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There is currently no coordinated activity for industrial biotechnology in Slovakia.
Who is there?
- Evonik Fermas, a subsidiary of Evonik Germany, produce l-threonine and l-tryprophan through IB processes and have a pilot plant for the IB production of ω- amino lauric acid (which can be used in high performance plastics) in Slovenská Ľupča.
- Axxence Slovakia is a subsidiary of the German company Axxence and was formed from LiAxx Biotech and Monoprix Bratislava. They focus on the production of natural aroma ingredients through fermentation and biocatalysis and target the flavour and fragrance industry.
- Biotika in Slovenská Ľupča focusses on the production of antibiotics and amino acids (L-lysine) using IB and was founded in 1953.
- Heineken for the production of beers and lagers.
- Azoterr.o. produce microorganisms which act as fertilisers.
- Enviral significant producer of bioethanol from maize.
- GVTV have expertise in industrial ecology and use and treatment of wastes.
Slovak Association for Industrial Biotechnology was established in 2005 and as of 2014 reportedly had more than 25 members and partners. The association brings together the main actors in Industrial Biotechnology in Slovakia, acting as a platform for linking industry with academia and lobbying for government support for biotech and in particular industrial biotechnology.
The main centre of academic expertise in industrial biotechnology in Slovakia appears to be at the Slovak University of Technology where there are several areas of interest:
- Centre for Excellence for Industrial Biotechnology is dedicated to research into the production of pre-biotics.
- Laboratory of Bioprocess Engineering for development and optimisation of bioprocesses and separation technologies.
Other Industrial Biotechnology relevant Associations and Networks
Examples to watch
Energochemica, a petrochemical company, are developing a biorefinery at the Chemko a.s. site in Strazske which will use biomass for the production of heat, power, ethanol, ethylene and ethylene oxide. The plant is expected to be operational in 2017, and will bring 100 jobs to the area. Partners include Biochemtex and Novozymes.
There is currently a lack of stable and systematic funding for R&D in Slovakia for industrial biotechnology. However, EU structural funds have helped improve the infrastructure for IB at several institutions.
Slovakia has a long term history in industrial biotechnology, focussed mainly on biopharmaceutical and fragrance applications. More recently, more modern applications for IB are appearing in Slovakia. There is a need for more visibility in the sector, and a more coherent support from Government.
Documents and links
- Current Status of Biotechnology in Slovakia Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 2013
- Industrial Biotechnology – Opportunities for Research, Development and Production of Speciality Chemicals. Milan Polakovic, 2014.