The course will cover several valuable biomolecules (proteins/peptides, enzymes, marine lipids and carbohydrates) that can be produced industrially from marine sources. Fundamental technical issues, and the industrial biotechnology processes involved in the processing of marine raw materials, are studied. An introduction will be given to large-scale industrial biotechnological plant and the different challenges posed when scaling up to industrial levels. Aspects of the industrialization challenges to be covered are: documentation of products and processes, the importance of good quality systems, possible regulatory constraints, as well as customer demands.
Examples from interesting local industry will be used to introduce the research and challenges that underlies the different production processes. The teaching includes a variety of company visits and company lectures, for example 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 and several other relevant biotech companies depending on their availability during the semester.
Challenges posed by scaling-up production methods from lab to pilot and ultimately industrial scale, are studied. This includes a good introduction to the processes that may be involved at Nofima's bioprocessing 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 from all over the country can receive help with transferring research results from the laboratories, to produce products on a small industrial scale.
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.
The objective in biotechnological production of various kinds is to ensure knowledge-based industrial development. The emphasis will be on optimising and continuously improving and expanding utilisations of raw material in a manner that adds value to the product and can provide sustainable ingredients and products to the market.
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
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).
BIO-2606 General and marine biotechnology