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Events in 2024

Events in 2023

We visited Woolcool HQ on Monday 18 September 2023. Bioladies Angela Morris and Josie Morris treated us to a wonderful informative day. They kindly gave their time and sponsored the refreshments for the members who attended. A big thank you to Woolcool from the Network. The Woolcool HQ visit was a really fun day out! The tour Josie Morris gave of the facilities was fantastic. She provided a real insight into how you can scale up a bioinspired product and the important role businesses play in a local community. It was especially interesting to hear about Angela Morris’ career journey and the creation of Woolcool. Thank you to Woolcool for hosting us for the day!

Our last event was on Friday 18 August. We did not picnic outside because of the rain. Ram came to the rescue, and we converged at his place and had an indoor picnic.

For the first time ever, we had more biolads than Bioladies and we heard about lots of projects that members are engaged in. Kenneth told us about the Barking Riverside project which is ongoing.  Ram is now Senior Lecturer in Luxury Business Management at the Business School for the Creative Industries BSCI at University for the Creative Arts. Brenda and her UCL team are working on a structure at the botanic gardens in St Andrews, Scotland.  

On Monday 17 July Zoe Gilbertson gave a presentation on Developing UK Bast Fibres at a Bioregional Scale. You can see Zoe’s presentation here. We had a wide-ranging discussion on the appropriate size of machinery. One member is working on a project to find machinery for an R&D level/scale and to find suppliers who have machinery and allow for quantities that are between what is available at a university (small) and large scale fibre spinning suppliers. We also discussed if government, local or central should be involved and of co-operative system ideas too.

Fer Aller told us about Cataner espardellas who use natural materials for their shoes.

Debbie told us about John Ennis who did a trip through Scotland engaging with local communities to promote the use of local natural materials for local, small scale industries.

Asta and Dusica from Nova Institute referred members to the extensive information available on their website on both products and companies involved in natural materials.

Thank you for a day of warm inspiration and networking.

Thanks again for a wonderful, inspiring day. You do an amazing job of bringing people together with shared values and interests. A great day!

Such an amazing conference thank you for putting it on.

Thank you so much for organising the inspirational conference and assembling around you such a vibrant diverse and creative community of researchers and practitioners. I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. Hoping it will become an annual event.

Thank you also for the Bioladies retreat in Brighton. It was so good to reconnect with other bioladies on a personal level, support each other and have fun!

We had a good catch up at the March meet up on Monday 20 March 2023. A few new members joined us and introduced themselves including Cheryl based in Berlin, Ruth based in Wales and Asta who gave us a short talk on her work and focus on cellulose fibres. The presentation can be downloaded on a phone or tablet using the link alongside and can be viewed without downloading on a laptop. We also caught up with established members like Utami, Anna , Cristina, Debbie, Olga, Agnieszka and Kirsten and found out what they are working on at the moment. We discussed the conference title and content and future network events.

On Thursday 23 February members of the network (Debbie, Alex, Iris, Olga, Ruth) attended the ASBP Awards event which was very interesting and hosted by biolad Alex Sparrow of UK Hempcrete .

We would like to congratulate all the finalistsof this year’s awards.  You can see a bit more about them here.

Judges’ awards

  • Project: Harris Academy Sutton, Architype
  • Product: KEIM Innostar
  • Initiative: Firstplanit

People’s prizes

  • Project: Harris Academy Sutton, Architype
  • Product: Brimstone, Vastern Timber
  • Initiative: Firstplanit

After the awards and networking we hotfooted it to The White Box Space Gallery at NOBU, Portman Square, London.  A few more members joined us to view biolad’s Ram Shergill’s exhibition which opened during London Fashion Week.

Ram gave us an overview of the exhibition and we networked on various aspects and heard more from Lucy and Jasmine. Apart from photographic work, the exhibition features a mesmerising video. If you are in London, do drop by and have a look for yourself.

In January we heard from Laura Bossom, founder of Cultiva, about her career and hemp interest. She is currently engaged in research to make wigs from hemp and recently had success with a barrister wig.  We also had an update from Zoe on her current work including Circular Open Studios 2023, heard from Debbie about the presence of ASBP at Future Build from Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 March 2023 at ExCeL London (free, but registration essential), heard from Brenda about a couple of interesting projects she is currently working on, and welcomed Fay as she joined us for the first time and told us a bit about her work in Wales in construction, mainly procurement and ecohouses. 

Events in 2022

We discussed holding a conference in June (possible date Friday 2 June 2023) in central London to then follow on with a weekend retreat/networking by the seaside (possible venues in Margate / Eastbourne/ Brighton). The conference would be free and open to all and we discussed what to include and how to appeal to all sectors. Organising sessions: future vision and backcasting? Question-led sessions focussing on solutions e.g. future of fashion? What are the important ways to build a sustainable urban and rural bioeconomy? How can we protect or restore soil?

