Author:
Sulev Kuuse

The President of Estonia honored BiotaTec with a visit and witnessed successful cooperation with IMCB

President of Estonia, Mr. Alar Karis honored BiotaTec OÜ with a visit to their Biomining Demo Plant. There is a successful cooperation between BiotaTec OÜ and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) of University of Tartu.

The cooperation between BiotaTec OÜ and TÜMRI has intensified year by year, including today, in addition to intensive research, both knowledge transfer researchers and doctoral students. The meeting took place at the demo plant of BiotaTec OÜ, where the president got an overview of the current state of critical raw materials in the world and the potential of bioleaching to reduce the European Union's dependence on raw material import. Since many of these materials are necessary for the development of green technologies, the transition to a carbon-neutral energy economy depends on the availability of rare earth metals. Therefore, reducing the import dependency of these materials and minimizing the environmental impact of their cleaning is one of the EU's priorities. One of the ambitious projects of BiotaTec OÜ, the separation and valorization of precious metals from electronic waste (e-waste), was recently supported by Estonian Business and Innovation Agency with 1.94 million euros within the applied research program.

BiotaTec OÜ's achievements in separating metals from raw materials and industrial waste were presented by company owner Sirli Sipp Kulli, Priit Jõers (Chief Scientific Officer at BiotaTec OÜ and Associate Professor at IMCB) and research workers Gintare Liudžiūtė, Oleksandra Hladyr, Astrid Laidna and Jaan Vihalemm

Astrid Laidna and Jaan Vihalemm are also knowledge transfer doctoral students (industrial doctoral students) of IMCB starting this year. The Director of IMCB, professor Maia Kivisaar and Deputy Director Margus Leppik informed President Alar Karis at the meeting about the cooperation between IMCB and BiotaTec OÜ and also future perspectives. It is a model example of the successful symbiosis of academic science and applied research.

News article on BiotaTec website.

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