Dr. Weerawat Runguphan granted to join Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) Program


Dr. Weerawat Runguphan, BIOTEC Researcher of Microbial Cell Factory Laboratory, Biodiversity and Biotechnical Resource Research Unit, has been selected to join the Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) Program 2017. Participating in this program will enable him to further develop his new technological innovation entitled “Yeast cells modified to produce the biofuel isobutanol and other higher alcohols” as well as to work on commercialization plan forward. During the 10-day training at the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom (UK), he will have the opportunity to be trained and mentored in topics covering core commercialization skills, business modelling, customer markets, negotiation, presentation/pitch training, operations and leadership, finance, IP and regulations from the expert mentors.

With the concern and vision to look towards renewable sources for fuels and other high-value chemicals, Dr. Weerawat and the Microbial Cell Factory Laboratory are establishing several microbial platforms to produce commercially relevant chemicals in a sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner. For each platform, they selected a yeast strain that is optimal for the production and accumulation of a specific intermediate. By harnessing advances in synthetic and systems biology, the selected strain is engineered to convert the intermediate into the corresponding high-value chemicals to serve various industries in Thailand. This work is expected to pave the way for an economical and environmentally friendly production platforms for bio-based chemicals.


The Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) program is targeted at researchers who are about to develop, or are in the process of developing, a business proposition for their innovation with the purposes to build the entrepreneurship capacity of researchers to help them commercialize innovations that address development challenges. This program is a part of the UK Newton Fund, curated by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) of the UK. In Thailand, the LIF program is delivered by the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) in collaboration with the NSTDA, as an international partnership of the UK Newton Fund.


Posted on January 25, 2017.