If you could not attend but have views or suggestions for the conference or the weekend away please get in touch.

We had a good number of bioladies and biolads for our last catch up on Tuesday 13 September. We welcomed new members like Sandra from Fibral based in Cologne; Caroline from CBE JU based in Brussels and Reema from CEEIndia (Centre for Environment Education) based in Kolkatta.

We heard a fascinating talk from biolady Nav; (Dr Naveraj Gill from Access Your Alignment). She spoke to us about our limiting beliefs and how they sometimes get in the way of making bigger leaps in our career. She gave us a short overview of some of the methods that she uses to coach women in the bioeconomy who are new to positions of strategic leadership. In her own life she has moved between academia and industry within the biotech sector so she resonated with many of the challenges we face. 

We took away three powerful lessons: secure your foundation; be strategic and be powerful with kindness. If you missed the session or would like to watch again please use the link and password included in the October newsletter.

Our last catch up was the Bioladies picnic on Friday 5 August when a merry band of Bioladies and biolads met up in Lincoln Inn Fields for a fabulous picnic. We had familiar faces Brenda, Iris, Ram, Laura B and new ones including Birgitta, Sara and Laura S. We also had a lovely selection of food and beautiful balmy weather. We met at 4.00pm and did not notice the time passing and stayed till 8.00pm – it was wonderful to catch up in a relaxed way. We checked out a book called Seaweed in the Kitchen by Fiona Bird. We discussed various topics including hemp, biocontrol, sustainable textiles, materials for space, construction etc.

Our last meet up was on Tuesday 14 June. We had a lunchtime meet up for a change and this suited some members more than the evening session. We had a round of introductions and everyone gave a short resume of their current work and aspirations. Of note were Kit’s explanation of her research on use of water waste from vodka and use of algae, and Alison’s work on biomethane and green hydrogen. We discussed a possible field visit to Simon Cooper’s Flaxland which Simon spoke to us about in March.  Paul gave us some insight into further amazing uses for graphene.

We didn’t have any formal speakers at our meet up on Tuesday 24 May, but we discussed a couple of projects with members and also heard from members about their projects , ongoing work or and any support required. We also welcomed new member Jill who is involved in alternative packaging.

Some of the items we discussed included ideas to progress the Bioladies Portfolio project and apply for some form of arts grant to cover some of the costs. Emma had some ideas and we will progress. We also discussed visits to Staffordshire to see Woolcool’s new premises and a Scunthorpe visit to a new renewable energy plant next to the corrugated board manufacturing facility. We discussed whether this would be of interest and what dates would be best.

We also discussed if the meet ups were held at the right time and day. After discussion it was agreed to try an alternating lunchtime session and evening session and the timing of the June meet up has been changed to reflect this. We will monitor numbers to see if it makes any difference to attendance.

At our Meet up on Thursday 21 April, we had a fascinating presentation by our speaker David Xie on Biopolymer materials: Design, processing and unexpected properties. It was also lovely to have updates from members on their work, to find out what we are all doing and share information.

Our last Meet up was on Wednesday 23 March 2022. We had a talk by Simon Cooper from Flaxland on all things flax both past and certainly present and ideas for the future. Simon has experience not only with growing flax but all aspects of its use in many different sectors including textiles, automotive etc.

Another great meetup on Wednesday 23 February 2022, this time hybrid, hosted by biolad Ram Shergill. We welcomed some new faces and Ram gave a short presentation on his fabulous idea of The BioLadies Portfolio. The idea is to record this special moment in time with the BioLadies network. This is a unique opportunity to have iconic portraits of the members photographed by Ram, which will go into a book. The photographs will also be put into an exhibition in a gallery. Ram asked for any suggestions for arts or culture or bio grants to hire a studio and he will be offering us his most expert service.

After the talk which was also online, we got back to serious networking and food tasting. We had tortilla, roasted vegetables, home made gnocchi and pesto, Russian salad and loads of snacks like olives, crisps, cheese and biscuits. Daen also made us a tasty cake. It was lovely to welcome Monika from UFraction8, Laura and Kate from Cultiva and Suneet from Rare Earth Global in person. Brenda, Olga, Agnieszka, Alexandra, Jasmine, Daen, Jonelle, Samer and Iris were also present.

Many thanks to Ram for his hospitality!

Virtual meetup, January 2022

We had a lovely first meet up of 2022 with two intriguing talks and new and existing members asking questions and discussing the subjects raised. We started with Dr Darshil Shah from Cambridge University speaking on Observations from 4,000 year old Egyptian linen textiles. This really was an eye opener and gave fascinating insights into the skills both in agriculture and textiles of ancient Egyptians and new insights for modern day utilisation of flax.

We then had another fascinating presentation by Alexandra Lea and Vera : Local Actions for Galactic Impacts. This was wide ranging and covered many areas including mycelium, beneficial bacteria, soil benefits, perennial farming, sustainable and regenerative materials and Martian barkhan dunes as templates for new structures.

