Past Events

The Biotechnology Symposium 2011, BioTech 2011, together with the 5th Czech-Swiss Symposium took place in the newly constructed National Technical Library (NTL), in Dejvice, Prague from 15-17 June 2011.  The symposium was organised by The Biotechnology Society, together with Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology of the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, ZHAW Wadenswil, and other partners and sponsors from the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

One hundred and thirty five participants from 19 countries (excluding VIP guests and organisers) took part in the Prague symposium; 50% were from the Czech Republic, 20% from Switzerland, and 30% were from other countries (Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and the Netherlands).  Several scientists from other countries expressed interest in attending but unfortunately could not do so because they did not obtain entry visas.

Before the actual symposium, a workshop was organised under the leadership of Mr. Anthony Newman, Editor of the publishing house Elsevier, entitled How to write scientific articles acceptable for publication in high ranking journals.  This workshop was received with great interest.

The official opening of the symposium was in Balling Hall of National Technical Library, and included several guests. The opening speech was given by Professor Josef Koubek, Rector of ICT Prague, who highlighted the long term cooperation between Czech and Swiss chemists, outlined the current aims of ICT Prague and wholeheartedly supported all actions where science and industry meet. The next speaker was His Honour Mr. Andre Regli,  Swiss Ambassador to the Czech Republic who was also pleased to see close cooperation between Czech and Swiss biotechnologists and  biotechnological societies and wished everyone a successful symposium.  The Ambassador stayed for the opening ceremony and took part in informal discussions. Mr. Ondřej Balatka greeted the symposium participants on behalf of Ms. Marie Kousalíková, Mayorin of Prague 6, and expressed his pleasure that the symposium had been organised in Prague 6.
After the official opening ceremony, participants were briefed about the state of biotechnology in Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Dr. Hans-Peter Meyer presented a lecture on behalf of the Swiss Biotechnological Association. The situation in the Czech Republic was outlined by Martin Partl (CzechInvest), Marek Polach (CzechBio) and Martin Fusek (MedChemBio).

This opening session ended with a plenary lecture focused on an analysis of individual genomes was presented by Marek Minarik (Genomac).  The Welcome party held in the Gallery of NTL, which came after,  was a good opportunity for colleagues from previous symposia to meet as well as to develop new contacts.  The evening finished with a round table discussion about Czech-Swiss partnerships.

The following 2 days were filled with lectures, poster sessions and workshops. There were 4 sections; Biotechnology in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Biotechnology in Nutrition, Biotechnology for SustainableGrowth and New Approaches in Bioprocessing.  Twenty five invited speakers from the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Canada presented their lectures. The theme of “Plant Biotechnology” was covered separately at a post-symposium in Olomouc from 19-22 June 2011, organised by the newly formed Centre for Biotechnology and Agricultural Research in Hana.

Anyone who is interested in an abstract of these lectures and poster presentations can obtain these in an Abstract Book (ISBN 978-80-254-9794-4).  Selected lectures from both symposia where in the high impact journal, Biotechnology Advances, published by Elsevier, and are accessible via Web Science Direct. During the last day of the symposium, two interesting workshops were organised. The first, Exchange Opportunities for Biotechnology Students in Switzerland and the Czech Republic, was organised to highlight the potential for biotechnological studies in the partner’s countries and was supported especially by the Universities (ICT Prague and ZHAW) and by The Association of Biotechnological Societies in The Czech Republic (CzechBio).

The second workshop, Industry-Academia Relationships and Job Opportunities was organised by university and biotechnology personnel to strengthen intercommunication , and to help both students and symposium participants to capitalise on working opportunities in biotechnology.

For the participants, there was also an interesting social program available.  On Friday evening, a guided tour through historical centre of Prague was organized. On Saturday, an excursion to the biotechnology factory of Lonza Biotech in Kourim followed by a visit to historical city of Kutna Hora was prepared.