Events in 2021
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.”
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
Boundaries. 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.
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 (https://eubionet.eu/collaborations/). This will ease the connection with all the EuBioNet partners and could be a starting point for future collaboration.
- The BIOVOICES project (CSA https://www.biovoices.eu/), 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 https://www.biobridges-project.eu/), 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 (https://www.bioeconomy-library.eu/), 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 https://www.glaukos-project.eu/), 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:
- Hempcrete 101: Back to the Future for Natural, Carbon-Beneficial Buildings
- How The Formary is Reimagining Textile Waste
- Ingeo fibre
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:
- Common Objective services, network and free Masterclass Webinars
- Online fixing and textile technique workshops
- Lost Stock provides food and support for a worker and their family for one week
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- environmental audit committee – fashioned textiles report
- A project looking at waste streams.
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:
- Dragons Den event – alternatives to fossil fuel plastics in construction
- BBC Sounds podcast “30 animals that made us smarter”
- European Bison roaming Romania again
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:
- Lina Mayorga about the Bioeconomy congress website
- Dubravka Skunca about the European Commission Horizon 2020 BBI JU Green Protein Project
- Brenda Parker about supporting students in ways such as managing motivation and conflict
- Sarah Young about the entire season of podcast episodes on the history of hemp Parsons Healthy Materials is doing
- Vijay Kumar Thakur about his paper on hemp
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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 (http://www.drawdown.org), 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.