Events in 2021

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 14 December

This was our last meet up of 2021.

November Event, Pot Luck, Wednesday 17 November

Biolad Ram hosted this Bioladies pot luck and his birthday celebration. Guests were asked to bring a dish from their home countries or a favourite dish for everyone to share – our collective mycelia minds and pots had created a fantastic spread of dishes; from delicious pasta bake, feta sprinkled oven-baked aubergines, sweet potato and crunchy salads… and not one but two delicious birthday cakes!

The November pot luck dinner was a roaring (and delicious!) success. We were all very excited to be stepping into a world of glamour and festivities at Ram’s eclectic London home, to celebrate his birthday and have a much-needed catch-up. The BioLadies and Lads nattered, laughed, and boogied into the evening. Bring on December, the next Pot Luck on the 23rd February and 2022! Cheers!

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 12 October

We had a great meet up on 12 October with new members attending and introducing themselves.

We started off with our intrepid speaker Olga Babakina doing her presentation while walking home from work, so we had glimpses of the Thames
as we found out more about her new job at Low Carbon Contracts Company and then all about Deep Branch who are turning CO2 into fishfood. As we know animal feed made from soya adds pressure globally so locally produced feed is helpful as well as capturing CO2.

Heidi, a new biolady, told us Quantum Machine Learning is helpful in this field and provided information about work with ‘Total’ in carbon capture. She will tell us more when she gives a presentation early next year. 

We then had a presentation by Macarena Beltran,  Research Assistant at Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University on the work done as
part of the SIMBIO project, Bioplastics Social Innovation labs. SIMBIO focuses on developing social interventions to address the environmental and
social challenges of bioplastics packaging throughout its entire supply chain from production to end-of-life management. It is a collaborative
project between researchers in Canada, Brazil and Poland.

Virtual meetup, Wednesday 15 September

Jasmine Balloch shared her knowledge on bacteriophages and their application to tackle AMR in agriculture and human health.

Virtual meetup, Wednesday 14 July

We started this meeting with John Power explaining the process to provide your information for the directory and how to access all the information in the directory. He also demonstrated the listing of talks given at all events. A link to the video of this talk was sent out in the last email. If you haven’t completed the form with your directoey entry details yet, please listen to John’s explanation and do so as soon as possible.

Biolad Jamie Keats then gave a presentation explaining the work CITU are doing in off-site timber sustainable housing. Jamie explained the CITU delivery model and showed us an example in Leeds with a development spanning the river and aiming for car free and shared green landscapes.

Biolady Lucy Cowton Sustainability Manager at Futamura based in Cumbria, spoke on sustainable packaging. She told us about Futamura and how Cellophane, a regenerated cellulose film manufactured by Futamura is diminishing in popularity and explained coated and uncoated films.

Catch up in person, London, Saturday 10 July

We met up in person on Saturday 10 July in King’s Cross, London. It was amazing to see colleagues and friends in person again. Agnieszka, Gilu, Jasmine, Alex and I had a wonderful catch up at Dishoom.  Networking in person does have advantages and it was good to introduce Jasmine, a relatively new member to all the others in person.

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 15 June

We had a lovely virtual meet up at which members from the UK, USA and Italy joined in.

James Neward from Designdwell spoke about community housing and the difficulty of using natural materials even with commitment to do so.

Then we had an engaging talk from Christina Ayer from The Goodsheet Co . She spoke about the amazing properties of hemp and the environmental benefits of farming it for the soil and to sequester carbon. Soil health is one area we need to focus on as soil degradation is a major problem. She told us about their mission to make toilet paper from hemp as it’s stronger, softer and antimicrobial and has a global reach. We enjoyed some of the humorous marketing for the product.  

James and Christina are open to any contacts from all members of the network.

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Biolady Jasmine Balloch has kindly provided this write up about this event. Thank you to Jasmine.

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On May 12th, the Bioladies celebrated their 5 Year Anniversary in a style very fitting for 2021 – we were treated to an incredibly special lunchtime Zoom.

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Iris opened the conversation with a brief update on the completion of the Bioladies directory which will be an invaluable resource going forward. 

Angela Morris then introduced the event with a first-hand account of the Bioladies history including Iris’s motivation for setting up a female-led bioeconomy network and past collaborative projects between members.

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Angela’s introduction was followed by a presentation from Dr Brenda Parker, recounting her experience of Interdisciplinarity in the Bioeconomy. Brenda fascinated with her journey towards merging design, architecture and biosciences whilst acknowledging support provided by the network.

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Dr Agnieszka Krzyzaniak spoke about working in male dominated industries, reflecting on her experiences within the construction sector. She discussed challenges that women often encounter then provided suggestions of how to tackle these and a call to action for instigating change.

Next, Dr Liliya Serazetdinova shared her insight on building a foundation to diverge with advice on recognising your core values, the importance of your circle of trust and responding to your true north through your work. 

