With a grant of DKK 700 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) will open a new research centre for biotechnology on January 1, 2011. The centre will create knowledge on how surplus biomass can effectively be used to produce useful chemicals – ranging from pharmaceuticals to biofuel. The research will focus on elucidating how to use bacteria and fungi to reduce dependence on the oil-based chemical industry.
- A concentrated effort of this magnitude enables Danish biotechnological research to make a quantum leap forward and supports the development of a more sustainable society. From a global perspective, the new research centre is a key strategic endeavour that will benefit society both economically and environmentally, states Lars Pallesen president of DTU.
- The centre has the potential to generate ground-breaking results and new scientists, forming the basis for green growth, many new Danish jobs and strong export opportunities, says chairman of the Novo Nordisk Foundation board, dr. techn. Ulf J Johansson. He adds:
- We are proud that DTU has put together a “dream team” of six excellent researchers to lead this research effort, where different disciplines are now united to collaborate in one physical centre.
The centre will be headed by an internationally leading authority in his field, professor Bernhard Palsson, from the University of California San Diego, USA. Professor Palsson has an impressive publication and patent track record within a wide range of bioengineering and biotechnological fields and is known as an exceptionally talented research leader. The centre will have satellites revolving around technological platforms at both Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. From the outset, the centre will be unique on the international scene by accomplishing a true integration of research in molecular biology, mathematical modelling, bioinformatics, and fermentation technology.