Industry and universities met to discuss how to use biotechnology to engineer a sustainable future

Friday 22 Nov 19

More than 250 participants from universities, organizations, and industry met last week at DTU to discuss how to use biotechnology to engineer a new sustainable future.

The Bioengineering in Food and Feed Production symposium held by DTU Bioengineering focused on biotechnology as a way of creating sustainable and non-harmful alternatives to antibiotics, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals used in modern food and feed production.

"With the symposium, we set out together to outline how biotechnology can be used to find and engineer sustainable alternatives. To do this, we have to collaborate and to combine our expertise and insights. We need efficient, economically sound, and sustainable bio-based alternatives."
DTU President, Anders Bjarklev

The aim was bringing universities and industry together, thereby laying the foundation for new collaborations that could lead to sustainable projects based on biotechnology. DTU President Anders Bjarklev said in his opening speech:

“With the symposium, we set out together to outline how biotechnology can be used to find and engineer sustainable alternatives. To do this, we have to collaborate and to combine our expertise and insights. We need efficient, economically sound, and sustainable bio-based alternatives.

The universities can carry out most of the basic research and spearhead the development of new technologies. Industry will transform this into transferable alternatives—one cannot do without the other.”

One company that was well represented at the symposium was Novozymes A/S, and Martin Simon Borchert, Director of Animal Health & Microbes AR at Novozymes A/S, agrees with Anders Bjarklev—the universities and industry need each other:

“The symposium reflects three of Novozymes’ biggest focus areas: Agriculture, animal health, and human health, which are a major part of our new strategy: ‘Better Business with Biology’. We need more basic research in these three areas, and we need academic partners like DTU.

Novozymes do serious work with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to bring new healthy and sustainable food to the growing world population. The symposium is a good way for us to see what’s happening with research at the universities and to enter into new partnerships.”

Innovation Fund Denmark was also represented by several participants. “We want to stay connected with our stakeholders, and it’s always exciting to get out and hear what people are passionate about. At the same time, it gives us an indication of what will happen in the future,” says Scientific Officer Thomas Mathiasen from Innovation Fund Denmark and adds: “If it turns out as expected, there will be big pools of funding for sustainable projects, and obviously those who should apply for those pools are those who can deliver the sustainable solutions.” 

The symposium is the first in a series of annual symposia where DTU Bioengineering brings industry and universities together and focuses on various aspects of biotechnological solutions to the challenges the world currently faces. Head of DTU Bioengineering Bjarke Bak Christensen says:

“With this the first symposium in a series, we’ve created the foundation for new interdisciplinary collaborations that focus on sustainable solutions based on biotechnology.

This year, we’re focusing on food and feed production, and next year we’ll look towards health with the symposium Life Science Engineering—Expanding the Therapeutic Space at DTU on 12 November. The symposium will focus on the discovery and development of new bioactive molecules for the development of new medicines.”

Register here to receive information about the 2020 symposium

The participants at the symposium, which was held at DTU November 13, came from 23 different companies and 9 universities and organizations.

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https://www.bioengineering.dtu.dk/english/news/nyhed?id=AED0D761-846B-442E-B001-52C1AD8BA66A
12 DECEMBER 2019