WE CONTRIBUTE TO ENERGY PRODUCTION
WITH INNOVATIVE ALGAE RESEARCH
In times of climate change, environmental protection and resource preservation are becoming increasingly important. Innovations and alternative concepts for common processes are necessary and essential, to reduce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxid (CO2). SolarBioproducts Ruhr (Sbp) concentrates on biological alternatives for common chemical processes. The research focus is on microalgae. The repertoire comprises the bioeconomical production of hydrogen (H2), the generation of chemical substances, the isolation of enzymes, thus generating high value products like vaccines and pigments and much more.
Sbp strives for applying the research results into industry. Here, the team focuses on the transfer of basic research into applied research. Long-term aim of Sbp is the establishment of a scientific competence center for algal biotechnology in the city of Herne, thus laying the foundation for research within the field of renewable energy and ecological products.
Initiated by the Business Development Agency Herne and Prof. Dr. Thomas Happe, the leader of the Photobiotechnology group of Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), the application-based project Sbp combines research with economy. The official start of the project was in June 2015 when Sbp moved into the project office at the Innovation and Business Incubation center. The coordinating team opens up new biotechnological application fields, develops innovative project ideas for the investigation of microalgae, establishes new contacts with partners from industry and research and assists with raising external funds.
Competence center for algal biotechnology
An important aim of Sbp is the integration of Herne into the scientific location metropolis Ruhr. Not least, a research-oriented competence center is ought to be an educational institution for young scientists. Sbp evaluates the financing and the necessary constructional requirements to establish a laboratory at the location Herne.
Research location Herne
Herne has about 156,000 inhabitants, it is the geographical center of the metropolis Ruhr and has a lot to offer: apart from the second largest funfair in Germany – the Cranger Kirmes – there are as well many cultural and sports activities in Herne, like for example the LWL Museum of Archaeology, the Flottmannhallen and the Gysenberg park.
Research cooperations, contract research, third-party funding projects – SolarBioproducts Ruhr (Sbp) is active in versatile ways. Within the scope of biotechnology, Sbp together with partners from economy, industry and research develops ideas and draft proposals for (inter)national calls and contests, coordinates external funding projects, organizes workshops and (inter)national conferences and meetings and is the person in charge for contract work.
Science for Life
The Photobiotechnology group of Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB) has long-standing expertise within the field of green biotechnology, especially in the enzymatic production of hydrogen and chemical substances by means of microalgae. As co-initiator of SolarBioproducts Ruhr, the Photobiotechnology team is available for scientific issues about the topics microalgae and biotechnology.
More and more, China comes to the fore of the German economy and science. The alignment to the emergent economic and scientific power is an advantage in many ways. Currently, no other country invests so much money in research and development. Together with the Photobiotechnology group, SolarBioproducts Ruhr also orients towards China. SolarBioproducts Ruhr jointly developed the plan to establish a “Sino-German lab for algae bioenergy” with its Chinese partners of the Single Cell Center of the Qingdao Institute for BioEnergy and Bioprocess Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-QIBEBT).
SolarBioproducts Ruhr brings the laboratory into focus. What are microorganisms and where can we find them? How can enzymes facilitate our daily life? And how much energy does an algae have?
Highly efficient energy producer
The co-initiator of the project SolarBioproducts Ruhr, Prof. Dr. Thomas Happe, together with his team of 20 scientists, investigates fundamental scientific questions about biochemistry, genetics and biotechnology of photosynthetic microorganisms. Here, enzymes and the interaction of different metabolisms of microalgae are of great interest.