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Dr Gilu George spoke about her journey from Scientist to Senior Manager and how it is never too late to switch. She truly debunked the myth that successful careers have to be meticulously planned and emphasised the importance of redefining ‘success’.

The talks were concluded with an inspirational and beautiful message from Dr Carmen Hijosa on the significance of curiosity, joy, empathy and respect for one another. Qualities channelled by the Bioladies Network.

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It was brilliant to see Bioladies and Biolads joining from across the globe including from Vietnam and Georgia, going to show how wide-reaching online events can be. Thank you to Iris for your incredible dedication to the network and for being so welcoming and inclusive towards all members, new and old.

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 13 April

We had a great lunchtime meet up and our speaker Joey Pringle,  Founder of Veshin Factory gave an inspiring talk about his personal journey and how he came to set up a factory in China specialising in bags & accessories with a philosophy centred on sustainability, transparency & environmentally progressive values. His contribution is available on our YouTube channel

Comments on the talk included “Great work Joey – and agreed – the time for talk is not now, now is about action. You are seeding change. The snowball will grow…”; “Thank you for such an inspirational presentation, Joey.  Your passion and personal commitment really comes through.” 

If you want to support Joey you can follow the factory on instagram and connect with Joey on Linkedin.

Virtual meetup, Thursday 18 March

We had a great turn out for this meet up with members joining from all over, including Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and many regions of England. Some members joined the meet up for the first time and
we also had some brand new members.

Nick Staite spoke about Bobab an event streaming and peer-to-peer networking platform dedicated to connecting science, tech and business professionals working in and for Africa. Dr. Jennifer Attard from Circular Bioeconomy Research Group, Shannon ABC, Kerry Campus – Munster Technological University (IT Tralee) spoke about her career journey, briefly outlined the projects she has worked on and then focused the agroBRIDGES project. Olga Butler gave us a fascinating look at Stora Enso and their microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) – a natural performance enhancer for bio-based packaging materials.

All of these presentations are on our Youtube channel:

Virtual meetup, Wednesday 17 February

We had a great turn out for this meet up with members joining from all over; including USA, Belgium, Greece, Serbia, Scotland and many regions of England. Some existing members joined the meet up for the first time and we also had some brand new members.

Our speaker was Jonelle Simunich from Arup, who gave us a fascinating foresight presentation on Planetary
. The work is still in the R&D stage and Jonelle has conducted lots of interviews and research on how we can live within our planetary boundaries. The end goal is a vision and blueprint/strategies for a sustainable future and the concept of regenerative design. We had a great discussion on these concepts and the difference between sustainable, restorative and regenerative.

As we only had one speaker, we had time to discuss issues of interest to those present and some new members introduced themselves. More details and contact information are in the newsletter.

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 19 January 2021
We had a good start to 2021 with this engaging meet up on 19 January. Here is a read out of the meet up from one of the bioladies who attended.

It was interesting to hear Lina Mayorga’s presentation on the European Bioeconomy University and joined-up thinking across universities for promoting a sustainable bioeconomy . Ram Shergill’s ‘s presentation on Photographic Regenerative Interfaces was a little mind-blowing – the use of photography, not only as an art form and advertising but also for other applications including medical/therapeutic (which also lost me on occasions). It reminded me of an old family friend – a good friend of my daughter – Laura Cinti who works in the area of art & bio. She worked for UCL for a while and also gave talks/presentations worldwide. 

Events in 2020

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 22 December
At our last meet up of 2020, we discussed the current situation, including the difficulty of separating home and work when confined to one place. Academics noted the stress students, especially international ones were under and measures they were taking to help them. We also noted positive things like seeing members from all over the world and having access to a huge amount of information online. Members explained what they are currently doing and we also spoke about different Christmas traditions in our different countries.

We’d like to thank all those who contributed and those who were able to attend and wish everyone a very Happy Christmas!

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 8 December
Another lively and interesting meet up to brighten up the day. Dr Meryem Benohoud of Keracol Ltd  gave us a fascinating talk on ‘Making cosmetic ingredients from food waste’ and Virginia Neal from Minerva Communications and Susanna spoke about the policy briefs they are preparing for the Biovoices project. Nav then gave some background on producing a Network directory and we had a discussion on form and content of the directory.

We’d like to thank all those who contributed and those who were able to attend. If you want to hear the full version of the meet up, please listen to the recording of the session; details in the recent email.

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 25 November
A small but significant meet up to mark the UN  International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”.

Tina and Iris spoke about domestic violence and ways to help. We’d like to thank all those who contributed and those who were able to attend especially Tina.

If you could not attend more information is available online or, if you want specific advice, please contact Tina and Iris.

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 10 November – everywhere!

Another lively meet up to brighten up the day. We had interesting talks from Nav and Lucy and also discussed ways to progress the ideas for our 5 year anniversary.

