In order to tackle the climate challenge, the only sustainable and efficient solution is to alter the current economic system, shifting it towards a bio-based economy. Therefore, we need to explore new pathways, such as industrial biotechnology, which globally avoids the creation of 33 million tonnes of CO2 each year through various applications.
In spite of their microscopic dimensions, the effects of microorganisms on their surroundings are quite significant. For this reason, “Industrial Biotechnology: Engineering with Life”, is a “showcase” of how different and surprising microscopic life forms may be useful at the macroscale, either as intervenients in industrial processes or as sources of economically valuable products, like bioplastics. In fact, microorganisms are becoming increasingly widespread in industry, so as to account for the continuous need for greener and more efficient solutions.

Garabed Antranikian

Technische Universität Hamburg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Garabed Antranikian is the current president of the Hamburg University of Technology, in Germany (TUHH), since 2011. He has a background in Microbiology and is one of the most well-known and respected academics in the world studying extremophiles. Dr. Garabed is an expert in physiology, metabolism and application of extremophilic microorganisms (thermophilic, psychrophilic, alkali- and acidophilic bacteria and archaea) and their enzymes. In the 8th Symposium on Bioengineering, his talk will focus on the industrial applications of these extremophiles and extremozymes, with the goal of achieving a sustainable biobased industry.

Filomena Freitas

Dr. Filomena Freitas, Senior Researcher at the Biochemical Engineering Group (BIOENG), at UCIBIO-REQUIMTE, FCT NOVA, will adress the topic “Production of microbial biopolymers”. Her theme was awarded for the most innovative project at the Solvay&Hovione Ideas Challenge Prize (2008). The use of low-cost agro-food or industrial wastes and by-products (e.g. cheese whey, molasses, glycerol byproduct, used cooking oil, etc.) as substrates for bacterial cultivation is being investigated as a strategy to lower production costs of several microbial products.

José A. Teixeira

Universidade do Minho, Portugal
José António Teixeira is currently Full Professor at the Biological Engineering Department, University of Minho (since 2000). He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Porto (1980) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering also from University of Porto (1988). He has been involved in different management activities, being Head of the Department of Biological Engineering, Univ. Minho, 2000 -2012 and Head of Biological Engineering Research Centre, 2012-2015.
His main research interests are Industrial Biotechnology (bioprocess development for the transformation of lignocellulosic materials into 2nd generation bioethanol and chemicals; valorisation of agro-industrial residues; bioreactor development including new design bioreactors and continuous processing) and Food Biotechnology (non-conventional food processing; edible films for packaging; process development for production of prebiotics).