University of Milano-Bicocca
The scientific team of the University of Milano-Bicocca (Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences) is composed of about 50 docents of the Master degree in Biotechnology and in Biological Sciences, plus administrative and technical personnel. The Department, founded in 1999, combines many different expertise both in the area of base and applied research, conducting researches in the area of industrial biotechnologies, bio-structure, bio-systems and bioprocesses. A dedicated biotechnology facility called “Biotechnicum” (Bicocca Biotechnicum Centre, BBC) is aimed at the development of proprietary industrial strains, fermentation and bioconversion processes for the production of proteins, metabolites and enzymes.
The Centre is fully equipped with different fermentative units and instrumentations for the downstream recovery of the products. The team has earlier been engaged in the production of heterologous proteins, fine and bulk chemicals, including biofuels, from metabolically engineered conventional and non-conventional yeasts and bacteria, for more than 20 years. They have participated to European FP VII, NEMO (Novel high performance enzymes and micro-organisms for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol) and BIOGESTECA (national ongoing project looking over the production of biofuels from renewable biomasses). Another research laboratory of the Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences is ZooPlantLab® (http://www.zooplantlab.btbs.unimib.it) coordinated by Massimo Labra and Maurizio Casiraghi. The laboratory is equipped with a genomics platform for the analysis of food matrices (fresh foods, processed products, animal feed) and chemical instruments for the characterization of the ingredients/contaminants present in food products. Thanks to this platform the research group of ZooPlantLab® developed several research projects on food quality, in collaboration with regional, national and international (i.e. USA, Iran, Spain) authorities or with private entities (Coop, Coldiretti).
University of Insubria
University of Insubria (Varese) was founded in 1998; the project partner is the Research Unit in Animal Sciences and Technologies of the Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences (DBSV). The department consists of 53 scientists affiliated in 3 different research areas (i.e. biology, biotechnology and biomedicine) including the Biological Sciences and Technologies section, with 23 scientists attending. In this last group, the Research Unit in Animal Sciences and Technologies affords studies on Aquaculture with biotechnological, molecular and nutraceutical approaches. Research facilities comprehend a water recirculation pilot farm: the total water volume of the system is 25 m3. Other facilities of the Biological Sciences and Technologies Research Unit are distributed in a laboratory block equipped with equipment for histology, microbiology, functional genomics and proteomics.
The scientific experience in the field of fish nutrition is documented by several international project collaborations. The research group of University of Insubria has also developed research programs and technologies in collaboration with aquaculture companies. University of Insubria collaborates with several Italian and European fish farms; as an example in Lombardy Region the group works together with the most of the largest trout farms to improve fish quality.
FEM2-Ambiente was founded in 2010 as a spin-off of the University of Milano-Bicocca and operates mainly in research and development in biotechnology, with a constant attention to environmental aspects. The company has its roots in the University research and work with the aim to transfer the results into concrete products and services, efficient and innovative. FEM2-Ambiente currently deals with the delivery of services in different sectors and is presented to the market also as a key partner to help its customers solve unconventional issues through research and advanced development, making use of experts in various disciplines and through wide network of institutional and business partners.