CIC2021 – NRW supports the scaling of biotechnological processes with a Bio Scale-Up Center NRW and strengthens German-Canadian cooperation

Highlights of the CIC Hybrid Event on 29 July in Düsseldorf

With the announcement of support for a Bio Scale-Up Center NRW in the amount of 30 million EUR and the signing of a MoU between IDE Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada and CLIB, the CIC event series came to a close yesterday. For the final hybrid event of the CLIB International Conference, CLIB invited interested participants both to the Lindner Congress Hotel in Düsseldorf and to the screens.

During the all-day event, which was chaired by Tatjana Schwabe-Marković, the topics of scaling up biotechnological processes, the use of biotechnological processes in the textile industry and closing the plastics cycle were discussed.

Professor Volker Wendisch from Bielefeld University presented the results of 4 years of joint work in the CLIB Competence Centre Biotechnology (CKB) in his keynote speech. In this joint project of the universities of Bielefeld, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Forschungszentrum Jülich, the topics of resource efficiency, raw materials, health and open innovation were worked on and the approach of accelerating the path from “gene and enzyme” to “process and product” was successfully pursued.

The topic of scaling biotechnological processes ran through a series of presentations, starting with the contribution by Timo-Johannes Koch (Pfeifer und Langen / Savanna Ingredients), who impressively presented the challenges of successfully scaling up a corresponding process internally for the food industry. Frank Emde from Frings then took the audience through the various process engineering aspects required for successful scaling of biotechnological processes. Professor Patrice Mangin from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières focused in his contribution on the economic perspective for a successful demonstration and commercialisation of biobased concepts. To this end, he presented two examples of Canadian projects for bio-based fuel and hydrogen production.

As a representative of the organisation Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières (IDE Trois-Rivières), Patrice Mangin signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after his presentation, which was signed on the CLIB side by the Vice Chairman of the Board Roland Breves (Henkel). This MoU documents the future cooperation between the two organisations to promote the bioeconomy in Germany and Canada and to initiate cooperation projects between the two countries. For this purpose, a virtual CLIB office was opened yesterday at IDE in Trois-Rivières.

Roland Breves underlined: “IDE Trois-Rivières and CLIB share the same vision of the bioeconomy and see great synergies and complementary expertise in both countries. We want to use these to initiate joint projects and initiatives to realise our vision.”

Professor Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia welcomed this German-Canadian cooperation and emphasised in his presentation the high relevance of process scaling for overcoming the valley of death in the successful market entry of new technologies. In order to overcome this, the state of NRW is providing 30 million euros for the establishment of a Bio Scale-Up Centre NRW. A project to design this infrastructure is currently being carried out by CLIB with partners from North Rhine-Westphalian industry.

 

Cluster manager Dennis Herzberg emphasised: “We see a great need for scaling biotechnological processes to high TRL and volumes both in NRW and throughout Germany and with our partners in the EU. With the Bio Scale-Up Center NRW, we want to establish an infrastructure to close this gap in process development, working in partnership with existing pilot plants in Europe.”

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