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Last update: May 2021

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IBISBA 1.0 is formed by 8 work packages (WP).

WP1 - Training of Infrastructure Operators and Users

WP1 will deliver a series of training modules or sessions. Firstly, this WP will deliver content designed to build the IBISBA 1.0 community. Key areas that are identified for training are linked to the biologist/chemical engineer divide that has been identified as a challenge for industrial biotechnology. Training workshops on terminology and protocol and data standardisation will allow all partners to share their knowledge and learn from others. This training exercise will be vital for the smooth running of the experimental joint research action, since this will require researchers in different laboratories to perform experiments according to standardised protocols.

Other training tasks will make the IBISBA 1.0 project outward looking, providing training modules for researchers that are not in beneficiary organisations. This will provide visibility to the IBISBA 1.0, inform researchers about opportunities and train users in relation to transnational access. Finally, the training work package will also focus on the analysis of current training challenges for industrial biotechnology and make recommendations of the improvement of educational cursi.

WP2 - Communication, Outreach and Dissemination

WP2 will design, create and facilitate the implementation of a communication toolbox that will be required throughout the IBISBA 1.0 project and to some extent beyond. Regarding visual identity, WP2 will develop all of the elements and tools (logo, slide deck template etc.) that will render IBISBA visible and recognisable within the European and worldwide industrial biotechnology community.

Combined with the presence of IBISBA 1.0 on social media and community forums, WP2 will provide the means to efficiently disseminate results, opinions and vision papers. Working with other WPs, this work package will be responsible for the creation of the web portal that will deliver for example the means to launch and manage the transnational access programme. Within WP2, knowledge management techniques will be used to build a hypergraph-based semantic network describing the IBISBA 1.0 facilities, the links between these and the expertise behind them. This will provide a very attractive and intuitive way for users to appreciate the strength and depth of the IBISBA 1.0 network and the services that are provided. Finally, WP2 will deliver specific material for public authorities. This is important because one aim in IBISBA 1.0 is to outreach to these stakeholders in order to investigate the feasibility of building a sustainable pan-European infrastructure.

WP3 - Building the Community and the Wider Network

WP3 will focus on building and consolidating internal network interoperability and on the expansion and enrichment of the network, connecting it to other relevant initiatives. Regarding internal interoperability, several critical activities will be performed, the first being the further development and consolidation of the IBISBA vision. This work will be performed using internal and external expertise and will provide a vision paper and roadmap that will be communicated to a large stakeholder base. A second activity will focus on terminology and protocol standardisation. To achieve interoperability in a highly multidisciplinary area such as industrial biotechnology and provide quality services to researchers, it is vital to be readily able to share ideas and concepts, and perform experiments in reproducible fashion and generate shareable data. To achieve all of this, key concepts, protocols and procedures will be identified in order to make recommendations to WP1 for the development of training sessions. Finally, building a network that will ultimately deliver a distributed R&D infrastructure for industrial biotechnology requires the use of previous experience, which can be found by linking to existing infrastructures, the integration of new members to fill gaps and extend services, and collaboration at the European and international levels to avoid duplication and stimulate cooperation. To achieve all of these goals activities, WP3 will reach out to the wider community of infrastructures, industry and the international community.

WP4 - Innovating for and with Industry

WP4 will specifically focus on issues related to industrial clients. In this work package a whole series of issues related to business development and communicating IBISBA 1.0 to industrial stakeholders will be tackled. Working closely with WP2, this work package will create the IBISBA brand and build a business development team dedicated to the promotion of the IBISBA 1.0 concept among different industrial stakeholders, including SMEs. Through a series of subtasks, a range of issues will be addressed, including how to best market an offer of services that is both convincing and attractive for industrial clients. Other issues that will be tackled are related future business models, fluidising relations with industrial clients, and handling of IPR. This latter issue will be a key one, since it will be necessary to promote innovation through data and knowledge sharing, while respecting a level of confidentiality typically required by industrial clients.

WP5 - Opening Access to Infrastructure

WP5 is the last, but not least of the networking actions. This work package will devise the different processes that are necessary to open access to IBIBSA 1.0 infrastructures. Importantly, to ensure excellence and relevance, this work package will implement a suitable governance, including a project selection panel and an access management committee. Together, these two bodies will ensure that project selection criteria are scrupulously applied to each project that is submitted and that a correct balance of projects is achieved.

Moreover, tasks in this work package will be dedicated to monitoring access and ensuring that quality is applied to all procedures throughout the process. Finally, working with WP2 and WP4, activities in this work package will ensure that researchers from member states that are not well-endowed with research infrastructure and SMEs are especially targeted for access during the project lifetime.

WP6 - Overcoming R&D Bottle-Necks in Industrial Biotechnology Platforms

WP6 will focus on the various steps of the DBTL (design, build, test, learn) cycle and simultaneously demonstrate the capacity of the IBISBA 1.0 network to perform collaborative work in a framework of standardised and shared protocols and harmonised procedures. To achieve this a multi-partner task force, including early stage postdoctoral researchers will be assembled to perform DBTL cycles on target host strains. At the design step, tools specific for strain design (e.g. genome-wide multi-pathway models and pathway prediction tools) will be deployed alongside flowsheet/process modelling, thus providing early integration of industrial constraints and decisionmaking features. In the build step, a range of technical operations (e.g. DNA synthesis, assembly and genome engineering using for example CRISPR-Cas9) will be used, employing or developing standard operating protocols (SOPs) that will form part of the network shared assets. Moreover, at this stage focus will be given to microtiter scale high-throughput screening, to identify robust performance markers. In the Test phase scale-up issues will be tackled, notably focused on the challenge of moving from microtiter scale highthroughput cultivation and analytical methods will be deployed to assess performance of hundreds or thousands of strains. This stage does not allow well controlled culture conditions, neither a broad range of analytics. Consequently the challenges lie on one hand on how to measure in a predictable manner the desired outcome of the strain design, and on the other that right strains will be selected, which would also perform as designed in controlled bioreactors, and have predicted process adaptability to larger production scales.

WP7 - Meeting the e-Needs of a Distributed Infrastructure for Industrial Biotechnology

WP7 will provide the e-infrastructure support that will facilitate the launch and monitoring of R&D&I pipelines that flow across time and space. To achieve this, WP7 will investigate state-of-the-art IT infrastructures needed for multi-partner, multi-site, multi-component industrial biotechnology projects and, when necessary, adapt this or develop new tools. Specifically, the work package will focus on the development of workflows written using interoperable language and their deployment within a Business Process Modelling environment that will produce auditable provenance of the results of their execution. Moreover, working with WP3 (standardisation and harmonisation), activities will investigate how to use rich metadata to describe and retain a common, related view of the various components of projects (e.g. workflows, data, models, SOPs, samples, people etc). Finally, the work package will also provide an online repository and portal for storing, sharing and launching workflows. Overall this work package is designed to demonstrate that workflows and their associated rich metadata are powerful mechanisms for collaboration and knowledge sharing, for the use of standardised protocols and harmonised procedures and for portable project execution and the acquisition of reproducible results.

WP8 - Consortium Coordination and Project Management

IBISBA 1.0 is a quite complex project with an extensive partnership. Therefore, good overall management will be central for success. In close cooperation with all WP leaders, the management team will ensure that project progress is in conformity with the work plan and that milestones and deliverables are achieved. Moreover, the management team will monitor the use of financial resources, ensure a good level of internal communication, and generally work within a framework of good managerial practice, applying EC rules and procedures.