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.

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.