Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre
The Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre is a partnership between the Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT,) and is co-located between these research institutes in Ireland. Shannon ABC applies bioprocessing to a variety of different source materials to derive added value from them in the area of biological products (e.g. anti-oxidants, anti-microbials, immunomodulators, value added food, waste optimisation, etc.)
Shannon ABC was established through core funding from Enterprise Ireland as an Applied Research Enhancement Centre and continues to enjoy support from this organisation as well as:
- Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland)
- Higher Education Authority
- Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology
- Technological Sector Research Strand I & III
- Food Institutional Research Measure
- Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Shannon ABC has a large multidisciplinary team of research scientists, highly experienced in the commercial application of science through industry collaboration. In addition to the identification of bioactive molecules through bioprocessing, Shannon ABC also provides a contract research facility to companies who wish to optimise scientific processes within their company.
In July 2010 Shannon ABC formed a strategic life sciences cluster with the Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) and the Ion Channel Biotechnology Centre (ICBC). This cluster was developed with the intention of providing further expertise to industry while taking advantage of complementary capabilities in the centres.
The key aim of Shannon ABC is to assist in the continued prosperity of industry by offering access to wide-ranging expertise and know how, state of the art equipment and facilities and access to a wide variety of national and international funding programmes.
Shannon ABC provides biotechnology services on a range of levels. Companies can use Enterprise Ireland funded schemes (such as Innovation Vouchers and Innovation Partnerships) to carry out research, or they can fund the work themselves as contract research.
Industry partners include those from a range of industries, including: Food, Agriculture, Marine, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare, Cosmetics, etc.
Funding from Enterprise Ireland for the initial period of existence of Shannon ABC provided for the development of niche expertise areas of the Centre, as well as providing for a critical mass of experienced, commercially focussed researchers. Initial waste streams that were mined included spent yeast, horse chestnut waste and fish waste. A further area of expertise includes investigation of raw materials, such as seaweed, for a variety of bioactive compounds.
From these core activities the Centre has developed a bioactivity screening process applicable to any natural waste process or product. In the absence of bioactivity, competencies within the Centre can be used to recommend other ways to add value to waste processes.
A key research, development and innovation area for Shannon ABC are bioactive molecules. Bioactive molecules are those derived from biological origin that exhibit an active effect, and can include anti-oxidants, immunomodulatory compounds, anti microbials, prebiotics, etc. Bioactive molecules are extracted by traditional solvent extraction techniques or by super critical fluid extraction. Activity can then be screened for and molecules of interest identified.
- "Case Studies: Whey and Sewage Processing on an Organic Farm". Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- Irish Examiner, Ray Ryan, Agribusiness Correspondent 27 April 2011
- "PMBRC partners with Shannon ABC and ICBC to form life sciences cluster". Pmbrc.org. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "O’Callaghan, M., Hall, M. and O’Connell S. (2010) A sustainable process for converting fish processing waste to a natural biocontrol agent. 20th Irish Environmental Researchers Colloquium, Environ 2010 17th to 19th February, Limerick Institute of Technology, p93. Abstract"
- "McMahon, H., Brebion, J., O’Connell, S., Tuohy, M. and Hall, M. (2010) Macro-algae and functional foods: Isolation and Evaluation of Oligosaccharides with Potential Prebiotic Activity. Proceedings of USA/Ireland Functional Food Conference 2010, "Dietary Optimisation of Gut Function and the Microbiota" 9–11 March 2010, Cork, Ireland, p43. Abstract"