DTU Biosustain gets 15.7m EUR to commercialise fermentation research

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has granted 15.7 million EUR for the establishment of a fermentation plant at DTU Biosustain. The plant will accelerate the production of sustainable chemicals and medicine and bring research one big step closer to industrial use.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, DTU Biosustain, has been granted 15.7 million euros to construct and operate a fermentation pre-pilot plant. The new grant will bring research one big step closer to industrial use.

With the facility, researchers will be able to scale up from small tubes and flasks to 30 litre tanks in order to predict how the biological workhorses – cell factories – will perform at large scale. Furthermore, the aim is to optimise the purification processes in order to more effectively isolate the product from the cell mass.

“Even if you have developed a cell line that is very productive in small scale, there is no guarantee that the cells will perform equally well in large industrial bioreactors. For us it is a question of being able to mature the fermentation technology and make it ready for industry,” said CEO of DTU Biosustain Bernhard Palsson.

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LED screens, food nutrients and cancer drugs

Cell factories can produce a broad spectrum of molecules, for instance chemicals for LED screens, important food nutrients and vitamins, or cancer drugs.

Today, up to 40 percent of Denmark’s so-called gross value added (GVA) is produced in fermentation processes; biochemical processes initiated by microorganisms. Around 38,000 people are employed in the fermentation industry in Denmark.

Academic research centres in Greater Copenhagen

  • NNF Foundation Center for Biosustainability. Develops technologies to facilitate the transformation from an oil-based chemical industry to a sustainable bio-based society, in which chemicals are produced biologically. Based at the Technical University of Denmark.
  • NNF Center for Protein Research. Promotes basic and applied discovery research on human proteins of medical relevance. Based at University of Copenhagen.
  • Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem). Basic research for the development of new therapies for diabetes and cancer. Based at the University of Copenhagen.
  • NFF Center for Metabolic Research. Research on human metabolism for the development of strategies to tackle, prevent and cure diabetes and obesity. Based at the University of Copenhagen.

How can we help you?

If you want to know more about Greater Copenhagen’s life science industry, please contact Business Development Manager – Life Science, Ann-Sofie Andersson, via email: asa@copcap.com or phone: 0045 29 39 68 09.

(Source: The Technical University of Denmark)