Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI)

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) commissioned Fraunhofer ISI to conduct a study on the potential of the industrial/white biotechnology. The study was published on March 2007, based on the following definition of industrial/white biotechnology:

"The industrial, white biotechnology involves the use of biotechnological methods in industrial production. In industrial, white biotechnology biocomponents are used for bio-assembly, modification or removal of substances in industrial processes that take place in appropriate industrial plants. In this case, microorganisms (including yeasts and molds), cultured cells of higher organisms (including plants), as well as sub-cellular components such as enzymes are used. Crop production systems ("in the field") for the manufacture of products for industrial purposes are taken into account. Excluded are processes "on the field" for food poducts, end-of-pipe treatment method (biofilter to remove odor, biological wastewater treatment, biological waste treatment, bioremediation) and bioleaching."

"Relevant product groups include bulk drugs, fine and specialty chemicals, materials and polymers, food, drinks and food additives, feed additives, agricultural intermediate products (e.g. pesticide precursors), pharmaceutical intermediates (e.g. chiral precursors), auxiliary materials for manufacturing industries (for example for degreasing), bioanalytics, technical enzymes and bio-fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen and biogas as well as renewable resources for material and energetic use (only if it is co-products). Excluded are pharmaceuticals; renewable resources for energy use (if no co-products), compost and "Bio-based products" (e.g. “bio-degradable” polymers or polymers based on biomass unless they are processes/manufactured without bioprocesses)."

"Included are industries that use the above mentioned bioprocesses in their production. They can develop the relevant biological component itself or buy it, their product can be both intermediate and final product. This applies in particular to the following sectors: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper/pulp, textile, leather, food and beverage, metal processing, electronics, energy (bioethanol, biogas, bio-hydrogen production). In addition, service providers are involved in these sectors (R&D, consulting, finance) as well as suppliers and equipment (including construction and measurement, control and regulate (MSR))."



Sources:
Nusser, Michael; Hüsing, Bärbel; Wydra, Sven: Potenzialanalyse der industriellen, weißen Biotechnologie. Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research. Karlsruhe, 2007, p 3