Biotechnology News

Sectoral Operational Programme: Improvement of the Competitiveness of Enterprises

The SOP-ICE objective is improvement of competitiveness of enterprises established in Poland, operating in the European Single Market. Improvement of the competitive position of enterprises will strengthen the competitiveness of the economy, defined as the long-term ability of an open, market economy, which is becoming part of the Single European Market, to withstand international competition (on the domestic, the EU and the third countries markets), as well as an ability to adapt effectively to the changing international environment and to achieve a sustainable economic growth. This should bridge the gap in the economic, social and technological spheres between Poland and more developed economies of the EU Member States

Who may get it?
little and medium Hi-Tech Bussines Firms,
firms investing in a environment protection,
firms making new investments,
R&D; Institutions.



In April, the Minister of Scientific Research and Information Technology (Ministerstwo Nauki i Informatyzacji) has announced the results of the contest for the Hi-Tech R&D; projects elaborated by different consortiums of Polish companies (mainly hi-tech start-ups) and research teams. 19 of them ,who were chosen due to interesting and innovative research projects, were given honorable status of Hi-Tech R&D; Centers. Centers with the best designs will be given 40 million EUR to carry on with their study. This is the crucial moment in Polish Biotechnology Research. We hope that this money injection will allow further industry development and will be a landmark especially for hi-tech start-ups. Hi-Tech R&D; Centers will need to propose their projects and suitable forms to the Market &Economy; Research Department (Departament Badan na Rzecz Gospodarki). According to the Minister of Scientific Research and Information Technology (Ministerstwo Nauki i Informatyzacji) the deadline will be given not before end of September.


Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology

The drastic rise in the use of non-biodegradable plastic materials, during the past three decades, has not been accompanied by a corresponding development of procedures for the safe disposal or degradation of these polymers. As a consequence, plastic wastes accumulating in the environment are posing an ever increasing ecological threat. The most problematic plastic, in this regard, is probably polyethylene, which- being resistant to microbial attack – is one of the most inert synthetic polymers. We have isolated several unique soil bacteria that can utilize polyethylene films as a sole carbon source resulting in partial degradation. These bacteria colonize the polyethylene surface forming a biofilm. Cell hydrophobicity of these bacteria was found to be an important factor in the formation of biofilm on the polyethylene surface and consequently enhances biodegradation of the polymer.

Future research goals include: Studying the mechanism involved in the biodegradation; Identifying the factors involved in the formation of the biofilm on the plastic surfaces; and studying the role of the biofilm in the biodegradation.

Potential collaborators – Microbiologists, Chemical Engineers or Chemists with interest in this research.