Biotechnology creates research in Minho

At a time when science has before us the constant challenge of updating and developing more and more knowledge that improves the quality of human life, it is up to the universities to take the lead in the process of motivating scientific research.

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To contribute to the creation of specialists who will develop scientific work in the fields of the pharmaceutical industry, fermentation products and food, is one of the objectives that the Second Masters of Biotechnology - Bioprocess Engineering, University of Minho, aims to achieve. Scheduled for the beginning of October, this course is divided into two years (one curricular and the other for research), where about one third of the workload is allocated to laboratory practice, clearly denoting a curricular option that allows Facilitate coordination between theory and practice in the field of biotechnology.

Introduction to process engineering, elements of biotechnology, applied biocatalysis, biological reactors and processes of separation in bioengineering, are some of the disciplines taught, and during the course the student can choose one of two areas of expertise: Animal or Food Biotechnology. Especially aimed at graduates in biological engineering, biochemistry, chemistry, biotechnology, the environment, agronomics and degrees in pharmacy, biology and chemistry, this course is, for Rosário Oliveira, the board of directors, also an asset for those who work in the area. "With this master's degree, professionals working in the field will be able to deepen and update their knowledge in bioprocess engineering, namely in the field of biological reactors and separation processes", he points out. The main areas for updating biotechnology are "in the pharmaceutical, fermentation and food industries," adds Oliveira. And these are also the institutions that seek the work of these specialists. Hence this course, by providing greater development in these matters, will enable the increase of research in industry.

In all there are 15 vacancies to fill for the master's degree and ten for the specialization course, which corresponds to the curricular part of the master's degree. "When making the application, the student indicates which of the options he / she intends, but during the course of the course he / she may change his / her decision", comments Rosário de Oliveira. The evaluation is done by examining the theoretical subjects and by the classification of the reports, since 330 hours of the hours are of theoretical classes and 120 of practical classes. In order to teach the subjects, the University of Minho provided a team made up of professors from Portuguese and foreign universities, specialists in these subjects and the tuition is in 325 contos. For 2002 a new edition of this Master's Degree in Biotechnology is already planned, motivated by the demand that has been verified by the students, regarding this area of ​​specialization.