National workshop to help gain fermentation skills

    The CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) conducted a five-day workshop on the Fundamentals of Fermentation Process Development. The workshop immensely helped participants acquire fundamental understanding of the relationship between process design and product quality in fermentation. Twenty one participants from different academic and research institutes of the country as well as from industry were part of this workshop, which started from January 13 and concluded on January 17. Officials believe this workshop, apart from building the knowledge base of participants on the subject, would help increase employability and entrepreneurial potential of the participants in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

    Dr. Anirban Roy Choudhury, the co-ordinator of the workshop, said that the participants of the workshop were engaged in hands-on training in pilot-scale fermenters. The participants were exposed to critical process parameters required to achieve a robust fermentation process. The major topics covered during the workshop included microbial cell growth and product formation kinetics, the critical components of an industrial bioreactor, and scale-up and downstream processing of fermentation processes. The participants were mentored by the experts in the area of biochemical engineering.

    The workshop was organized by the Biochemical Engineering Research and Process Development Centre (BERPDC) under its ‘Skill Development’ mandate to impart and upgrade skills of the young researchers and students in the area of Fermentation Technology.

    Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur, who was also the Chief Guest for the occasion, inaugurated the workshop on January 13 and Prof U. C. Banerjee, Head, Pharmaceutical Technology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, gave the inaugural lecture on “Mass transfer in bioreactors”.

    Dr Manoj Raje, Acting Director, CSIR-IMTECH, while welcoming the participants gave a brief background of CSIR-IMTECH & BERPDC and said, “The major objective of the workshop will be to impart training on fermentation principles and engineering fundamentals of growing microorganisms in a bioreactor to express industrially important biomolecules.”

    CSIR-IMTECH is a national centre for excellence in microbial sciences and was established in 1984. IMTECH’s vision is to discover and develop translational products and new drugs to address key unmet medical needs.