

Country Location – Ireland

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The Talent4BBI partners bring a wealth of experience as past coordinators of 8 MSCA COFUND projects and 65 MSCA ITN programmes.

All industry partners hosting and recruiting researchers are contributing financially to Talent4BBI.

Each academic partner has purpose-built research laboratories where ESRs can leverage the equipment and knowledge of leading bioeconomy researchers. The industrial partners have world-class research lab facilities and are leaders in their fields –Sappi Global are a leading sustainable woodfibre producer; Corbion is the global market leader in lactic acid and its derivatives. In 2018 and 2019, Glanbia won a GradIreland recruitment award for ‘Best Graduate Training and Development Programme’. In 2018, Corbion won best ‘Learning Organization’ at the AWVN (Dutch employers’ association).

Talent4BBI will also leverage the expertise of biotechnology leaders Biopolis, Novamont and key EU bioeconomy consortium BIC as training partners (contributing in-kind). Talent4BBI’s 7 academic institutions are all in the top 200 universities in the world, according to the QS ranking body 2021. Four universities (Leuven, EPFL, Wageningen, Groningen) are in the top 100 in the Times Higher Education 2021 rankings. Chalmers maintains the highest reputation in Sweden. In 2019, Wageningen University secured first place in the QS subject rankings for “Agriculture and Forestry” for the fourth consecutive year; BiOrbic Bioeconomy Research Centre is Ireland’s national centre for bioeconomy research; and the Blank Lab in Aachen is an innovator in the use of microbes for the benefit of the environment, society and the economy.

Talent4BBI is designed to reflect the four Strategic Orientation of the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

Some of the key aims are:

-Holistic understanding of the bioeconomy.

-Connect scientific and technical knowledge.

-Bespoke training with industry facing focus.

The consortium is made up of 10 industry and 8 academic partners across 8 Member States and 1 Associated Country.

Talent4BBI Project Coordinator

Professor  Kevin O’Connor

Talent4BBI Project Manager

Cathy Quinn.

If you require further details on anything or have any other questions, please contact the Talent4BBI Project Manager,  Cathy Quinn.

Email: Talent4BBI@biorbic.com 

Phone: +353 1 716 2900