13-02-2012: The international “BlueCompetition” science contest for optimizing bioprocess analysis has come to a conclusion, and it is now clear who the winning workgroups from the various universities are.
In the end, the scientific jury viewed Stephan Hüttel from the Institute for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Saarland, working under Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller, as having taken the lead. In his project, Hüttel examined selected myxobacteria strains which are suitable for use in producing pharmaceutical agents. These bacteria can, for example, be used for manufacturing antibiotics and substances for combating cancer. This involves feeding the microorganisms with nutrients under controlled conditions so that they produce the active substances. The study was able to demonstrate that targeted waste gas analysis by BlueSens allowed a fully-automatic, semi-continuous production process to be implemented. “This makes it conceivable that important medications will be able to be manufactured in future with better controls and for less money using the helpful myxobacteria”, as Dr. Holger Müller, one of the managing directors of BlueSens, explains.
The competition's independent assessment committee comprised Prof. Dr. Lars Blank from RWTH Aachen, Prof. Dr. Gesine Cornelissen from HAW Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Eiden from FH-Recklinghausen and last but not least, Prof. Jean Francois Hamel from MIT. The Saarland-based institute received prize money totaling €5,000 from the organizing company, BlueSens.
Second place was awarded to the group under Junior Professor Dr. Ing. Ezequiel Franco-Lara and Florian David from the Institute for Bioprocess technology at TU Braunschweig, who had also been studying pharmaceutical bioprocess optimization. The Hungarian workgroup under Péter Bakonyi, Nándor Nemestóthy and Dr. Katalin Bélafi-Bakó from the Research Institute on Bioengineering, Membrane Technology and Energetics at the University of Pannonia made third place with their analysis of continuous biohydrogen production.
The international science competition BlueCompetition has been held for the first time. This year, the BlueCompetition will continue with a new round of entrants, with immediate effect.