A new microbial bioprocessing facility which has been opened at Dublin City University (DCU) will power new innovations in food, agrifood and drug production. The new facility, which is based in the School of Biotechnology, Lonsdale Building on DCU’s Glasnevin Campus, will enable the development of food, agrifood and drug production methods through the application of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) from bench to pilot-scale bioprocesses. The facility was part of a DCU/European Investment Bank €400,000 investment to the School of Biotechnology and contains a full bench-top to pilot-scale microbial bioprocessing development equipment including bioreactors, brewing systems, online advanced monitoring tools, industrial separation systems, and advanced chromatography systems. This will facilitate its unique ability to provide scale-up and scale-down studies by applying process engineering to monitor and control processes from 1.5 L to 130 L pilot productions. Professor Daire Keogh, deputy president of DCU, performed the official opening duties and was joined by members of DCU’s academic community and representatives from various industry partners.

Part of a €5.6m bioeconomy EU-life industry partnership project

New research in this facility includes working as part of a newly funded €5.6 million bioeconomy EU-life industry partnership project. This will contain bioprocess development, optimisation, and scale-up testing to contribute to the flourishing bioeconomy in Ireland. The project is led by principal investigator Brian Freeland, which includes Prof Christine Loscher, Prof Dermot Brabazon and associate professor Greg Foley working as co-investigators on the project. Principal investigator Freeland, one of the driving forces behind the development of the new facility, said: “The aim of the facility is to act as an innovation hub for microbial bioprocessing and to give students and staff access to the most industrially relevant equipment and processes.”