The first steps towards making the upcoming Biomanufacturing Project House (BPH) in Kalundborg a reality toke place on 3rd of December. Now the future director of the big project has been determined.
From 2022, the Biomanufacturing Project House will house graduate students from all the country's universities, who will make their thesis project in collaboration with the industry in Kalundborg, which is Scandinavia's largest hub for biotechnological production.
Anette Birck will be responsible from 1 January 2021, and she looks forward to getting started:
“I have followed the various initiatives that exist in Kalundborg. From the unique Symbiosis to the fact that Absalon has created the bachelor of engineering programs and at the same time is on the way with a new campus. It is clear that there are interesting collaborations across several actors, and I see BPH as an obvious opportunity to tie it all together”, Anette Birck remarks.
Networking is the way forward
Anette Birck is a biologist with a PhD. in immunology and former head of the strategic partnership Copenhagen Health Innovation, where students from both health, technology and business educations collaborate with companies and the health service. In addition, she has previously been Program Director at DIS where she was responsible for the development of science education programs for American students studying a semester in Denmark. She currently comes from a position as senior adviser at Biopeople, Denmark's Life Science Cluster, where she has created space to network between the bio- and life science industry and the knowledge-based institutions across the country:
“My task has been to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation between various actors. I had to find the spaces where the parties through common interests could help each other with challenges and find new ideas and solutions together. I bring the experience of networking to BPH and the entire collaboration around Kalundborg ”, Anette Birck says.
Anette Birck is going to focus first on the future master's students, who in collaboration with industry, are getting closer to the practical application of the purely theoretical:
“Together with the partners in the project I want to create a community around BPH where students, researchers, industry and local actors gather. BPH will eventually develop into an attractive test center and learning community that educates and develops talent. The focus must be on the industry's need for the development of sustainable and innovative production technologies. But it must be the students who must be at the center”, Anette Birck points out.
All eyes on Kalundborg
The chairman of Biomanufacturing Project House, Krist Gernaey, professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Technical University of Denmark, looks forward to the collaboration with the new director, Anette Birck:
“It is a great force that we have got at the forefront of this ambitious project. It is a completely unique initiative, and the first time you create an education and research environment that involves all parties, from companies to graduates from all over the country, at once. With Anette Birck, we have gained a large amount of important knowledge and not least several years of experience in creating these networks and communities. I look forward, together with the rest of the board, to working with Anette to develop BPH ", says Krist Gernaey.
Anette Birck is now looking forward to getting started January 1, 2021:
"It is a big task, no doubt about it. We want this project to become an opening where the students with STEM know-how get their eyes fixed on Kalundborg. It will be an exciting journey and I will do my part to ensure that this dream comes true: We have a really good foundation, because we with the project partners behind BPH and BPH's board have a strong team, where everyone feels a great ownership of the dream ", Says Anette Birck.
Behind the Biomanufacturing Project House are the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Nordisk, Novozymes and Absalon University College, and construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. The first graduate students are expected to start in January 2022.
BPH’s Board of Directors consists of representatives from DTU (chairmanship), SDU, AAU, AU, KU, Novo Nordisk AS, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novozymes, Equinor Refining Denmark A/S and Absalon.