Sustainability Showcase 2022
By Emma Lardner, Operations Manager at the University of Birmingham and lifETIME CDT Administrator for Birmingham.
Earlier this month, lifETIME CDT (Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine) and the Healthcare Technologies Institute held a Sustainability Showcase event which brought together academics, researchers and students from within the CDT but also from the wider Scientific community who were interested in learning more about sustainable research and how it can be applied within the field of Healthcare Technologies.
The event began with a welcome from Professor Liam Grover, Director of the Healthcare Technologies Institute and Professor of Biomaterials Science who gave an overview of the work we are doing to align research to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals and reduce the environmental impact of research laboratories.
The first session started with an introduction to STARLAB from Manni Uppal who spoke about the work they are doing to implement more environmentally friendly practices and reduce plastic waste from their products. Delegates then heard from Stephen Wallace from the University of Edinburgh who spoke about his work on chemical synthesis which merges the sustainable and programmable features of biological systems with the flexibility and scope offered by modern synthetic chemistry to drive a green chemical industry. The session concluded with a talk from Rory Miles from the University of Portsmouth who spoke about his work delivering transformative enzyme-enabled solutions for the circular recycling of plastic waste.
Session two began with an overview of the Dove Group’s work on sustainable polymers and plastics recycling by Josh Worch from the University of Birmingham, followed by a talk from Marianne Ellis from the University of Bath who spoke about sustainable bioprocessing for organoid expansion and cultured meat production.
The event was then closed by Adam Efrat, 1st year lifETIME CDT student at the University of Birmingham and 2021 student rep for the lifETIME sustainable labs working group who extended his thanks to the showcase speakers for contributing their time to the event.
Speaking of the achievement, Adam Efrat said: ‘’It was a pleasure to organize, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. It was so encouraging to see the passion and calibre of our speakers and to be able to have engaging discussions in person. I think it was great to have different disciplines coming together all with sustainability at the heart of their research goals.’’