We’d like to thank all those who contributed and those who were able to attend. Special thanks to Debbie, Erin, Nav and Aidan who volunteered to be on the Anniversary sub-committee. The recording of the session is available; please see the email for details.

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 20 October – everywhere!

This virtual meet up meet up was at lunch time and although numbers attending were small we had brand new faces joining us , which was stimulating. We had an interesting talk from Mariana, gave some advice to Rosalin from Girls in Science and also discussed various ideas for our 5 year anniversary. We’d like to thank all those who contributed and those who were able to attend. If you want to hear the full version, please listen to the recording of the session shared by email.

EFIB 5-9 October

We had a great slot at the end of  the first day of the 13th edition of EuropaBio’s annual conference EFIB – the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy. The special Bioladies meet up session on Inclusive Bioeconomy on 5 October was free participation for all Biolad(d)ies. The password to the recording of the event is EFIB2020-vid.

Aquabiotech / Bioladies Network webinar BioBites – let’s talk biotechnology, Thursday 24 September

We had an interesting meet up despite a fire alarm at Aquabiotech and all went well. We’d like to thank all those who contributed and those who were able to attend. The presentations have been circulated by email and the session was recorded.

Virtual meetup, Monday 7 September – everywhere!

Dr Parvez Alam started by explaining how the charity Fighting for Lives evolved to the many projects and countries it now serves. He then gave us an overview of colours and shapes and how mimicking nature can help us produce better design and manufacture of materials.

Jackie Trenavin explained her transition from energy biolady to mindfulness coach. Persistent negative thoughts lead to depression so we need to focus on what we are doing and practice some meditation every day. She explained what mindfulness entails, the many forms of meditation and some practical things we can do.

Both presentations can be seen below and Jackie’s details are in her presentation if you wish to contact her.

Virtual meetup, Thursday 20 August – everywhere!

Although many members are currently on holiday or busy , we had a lovely meet up.  Kate gave us an impetus to look into sewing and told us her journey from ethical banker to sustainable fashion blogger, journalist and entrepreneur. She gave us some good reasons for considering taking up sewing including stress relief, control over wardrobe and making our own clothes.

We then had  a presentation from Cecile and Cristina about their idea to create microgrids to deal with energy network failures and introduced us to the concept of ‘quorum sensing’.

We had a good discussion on both presentations, and a guest, Lois Calder, talked to us about coaching and why she feels it is important.

Virtual meetup, Wednesday 5 August – everywhere!

We had a lovely meet up, welcoming back some members like Anna and Zoe and finding out what they are doing now. The lunchtime meet ups are less well attended than the evening meet ups, but we had more time for
meaningful discussion on specific areas. A big thank you to Lauren and Jessica for giving the presentations and sharing their work with us, and the other bioladies who discussed their work and ambitions.

Lauren gave us a fascinating insight into the world of snail and slug mucus and how the properties can be useful in various sectors like adhesives and biomedical.  Jessica gave an overview of her research to gain a fundamental
understanding of gold and palladium uptake and nanoparticle formation in Arabidopsis.

Iris also thanked those members that had completed the Bioladies survey and asked everyone else to complete this 4 questions only survey so that the results can be used to illustrate the ethos and benefits of the network in
our slot at the EFIB conference on 5 October 2020.

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 21 July – everywhere!

We had a spirited and informative meet up and it was lovely to see new members virtually for the first time.   I hope all of you enjoyed it and please let us have any feedback so we can improve.  A big thank you to Susanna and Agnieszka for giving the presentations and sharing their work with us. Agnieszka gave us an Economic Outlook for summer 2020 going from global to national and then focusing on construction and Susanna gave us an overview of the many projects she is involved with. Some of the details she shared with us are:

  •   The European Bioeconomy Network, an alliance of more than 60 projects and initiatives funded by several programs to facilitate the creation of the ecosystem for the bioeconomy, initiated by BIOVOICES project. The network has been mentioned in the update of the bioeconomy strategy (page 84,85,86). FVA is the initiator and main contact. I would like ECBF to be part of the network, as initiative partner ( This will ease the connection with all the EuBioNet partners and could be a starting point for future collaboration.
  • The BIOVOICES project (CSA, funded under H2020, that facilitates the dialogue and Mobilisation and Mutual Learning among Quadruple Helix stakeholders to address the challenges for the bio-based market uptake . The project will operate until April 2021 and organizes more than 70 events at Regional, National and International level.
  • Biobridges (BBI JU) project (CSA, facilitating the collaboration among Bio-based Industries, Brands and Consumers. Biobridges recently launched the Bridge2Brands format to facilitate the dialogue between Brands and Bio-Brands industries to provide innovative responses to the Brands’ sustainability challenges. The first experiment (52 contacts created and 26 “weblive” pitches) was partnered with P&G, the next, in early autumn will be with FCA. Biobridges will operate up to December 2020.
  • LIFT (BBI JU) project (CSA), just concluded, analyzed 65 Coordination and Support actions (CSAs) in bioeconomy (not only H2020 and BBI Ju, but also Interreg, Erasmus+ and other) to collect in a single place the project’s outcomes (, facilitate the collaboration (around 150 bioconomy projects have been involved in LIFT activities), identify gaps still to be addressed and provide recommendations for future activities in the bioeconomy.
  • Glaukos project (RIA, that aims at developing a bio-based solution for fishing gears and clothing textiles to mitigate the problem of plastic pollution. The project will also run 2 multi-stakeholders labs involving also primary producers.
  • The Transition2Bio (CSA) project, that will start on January 2021 with a number of activities including awareness and communication, education, support to the regions in implementing their bioeconomy strategies, etc. Transition2Bio will also support and expand the European Bioeconomy Network.

