BIO-3610 Industrial Biotechnology - 10 stp
A bachelor's degree in biotechnology, marine biotechnology or equivalent education.
Required background in biotechnology:
- Basic biology, chemistry, cell and molecular biology and organic chemistry (1000 level, 1st-2nd year).
- In-depth specialisation must also have been undertaken at the 2000 level (2nd-3rd year), as a minimum, in chemistry/biochemistry (min. 10 credits), microbiology (min. 10 credits) and molecular biology/methods in molecular biology (min. 10 credits).
The course covers various marine biomolecules (proteins/peptides, enzymes, marine lipids and carbohydrates) that can be used industrially. Fundamental technical issues, and the industrial processes and biotechnology involved in the processing of marine raw materials, are studied. An introduction will be given to large-scale industrial biotechnological plant and the challenges posed by this scale of production.
Examples from interesting current projects in research and industry will be used to introduce the research that underlies production processes. The teaching includes company visits, for example to Nordic Pharma and Biotec Pharmacon. The students will also become acquainted with a company (Marealis) that develops bioactive peptides from prawn shells, which have a blood-pressure lowering effect.
The lab courses will include assignments relevant to the industrial processes the students will be acquainted to during the lectures. The laboratory teaching is carried out under tutorial supervision and suitable protective equipment/precautions such as gloves, coats, working under closed hoods etc. are mandatory. Challenges posed by scaling-up production methods from lab to pilot and then industrial scale are studied, including a good introduction to the processes that may be involved, in Nofima's new bio-process plant (Biotep) in Kaldfjorden outside Tromsø.
In practice, the plant is a small factory capable of handling a variety of marine raw materials. At the Biotep plant, high-technology businesses can receive help with transfering research results from the laboratories, to produce products on a small industrial scale.
The objective in biotechnological production of various kinds is to ensure knowledge-based industrial development. The emphasis is on optimising and improving utilisation of the (residual) raw material in a manner that adds value to the product and is sustainable.
On successful completion of the course, students will have achieved the following learning outcomes:
Knowledge and understanding. The candidate
- has advanced knowledge about processes for putting to use molecules with unique characteristics
- understands industrial biotechnological exploitation of marine raw materials
- has a thorough understanding of marine molecules such as proteins/peptides, lipids and carbohydrates.
- understands how the raw materials are generated in the industry, the importance of them being handled correctly to ensure good quality and how this in turn affects the end product.
- knows that there are challenges, both research-wise and financial, in creating an expanding bio-economic industry
- has advanced knowledge of current R&D issues and the related commercial potential, especially in marine biotechnology
- understands industrial bio-processes and the challenges involved in scaling up from laboratory to industrial scale.
Skills. The candidate
- has a theoretical and practical understanding of the different stages in an industrial biotechnological process
- is knowledgeable about the application of the end products
- possesses both individual and teamwork skills, and
- has the skills to carry out a laboratory assignment and compile the results in a report
Expertise. The candidate
- can describe processes for utilising residual marine raw materials and the application of the products.
- has knowledge of Tromsø's local biotechnological industries and their products
Home assignment. Marked with letter grades A - F, where F is fail.
Work requirements: Admission to the exam requires attendance on the laboratory course and an approved laboratory report.
Re-sit: Students who did not pass the previous ordinary examination in this subject are entitled to a resit.