AROUND 30 jobs have been created at the University of Southampton as it launches a multi-million pound research scheme next month.

Research and operations staff will be joined by PhD students to bring new technology to a variety of industries, aimed at tackling biofilms.

A biofilm is any group of bacteria that sticks together, producing a natural gel that protects them from their environment, which can include antibiotics and immune systems.

It means that biofilms can stop wounds from healing, and they are estimated to cost the NHS £2 billion per year in solving the problem.

The University of Southampton is leading a new £26 million project with other universities in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Nottingham to work on new technologies in these industries, such as health, to be able to harness and break down the biofilms.

Principal investigator, professor Jeremy Webb, of the University of Southampton, said: "The UK is home to some of the most advanced research and commercial opportunities for the exploitation of biofilms, so combining our talents gives us the best opportunity to establish a national and international agenda to tackle some of the world's biggest challenges."

Of the £26 million investment, around £8 million will stay in Southampton, with £1 million a year going to companies bidding for technology to bring it closer to market.

The project starts on Friday (December 1) and runs an estimated five years.