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Concept, Objectives & Impact


Stronger ties to excellent European research institutions specialised in bioprocess research and transfer of technology, provide a first-rate opportunity to improve the development and transfer of innovations, through improvement of capacities and implementation of sustainable mechanisms in the CBS. Furthermore, through joint scientific development and technology transfer activities, the usage of research results from CBS can be improved and oriented towards common European interests. Thus, the research infrastructure in CBS will be strengthened and benefit especially the local industry, research findings can be better exploited. Consequently, common research projects with European laboratories and institutions will be strengthened and promoted.

Among the most relevant activities of the CBS industrial microbiology covers the widest field of research. The CBS generated many important international papers and patents related to the identification of active biomolecules (biopesticides, bacteriocins, enzymes, vaccines, antibodies, probiotics…), the use of microorganisms in bioremediation processes and production of microbial biomass to promote animal feed.
CBS capacities in the scale up of these bioactive substances or /and microorganisms production, formulation, large scale assays and related bioprocessing need to be higly improved and oriented to fermentation technologies, microarray technologies and biosafety measures.
Considering the assets of CBS research components, bioprocesses and related gene and molecules technology and industrial microbiology are at the top. BioProtech shall help to significantly increase the competencies in bioprocesses for biotechnological applications as they have an enormous potential. In Tunisia, environment, food, health and agriculture are fields in which biotechnology involvement needs to be improved. This coincides perfectly with the CBS potentials. However, reinforcing assets of the CBS and their transfer for local interests raises needs of implementation and improvement of the existing attempts in the following areas:

  • Fermentation technologies, which are the basis of bioprocesses by mastering the biodynamics, and biostochiometries, including scale-up and appropriate technology development (downstream processing)
  • Microarrays and high throughput analysis (micro array platform): to implement the recent, rapid, efficient and less expensive genetic and molecular techniques as a basis of high tech development
  • Biosafety: to implement good practices of use, assay and transfer of developed bioproducts

Complementary activities are related to

  • the valorization of scientific results via creation of innovative companies and/or direct release
  • usage of European funding programs as a tool for stronger collaborations with leading European research centres
  • the development of a sustainable strategy for the focus area of the CBS and the interaction with the ERA

Figure1. Integrated BioProtech concept


The need of supporting the CBS capacities in such particular aspects will be accompanied by staff exchange, training, partnering and dissemination activities and the development of a sustainable CBS strategy. This will be achieved through the collaboration with experienced European research and technology transfer institutions. The objectives will be implemented through the analyses and strategy development, organisation of exchange programs, joint lab courses and training courses, workshops and expert meetings, and by bringing CBS scientists into European biotech fairs and conferences.

Besides, the Tunisian State will continue providing grants to purchase equipments. The high-level scientists in the field of bioprocesses and the high quality of equipment an research infrastructure will promote more and more opportunities for joint collaborative projects with the European Research Area.
The proposed joint project will allow scientists from Tunisia access to methods, strategies and experience from the chosen key partners in Germany, France and Italy and other European collaborators. Similarly, BioProtech establishes a basis for a systematic reach-out of European experience and expertise and discussing them in the context of a Mediterranean partner country. This complementary interaction may be highly beneficial for all partners.

BioProtech integrates the EU FP7 purposes and objectives with the challenges of the CBS to improve research capacities in order to achieve European excellence in the above-mentioned biotechnology applications. In addition, skills will be built up to familiarise with the research programmes and how to handle / manage a European collaboration. The main fields of biotech application in BioProtech are main priority areas in FP7 (health, food, agriculture, biotechnology, and environment) and related programmes (ERA nets, CIP, EIT, ERC). Achieving more collaboration through such programmes will be supportive and complementary to the S&T agreement of the European Commission with Tunisia.

BioProtech implementation and a sustainable strategy development will be considered as a major contribution to scientific development in the Tunisian region and a step forward in the efforts to improve the level of biotechnology. BioProtech will connect the CBS to actors of the premium league of bioprocesses in biotechnology in the European Research Area and bring the CBS to an eye level position with those European scientists. The results will also positively affect and corroborate the current European Neighbourhood policy instruments and Scientific & Technological agreements between the EU and Tunisia.


