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Biofilms, i.e. communities of microorganisms that attach and grow on a solid surface, cause about 80% of infections in humans, and disinfectants rarely succeed in destroying them. They cost European economy billions of euros annually. The BREAK BIOFILMS Training Network aims to solve this issue by training the next generation leaders. They will understand the (bio)physicochemical mechanisms of biofilm formation, be able to produce technology for detecting and identifying biofilm formation with extreme sensitivity, and develop next generation biocides for preventing and destroying biofilms in industrial and biomedical areas.
This integrated strategy from biofilm detection to destruction that builds on key innovations from the partner labs, is globally distinctive and promises significant progress. The graduates will be ideally placed to enter and support existing European industry across a number of different sectors (biomedical, food, antimicrobials). Additionally, they will also be capable of creating new businesses thanks to a combination of in depth training in entrepreneurship and direct experience of establishing and running a virtual company as part of the training network. Beyond the trained researchers, this project will produce technologies that will enhance the productivity of European industries, create intellectual property with a strong probability of commercialization and improve the health and well-being of European citizens by minimizing infection rates and the inappropriate use of ineffective biocides that is leading to resistance.