The Croatian Academy of Engineering, Department of Bioprocess Engineering, had organised the Symposium Biotechnology in Croatia „Vera Johanides“, on October 4, 2018, as a Session of the 9th International Congress of Food Technologists, Biotechnologists and Nutritionists, which was held in Zagreb, hotel International, from 3th to 5th October 2018. This was the 3rd Symposium dedicated to Prof. Emer. Vera Johanides as a founder of Biotechnology in Croatia. The 1st International Symposium was organised on September 28, 2011 by Croatian Academy of Engineering, Biotechnical Centre (BIOCentre) and University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology (FFTB), and a chairman of the Symposium was Prof. Jasna Kniewald, PhD. On that occasion, achievements of Professor Emeritus Vera Johanides have been revived and to a memory on this distinguished scientist Academy had set up the bust. The 2nd International Symposium “Vera Johanides” was held in Zagreb, 10-11 May, 2013, and a chairman of the Symposium was Prof. Emer. Zlatko Kniewald, PhD. This Symposium was directed to the development and the strategical investments in biotechnology in Croatia by 2020.
The 3rd Symposium Biotechnology in Croatia „Vera Johanides” was opened by welcome remarks of our distinguished guests: Prof. Nediljka Gaurina-Međimurec, PhD, Secretary-General of the Croatian Academy of Engineering, Prof. Anita Slavica, PhD, President of the Croatian Society of Biotechnology and Prof. Emer. Zlatko Kniewald, Co-Founder and Past-President of the Croatian Academy of Engineering and Croatian Society of Biotechnology, who introduce Prof. Emer. Vera Johanides, as an icon of Croatian biotechnology, through the remark entitled “My memories and facts about Prof. Emer. Vera Johanides”.
The scientific program started with invited lecture “Biotechnology in Croatia” by Prof. Božidar Šantek, PhD from FFTB University of Zagreb, head of Laboratory for Biochemical Engineering, Industrial Microbiology and Malting and Brewing Technology, which was formerly led by Prof. Vladimir Marić, the closest associate of prof. Vera Johanides and leading engineer in the field of biotechnology in Croatia and this part of Europe. Prof. Božidar Šantek, PhD, presented current activities in different areas of biotechnology in Croatia.
Prof. Vladimir Mrša, PhD, Secretary of the Department of Bioprocess Engineering, Croatian Academy of Engineering and Head of Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at FFTB University of Zagreb, emphasised different potential biotechnological applications of surface displayed proteins in his lecture entitled “Engineering of yeast cell surfaces by genetic immobilization of heterologous proteins”.
Our honourable guest and invited lecturer was PhD Krešimir Gjuračić who holds Master and PhD degree from FFTB University of Zagreb, and currently is in the position of Vice-Director of R&D Biotech in Gnosis company from Italy (Lesaffre group). He shared with us a part of a research in industrial development and production of pharmaceuticals and food supplements, offering the opportunity for future collaboration.
Representatives of the laboratories of Department of Biochemical Engineering at FFTB University of Zagreb presented their latest results on ongoing projects. The presenters were in line: Prof. Višnja Gaurina Srček, PhD, Head of Department of Biochemical Engineering, Assist. Prof. Antonija Trontel and Assist. Prof. Mladen Pavlečić, both from Laboratory for Biochemical Engineering, Industrial Microbiology and Malting and Brewing Technology (The head of Laboratory is prof. Božidar Šantek, PhD), and Katarina Zorić, mag. ing. biotechn. from Laboratory for Antibiotic, Enzyme, Probiotic and Starter Cultures Technology (The head of Laboratory is prof. Jagoda Šušković, PhD).
The recent research results in the field of biotechnology were presented through poster presentations of co-authors from, coming from eminent Institutions and Universities, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria, University of Helsinki, Finland, University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, IGA Technology Services Udine, Italy, The Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia and University of Zagreb.
Recognizing the global impact of biotechnology on sustainable development of modern world, life quality, ecology and economy, finally it was concluded that biotechnological research in Croatia will be focused on the: (i) innovative approaches for live biotherapeutic products (LBPs) development; (ii) biotechnological processes for biologically active substances production; (iii) improvement of integrated bioprocesses (the biorefinery concept) of biofuel and biochemical productions; (iv) development of marine biotechnology and (v) improvement of environmental protection.
I would like to express my gratitude to all honourable guests, presenters and audience, especially to the students of undergraduate study of Biotechnology and graduated studies of Bioprocess engineering and Molecular Biotechnology from FFTB University of Zagreb, whose presence in the huge number give us additional enthusiasm that we have a force for further development of biotechnology in Croatia.
Prof. Blaženka Kos, PhD, HATZ Associate, Department of Bioprocess Engineering
Member of the Organizing Committee of the Congress,
in charge of 3th Symposium Biotechnology in Croatia „Vera Johanides“ organisation