The following objectives will be addressed by BioProtech:

1. Improvement of the technological background and research skills Activity: Joint research agenda in bio-processes and know-how exchange
2. Build up the knowledge base for commercialisation of research results Activity: Increase commercialisation potential through innovation, technology transfer and incubation
3. Build up knowledge about European research funding instruments Activity: Training modules on research management issues related to European research funding, partner search and coaching for concrete proposal preparations
4. Increase the visibility of CBS on a local and European level Activity: Dissemination of research potential and results through conferences, fairs and marketing
5. Improvement of the future biotechnology development at CBS, tying up with the European Research Area Activity: Strategy development and evaluation


BioProtech enables the CBS to catch up with organisations from the premium league of bioprocesses in biotechnology in the European Research Area and bring the CBS to an eye-level position with renowned European scientists. In the CBS, Biotechnology needs to be improved in fields such as environment, food, and health.

BioProtech project specifically promotes further investigation and collaboration in the following fields of bioprocesses on biotechnologies: biosafety, microarrays and their high throughput analysis and fermentation technologies plus complementary know-how in biotech commercialisation, EU research framework programme and to develop a sustainable CBS strategy.
BioProtech through The social and economical development increases the capacity of Tunisia to maintain peace and prosperity among Tunisian population. This situation is beneficial for the EU. Indeed, all sustainable development increasing the purchasing power in Tunisia will have a direct impact in the European market.
During the Kick of meeting, the Project Officer Mr Armand Beuf said:
“I am confident in tangible developments of BioProtech in the years to come due to high profile and diversified R&D potential of CBS and taking into account openness to/of academic institutions, involvement of applied research facilities, concrete support from business environment facilitators and, of course, richness of WPs through your strong partnership and expected added value coming from future stakeholders »



BioProtech project will be coordinated by CBS under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Hammadi Ayadi.

Prof. Hammadi Ayadi was nominated in 1983 as an assistant and in 1989 as Associate Professor of Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the Faculty of Medicine of Sfax (FMS) in Tunisia. Meanwhile, he developed a research Laboratory with the Universital Hospital of Sfax and PhD students working on human genetics. In 1994 he was nominated as Professor.

In 1998, he assumed the position of Director of the Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics at the FMS. Prof. Ayadi has acquired all necessary experience and to conduct national and international research programs in network and to obtain very important and useful results in capacity building and in advancement and improvement of public health and has published over 100 scientific articles and reports. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Medical Research Foundation (1983), the Association of Research against Cancer (1987), Philippe Foundation (1988), the first Prize of Innovation and Research for 3 successive years (2000-2001-2002) granted by the University of Sfax and in 2003, he obtained the Presidential Prize of Tunisian Republic for Research and Technology.

He has organized several workshops and theoretical and practical courses both in Tunisia and in Africa. Since his nomination in 2003 as Director General of the CBS, Prof. Ayadi has continued to strengthen and expand the integration of the CBS in major national and international research and economical development networks. Prof. Ayadi is also involved in an integrated European FP6 project (2005-2009) entitled "Advances in hearing science: from functional genomics to therapies" involving 26 partners from 12 countries.

BioProtech members

Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax, Tunisia
Steinbeis Research Center Technology Management Northeast Steinbeis Forschungs- und Entwicklungszentren GmbH, Germany

National Institute of Applied Sciences of Toulouse (France)
Bioindustry Park, Silvano Fumero-BiPCa. S.P.A.Colleretto Giacosa, Italy
Piemonte innovation Cluster, Italy

International Centre For Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste Italy
University of Claude Bernard Lyon 1 FRANCE

BioProtech associated members

Besides the consortium partners and their networks, other international scientific collaborators shall be involved in BioProtech through invitation to workshops and conferences and as experts in the implementation of the joint agenda and future joint scientific collaborations.

Work Packages

Overall strategy

WPActivityTechnology transfer and incubationLeaderStart month
End month
WP1SUPPJoint research agenda in bio-processes UCBL124
WP2SUPPTechnology transfer and incubation BiPCa124
WP3SUPPFP7 Training and coaching SFZ624
WP4SUPPDissemination CBS130
WP5SUPPStrategy and evaluation CBS1530
WP6MGTProject management CBS130

Time table

Chart summarizing the time course of the work packages and tasks and their interdependenci

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 16:51
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