NBIB15008U Microbial Biotechnology

Volume 2020/2021

BSc Programme in Biology
BSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine


The course focusses on the use of microorganisms in biotechnological processes. This includes prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms as factories of industrial enzymes, bioenergy and pharmaceuticals, as well as the use of microorganisms to improve food and to remove contaminants from water and soil. The students will obtain knowledge on the methods used to improve microbial strains, products and processes in biotechnology. In addition, we will introduce to innovation processes as students develop and pitch their own idea relevant to microbial biotechnology. The course covers the following topics:

  • Basic microbial physiology
  • Industrial strain improvement
  • Optimization of microbial products and biotechnological processes
  • Bioengineering of phototrophic microorganisms
  • Production of industrial enzymes
  • Bioenergy production
  • Production of pharmaceuticals, e.g. antibiotics, relevant to microbial biotechnology
  • Starter cultures, mainly in food industry
  • Bioremediation of contaminated water and soil
  • Property rights and patenting
  • Innovation processes and entrepreneurship
Learning Outcome

The course aims to give students insight into and understanding of areas of microbial biotechnology research and provide background information on the molecular and microbiological methods, which are prerequisites for this research. With the students own involvement in the classes, we expect that students will acquire the ability to participate in public discussion of related topics.

Knowledge :

  • Selected areas of research within microbial biotechnology
  • Selected biotechnological processes related to microorganisms
  • Danish biotechnology companies and their focus areas
  • Innovation processes and entrepreneurship

Skills :

  • Perform oral presentation of topics in microbial biotechnology
  • Analyse scientific articles on microbial biotechnology
  • Perform innovation processes

Competences :

  • Assess selected areas of research within microbial biotechnology
  • Assess selected biotechnological processes related to microorganisms
Most of the teaching is lectures, discussion classes, and excursions involving selected Danish biotech companies. In addition, the course includes a pitch session, where students will develop and pitch their own biotech idea. This involves supervised brainstorming, pitch training by a professional pitch coach, supervision of group work on the selected idea (and use of literature selected by the group and the supervisor), and lastly pitching by students of the idea. The textbook is Schmid & Schmidt-Dannert (2016) Biotechnology – An Illustrated Primer. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany. A selection of scientific papers will complement the textbook.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 164,5
  • Theory exercises
  • 8
  • Excursions
  • 5
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Total
  • 206,0
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15-20 minutes, no preparation time
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

The same as the ordinary exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.