May 2020: The infrastructure CKB with its four competence centers (Bielefeld, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Jülich) was presented by Volker F. Wendisch during an economic meeting of the regional branch of the Junior Chamber International. Christopher Henke presented the business perspective of industrial biotechnology during this tandem talk including the bicomer project.

CKB expands and deepens network at the CIC2020, Feb 6-7, Düsseldorf
All four CKB competence centers (Bielefeld, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Jülich) participated in the conference organized by CLIB and used the opportunity to meet members of CKB’s industrial advisory board, the IP board and the multinational and multisectoral network of CLIB. The project’s potential was even mentioned by Prof. Dr. Pinkwart, minister of economic affairs, digitalization and energy of NRW, who stressed the need for a faster market entry. He also mentioned the CKB as one of the projects tackling this challenge.
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Lively networking and efficient integration during the first CKB symposium, October 1, 2019, Düsseldorf

Innovations in biotechnology and bioeconomy still take a long time from university to the market, as multiple steps need optimisation. Traditionally, every step – from strain engineering to scale-up – is optimised one by another and often these individual process steps are not synchronised. The EFRE-funded project CLIB competence center biotechnology (CKB – CLIB Kompetenzzentrum Biotechnologie) aims at changing this way of developing innovation. Working groups from the universities Bielefeld, Dortmund, Duesseldorf and the Forschungszentrum Juelich are developing an integrated, virtual competence center to interlock process steps with each other and the whole innovation process with the local industry.
On October 1st, nearly 70 scientists from all four partners met in Duesseldorf to discuss their results, but also their challenges and develop new ideas, solutions and shortcuts together. Input presentations from all three scientific work packages – resource efficiency, raw materials and health – highlighted the developments taken within the project up to now and a total of 21 posters invited all attendees to discuss one on one and in small groups about future possibilities to improve integration of process steps. After presenting and discussing the scientific status of the project a presentation on work package four – open innovation – was given. This work package is carried out by the cluster industrial biotechnology (CLIB) and aims at integrating stakeholders from industry and map out a strategy of continuation to sustainably use the project results. The meeting was summed up by a discussion on new ideas to further elaborate the project performance led by Prof. Volker F. Wendisch, project leader of the CKB.
The CKB receives funding for another one and a half years and the partners agreed on rescheduling this successful symposium twice to further improve integration and thus shorten the time from gene and enzyme to process and product in biotechnology.