Inauguration at DTU Biosustain

HRH Prince Joachim was impressed with DTU Biosustain

Thursday 17 Nov 16


Bernhard Palsson
Scientific Director
DTU Biosustain
+45 45 25 80 02

On November 17, His Royal Highness Prince Joachim cut the ribbon to the new home of The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability – DTU Biosustain. The Prince was very interested in hearing about biotech and the center’s research. He even revealed his biology grade from school.

The sun lit up the big atrium in Building 220 as His Royal Highness Prince Joachim stepped inside. The occasion for this royal visit was the official inauguration of The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability – DTU Biosustain –  at the DTU Campus in Lyngby.

DTU Biosustain was founded as a research centre at DTU in 2011, based on a generous grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF) of over DKK 1.1 billion kroner. The center was established to develop 'cell factories' – cells like yeast and E.coli, which are designed to produce large amounts of valuable chemicals, plastics, medical products, and food ingredients in a sustainable way.

Biology is crucial to engineers and to Denmark

The first speaker at the inauguration was President of DTU Anders Bjarklev, who emphasized the importance of privately funded research:

“Private funding is vital and will guarantee the growth and welfare of our country,” he said and continued:

“DTU Biosustain will play a central role in our development of Life Science and Bioengineering, and it is becoming clear that biology is one of the fundamental sciences for engineers of today.”

Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Higher Education and Science, also thanked the NNF and emphasized Denmark’s position within Life Sciences:

“Denmark is among the biotech elite and over 35,000 people are employed in the biotech industry,” she said and ended her speech with the words:

“So congratulations to DTU and to all of us, who will benefit from the groundbreaking results.”

The Center was praised as a good partner

Sten Scheibye, Chairman of the board at The Novo Nordisk Foundation also gave a speech and praised the collaboration:

“As a grant giver, the NNF could not have wished for a better partner,” he said.

Bernhard Palsson, CEO of DTU Biosustain, rounded of the speeches:

“I hope, that the Center will contribute to DTU’s strong leadership in biotech.”

The Prince got 11 in Biology

After the speeches, HRH Prince Joachim was handed a pair of large golden scissors. Slowly, he cut the ribbon and officially inaugurated Building 220.

The Prince, the Minster and other prominent guests were then given a tour of the building. Here, Head of Analytical Core Facility Hanne Bjerre Christensen, as well as Professor Morten Sommer, and Senior Researcher Tilmann Weber gave a quick introduction to analytical methods and cell factories, respectively.

The Prince was very interested in the science, especially a small DNA-sequencer the size of a permanent marker. With the fast development in science, where the entire DNA of an organism can now be decoded overnight in a small apparatus, the Prince and Tilmann Weber joked that you would soon be able to connect it to an app and remote control the process.

The Prince later revealed, that he got an A (11 at the old Danish grading scale) in Biology. The day was rounded off with a reception.

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