Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology uses Electric bacteria, which directly consume any sugars or other nutrients from waste and produce electricity. This novel technology is a promising alternative to other technologies for producing energy from biomass and treating wastewater. The technology is also useful for other applications such as medical and biosensors. The area is a combination of many disciplines like, engineering, microbiology and materials and there are no specialist educational courses to cover this multidisciplinary topic.
BRIDGE will develop multidisciplinary post-graduate courses and a research program to train young engineering and microbiology researchers to be competent in the field of MFC. In the existing graduate programs special courses do not exist that teach microbiology fundamentals to engineering students and engineering principles to students from microbiology. It is also important that students are taught about technology development pathways from scientific studies in the lab to prototype, so that real progress is made in this field.
Currently, no significant MFC research activity exists in Norway. BRIDGE involves experts from India, Russia, and USA, who will develop special master level and doctoral level courses and support to establish a Virtual Education and Research Centre of MFC at UiT. During the five-year, joint post graduate courses, student projects, summer schools and workshops and training in innovation and entrepreneurship will be organised which will prepare researchers from different fields who can develop MFC applications for societal and environmental benefits.
Webinars and workshops for industry and the public will also be organised to share project results and information about the commercial potential and environmental benefits of this new technology. We believe BRIDGE can contribute towards positioning Norway as one of the leaders in this fast-emerging field, which may lead to high tech startups as well.
BRIDGE focuses on developing a multidisciplinary post graduate education and research program to train young researchers to be competent in the emerging field of microbial fuel cell technology (MFC).
MFCs use enzymatic or microbial bio-catalysts to convert chemical energy directly to electricity and the technology is a promising alternative to existing technologies for many applications such as energy production from biomass, wastewater treatment, medical and biosensors and so on. However, despite the applicability of MFC technology, the route from scientific studies in the lab, technology development and to prototyping is complex and long. It is a truly multidisciplinary field requiring an integrated approach but research programs or special courses do not exist that teach microbiology fundamentals to the technologists and material scientists or engineering principles to the microbiologists that prepare specialists that contribute real progress in this technology for practical applications. Experts in this emerging field are few and far between. Currently, no significant MFC research activity is present in Norway. UiT research team has recently been engaged in MFC research and BRIDGE will further consolidate these activities. The supporting actions by involving experts from three continents will develop a Virtual Education and Research Centre of MFC at UiT. Other activities, joint post graduate courses, student projects, summer schools and workshops and training in innovation and entrepreneurship will prepare researchers from different fields who can develop MFC applications for societal and environmental benefits. Dissemination activities of BRIDGE will take the project outcome beyond academic and research communities to reach the potential stakeholders of the technology. MFC technology has commercial potential and it is believed that BRIDGE can contribute towards positioning Norway as one of the leaders in this fast emerging field.
INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research