Tuesday, 27 October: Pre-Conference Workshops

EFIB 2015 will bring you 2 pre-conference workshops, taking place the day prior to the main conference, and finishing in time for all participants to make their way to the welcome reception in the exhibition area

Workshop 1: Enzyme engineering, organised by OPTIBIOCAT (10-5pm)

The EU-project OPTIBIOCAT uses enzyme engineering techniques to develop energy-efficient and eco-friendly biocatalysts which aim to replace chemical techniques currently used for the production of cosmetics.

At this full day workshop, scientists and industry experts will discuss new developments in enzyme technology and biocatalysis and will especially put an emphasis on emerging technologies and focus on the practical aspects.

Background: OPTIBIOCAT  is backed by around €7 million of EU funding under the FP7-programme and brings together a broad interdisciplinary team of researchers, academics and industry experts, with 16 partners from Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland covering the entire development process, from genome and microbial mining to application. Most prominent industry partner is Greek natural cosmetics producer Korres. The four-year project will replace resource and energy-intensive chemical processes currently used in the cosmetic industry through discovering and optimising novel enzymatic biocatalysts. The OPTIBIOCAT researchers will develop highly effective biocatalysts, requiring fewer steps in the production of components as well as lower-temperatures compared to those of chemical processes. The novel biocatalysts will be based on feruloyl acid esterases (FAEs) and glucuronyl esterases (GEs) for the production of phenolic fatty- and sugar-esters with antioxidant activity. They will also be tested for potential in other products with improved biological activity. FAEs and GEs will be improved by site-directed mutagenesis and directed evolution and the project also aims to mine for completely new FAEs and GEs genes from available genomes, improving the efficiency of fermentation/production and stabilising both the enzyme formulations and the life cycle of the biocatalysts.

Taking place from 10-5pm, tickets are available from €549 - register your interest now

Workshop 2: Mapping the potential of a waste-based bioeconomy (2-5.30pm)

 Exploring the opportunities for using waste as a feedstock for the manufacture of chemicals, energy and fuels.

The 2014 House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Third Report “Waste or resource? Stimulating a bioeconomy” highlights a significant market for using waste to make “green” (renewable) chemicals, already estimated at $57bn worldwide and forecast to rise to $83 billion by 2018.  The UK Government’s subsequent report ‘Building a high value bioeconomy – opportunities from waste, March 2015’ states, “One such opportunity is the potential to convert underutilised wastes into high value products. As an alternative to virgin materials, wastes could provide sustainable resources for the bioeconomy” . Producing the energy, fuels and chemicals required to support modern life from waste derived feedstocks not only presents an economic opportunity for many countries, but provides a potential low carbon alternative to what are traditionally petrochemical, virgin material or finite resource based activities.  The potential market size for such bio-based products is enormous with the USDA estimating 10% chemical market penetration in 2015 with ultimately 50,000 eco-products representing a global market value of $1 trillion and the creation of over 200,000 jobs in the US alone.  In the EU it has been suggested that each euro invested in EU-funded bioeconomy research and innovation is estimated to enable €10 of value added in bioeconomy sectors by 2025.

In this workshop we will use invited talks and open discussions to explore the opportunities to use waste as a feedstock and with special reference to the manufacture of higher value chemicals as well as energy products, and to future bio-refineries. Case studies will cover different feedstocks drawn from different stages in the food supply chain and the use of different bio- and chem-technologies for extraction and conversion.  The workshop will be led by James Clark, Chair of the EU COST Action Network on Food Supply Chain Waste Valorisation.

Speakers to be announced in June.

Taking place from 2-5.30pm, tickets are available from €349

Register your interest in either of these workshops here