Virtual meetup, Monday 6 July – everywhere!

It was so lovely to see some of you at this virtual meeting. In particular we welcomed those joining us for the first time: Mai from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; Lynn, George and Hannah from Collison Associates in Norwich and Christine.  I hope all of you enjoyed it and please let us have any feedback so we can improve.

A big thank you to Melanie and Alex for sharing their work with us. Melanie gave us an insightful overview of latest developments in aviation biofuels and bioplastics and we a discussion on PHA and its commercial uses. Alex explained the growing of industrial hemp, its amazing properties and its use in construction.

Virtual meetup, Saturday 27 June – everywhere!

This meeting was on a Saturday and the numbers were lower than normal, so we presume that the weekend is not convenient for many of you. We will meet on weekdays from now on.

A big thank you to Shneel and to Agnieszka for sharing their work with us.

Agnieszka guided us through her unexpected career path and gave tips and hints on moving jobs and cities/countries as well as a fascinating look at the economic forecasts for the global construction industry and the effect of Covid. I attach her presentation for information.

Shneel gave us an insight into her research on biointegrated design and how her background as an architect frames her research into alternative ways to tackle heavy metals in watercourses. She also promised to let us have a link to her famous Tedex talk (when this is released) which she gave to thousands in India.

Virtual meetup, Friday 12 June – everywhere!

It was so lovely to see some of you on 12 June at our virtual meeting. I hope you enjoyed it and please let us have any feedback so we can improve. Big thank you to Sarah, Kirsten and Oya for sharing their work with us.

  • Sarah gave us an insight into her research on biologics (biopharmaceuticals) and gave a whole new meaning to speed dating (for proteins). 
  • Kirsten gave us a fascinating talk about her early research in Uganda on barkcloth.
  • Oya gave us an overview of cellulosic materials and sustainable fabrics. She also mentioned contacts in Poland currently making masks; please contact Oya if you need further information.

These links were shared during the meet up:

Virtual meetup, Thursday 28 May – everywhere!

It was so lovely to see some of you at this virtual meeting. I hope you enjoyed it and please let us have any feedback so we can improve. Big thank you to Brenda, Josie and Sara for sharing their work with us.

Brenda gave us an insight into the innovative work being done at BIO-ID. Josie explained the strategy to grow an SME, create branding and recent B Corp certification for Woolcool. Sara gave us an insight into sustainable fashion and styling. We then had a wide ranging discussion on sustainable fashion.

Here are some useful links shared during the meet up:

Virtual meetup, Wednesday 13 May – everywhere!

The new format of three short talks and discussion went well. Big thank you to Olga, Chris and Fer for sharing their work with us. Olga gave us a comprehensive view of AD plants run by SSE in the UK, Chris fascinated us with his biomimicry examples and then Fer delved into some new technologies in bioenergy. The slides have been shared by email.

These links were shared during the meet up:

Virtual meetup, Tuesday 28 April – everywhere!

This was again a very successful virtual meeting. In addition to a good catch up with news and views we heard from:

Virtual meetup, Monday 13 April – everywhere!

This was our second virtual meeting and it was also very successful. We had a good catch up with news and views from many places around the world. There was a very stimulating discussion on topics such as the Bio4Products webinar (one hour video here and three minute video here), the LIFT project, the Green Protein project and Biovoices.

Virtual meetup, Monday 30 March – everywhere!

We had a good catch up on our first virtual meetup with members from across the world; lots in London, Scotland, Wales, Greece, Brussels and even India. After a round of introductions, we each provided a brief update on what each of us is doing at the moment.

Events in 2019

Bioladies event: All things Bio: Sustainable. Innovative. Collaborative – Tuesday 5 November, Malta

We had a productive visit to sunny Malta, at our first event outside the UK meeting AquaBioTech and understanding the fantastic capabilities for aquaculture and blue biotechnology. We had presentations from Manya (AquaBioTech), Jennifer (ICT Biochain) and Brenda (UCL’s Bio-ID programme) and Iris gave an overview of the bioeconomy.

There are many opportunities for collaboration with Malta in various areas of the bioeconomy and it was a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about the Bioladies network where we met some wonderful people who are engaging with diversity and conservation.

Bioladies Event: Focus on Biobased Products – Thursday 24 October, Norwich

This event was packed with fascinating insights into the bioeconomy and specific biomaterials. More information will be provided in due course. Thanks to the Norwich Science Festival for sponsoring the venue and to Enabling Project for sponsoring the refreshments.

Bioladies Event with NMA: Natural Materials Innovation Conference – Thursday 10 October, Stoke-on-Trent

The Bioladies Network worked with the Natural Materials Association and  Staffs Chamber of Commerce to assemble a group of experts to share knowledge and expertise on the use of natural materials in a range of applications. including packaging and construction. The event was attended by around 50 companies interested in the sustainability agenda.

Bioladies Iris Anderson and Josie Morris spoke at the event. Dr Chris Holland  covered biomimicry, an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The event proved very popular and some of those attending joined  the network.

Bioladies Networking Event following: Advancing the UK bioeconomy – Tuesday 2 July 2019, Norwich

This event was held at the John Innes Conference Centre, Norwich Research Park, NR4 7UH. The Bioladies networking event took place after the workshop on advancing the UK bioeconomy organised by the EU project Biovoices.

Thanks to Collison&Associates  who sponsored the event and supplied Norfolk strawberries picked that morning and cream. One of the participants said: ‘Lovely to see you again this afternoon at the Bioladies networking event, which was really great and I hope will lead to some really useful outcomes for us all.’

We hope to have another event in Norwich around October and will be providing more information on this as soon as we can. Please let us know if this would be of interest to you.

Bioladies Network Catch up – Thursday 27 June 2019, central London 

This catch up was in the King’s Cross area. We met up for some dinner and to discuss our current projects and find out what is happening.

Bioladies Network & Opencell Event: Focus on Biomaterials – Thursday 2 May

The latest Bioladies event was at the OpenCell studios in London. We had 3 presentations on very different topics. First, Dr Thomas Meany of OpenCell told us about the venue – an affordable place dedicated to co-working and lab space set up to nurture biotechnology start-ups in the early stages of business.

This was followed by Dr Carmen Hijosa, founder of Ananas Anam, who spoke about her journey to inventing Pinãtex – a non-woven material (sometimes seen as a leather substitute) made from pineapple leaves. The 10+ years of R&D has paid off and Pinãtex has been used in collections by fashion brands Hugo Boss and most recently H&M in their conscious collection. In sustainability terms, Pinãtex production covers a lot of environmental and social bases. The feedstock (pineapple leaves) is a byproduct of the agricultural industry, and the work to process the leaves provides another income stream for pineapple farmers. Carmen’s presentation can be seen here.

Dr Brenda Parker and Shneel Malik from UCL provided an overview of their current research project. This is a solution for small scale artisans in developing countries who use textile or bangle (bracelet) dyes in their business to treat their wastewater at a local level. Without access to central water treatment infrastructure, dye effluent runs off into the local waterways. The solution is a series of interlocking wall tiles. These contain ridges which can be coated with microalgae hydrogel, which binds heavy metals found in the effluent as wastewater is run through it. The concept recently won the A/D/O Water Futures Design Challenge award; hopefully a pilot won’t be too far away.

To finish, Iris Anderson gave an update on happenings in the bioeconomy and the value of networking. Attendees chatted over drinks and nibbles courtesy of the Felix Project, a London charity which takes food waste from retailers and restaurants and redistributes to charity and those in need. Volunteers for the Felix Project are always appreciated!

(written by Biolady Kate  Blog: Time to Sew    Instagram: @Timetosew 

Bioladies Event in York – Tuesday 5 February 2019

On 5 February 2019, the Bioladies Network joined with NMA for an event in York to launch the book Designing with Natural Materials which was edited by Biolady Angela Morris.

Angela spoke about the amazing properties of natural materials and the content of the book that explores various areas. Keith Spilsbury then spoke eloquently about restoring credibility to natural materials like wool.

 Dr Chris Holland, chair of the NMA then amazed us with examples of biomimicry and Sally Walker of Native Architects rounded up with examples of use of natural materials in construction. 

Iris rounded up with a quick review of EU and UK strategies affecting the bioeconomy.  Then it was over to networking.

Events in 2018

Bioladies Network & Girls in Science present BIOCLUB, York – Wednesday 24 October 2018

Bioladies Network teamed up with Girls in Science for a splendid event in York on 24 October. The event started early with the first part focused on personal journeys.

Presentations by Lucie Pfaltzgraff, consultant at NNFCC  and Rebecca Rafferty from Women in Tech set the scene and Iris introduced the value of networking. We then put this in practice with some networking and refreshments, kindly sponsored by Biovale. By this time the venue was very full – especially of young women!

Sarah Hickingbottom the new CEO of Biovale then gave us a sneak peek at her future plans for Biovale. Dr Chris Holland, from the University of Sheffield then enthralled with his talk on spiders and silk. Dr Catherine Mort stepped in at the last minute to cover for a KTN colleague and gave us her journey as well as hints on how to use KTN services.

Lucy Montgomery form  NNFCC then gave us an overview of European bioprojects and James Newton from Native Architects covered the very broad range of sustainable construction systems and materials.

We all then networked and made contacts. Comments from attendees were very positive, some took to twitter to express their delight in such inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network.

Thank you to Stan Gaskill for the video and photos.

Bioladies Network Event: focus on agritech, London – Wednesday 10 October 2018  

As part of Biology Week, which this year focuses on the biosciences, the Bioladies Network held an event at UCL focusing on agritech and general career advice. Iris started off with a quick talk on the value of networking.

It was fascinating to hear from Dr Gilu George from Cranfield and Jennifer Lewis from Certis and Dr Brenda Parker on their journey to attain various accomplishments and their career moves. Real stories of women who are in science really help young women understand that despite the competing areas of our lives, it is possible to succeed if they choose to follow their STEM ambitions.

All the speakers’ journeys and the progress made by women in different spheres of life are role models for younger women. Feedback from the attendees was that they found the event inspirational and encouraging.

Wednesday 6 June at Grays Court Hotel, York: Bio Perspectives

The event in York held on 6 June surpassed all expectations in various ways. The venue, and sponsors, Gray’s Court Hotel was superlative and all the speakers brought fresh insight on their chosen subject.

Iris, the founder of the Bioladies Network did some quick pointers on the value of networking. Dr Chris Holland from Sheffield University was spellbinding on the fascinating world of spiders, their silk and the lessons we can all learn from biomimicry. Dr John Williams gave an insight into what investors look for and some practical advice on business plans and how to pitch. Christine Geddes gave a quick overview of ERDF funding available for those in the area and then Paula Widdowson amazed us with her career journey and ways of encouraging sustainability.

 We then had time to share a drink, sponsored by KPMG, and network. Feedback from the 40 attendees was very positive and they saw the benefits from attending the event as varied, ranging from simply networking, to finding a mentor, finding new clients, learning about a new subject in the wider bioeconomy and getting to know people in technical roles. The Network will be returning to York with more events.

Events in 2017

Monday 11 December 2017 at SCI: Science & Industry

It was snowing and very cold on Monday 11 December, but a number of intrepid ladies braved the elements and attended the Network Event. They were rewarded with some excellent presentations and a chance to network in the sumptuous surroundings of the SCI Council room, kindly sponsored by the SCI, and refreshments sponsored by Dr John Williams of S’Investec.

Karen Hobbs gave us an overview of the work of SCI. Some of our bioladies are members already.

Josie Morris, the Managing Director of Woolcool,  gave us a thought provoking presentation on the ethos and culture of Woolcool and also the sustainable credentials of the packaging they produce.

We then had  Dr Liliya Serazetdinova, Knowledge Transfer Manager , Agri-Food  give us a run through of Innovate UK work and all the possible grants and networking available through them.

Finally, we had a chance to network over some snacks and drinks, this always proves very popular and we had many interesting conversations.

Wednesday 22 November 2017 at LCCC: Focus on Bioenergy/Waste

This event was sponsored by the LCCC Ltd.  Iris delivered a presentation about the importance of the bioeconomy and the role women play in it. She also gave a brief summary of the ResUrbis project and BBIA’s role in it.

This was followed by three presentations. Firstly Ruth Herbert from LCCC explained the CFD and Capacity Market schemes which became fully operational in 2016/17 in support of the electricity market objectives set by the government and the recent auction and prices of Contracts for Difference. Ausilio Bauen of E4Tech gave an interesting overview of the current state of the bioeconomy.

Dr. Mairi J. Black from UCL and LCA Works gave a perspective on Managing Carbon. This featured work being carried out by Project Drawdown (, which model 100 of the most substantive existing solutions to address climate change. This prompted a lively discussion on the significant role that Gender is seen to play through targeting family planning and the education of girls, as well as the requirements for energy and food provision, and land use.

Tuesday 16 May 2017 at ARUP: Exploring the Bioeconomy

At this event, Agnieszka spoke about Arup’s commitment to a circular economy – as expressed in the words of Gregory Hodkinson, Arup’s Global Chairman, “Arup is in this for the long haul, because, even if it takes a generational shift to get there, the direction of travel represents a far better future for our shared society.”

Iris delivered a presentation about the importance of the bioeconomy to global development and the role women play in it. This was followed by two presentations of the “case studies”, with Carmen Hijosa talking about her journey from leather to pineapple-waste based novel material Pinatex and Alistair Law presenting how Arup’s Living Wall helps to “green” the construction sites.

Some of the Arup’s commercial and research projects relating to the bioeconomy were exhibited and catalysed conversations and networking throughout the rest of the evening.

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