Program update: An international success story at Sibbiopharm

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October 22, 2013

In the summer of 2012, five Russian bioscientists spent three weeks at MSU and the nearby Michigan Biotechnology Institute (MBI) learning the practical aspects of designing, operating and maintaining a modern fermentation pilot plant. Their lessons included training on new equipment, advanced techniques inside biochemical engineering laboratories, as well as ways to bridge the gap between early innovations and commercial applications.

The scientists returned to Berdsk, the Russian Federation, and put their diverse experiences to work at the Production Association Sibbiopharm Ltd. Cooling machine at Sibbiopharm plant in Russian Federation.

The customized training program is now considered a premier example of scientific and technical collaboration and was featured in October by the CRDF Global website: Sibbiopharm – Steps Towards Sustainability.

R. Mark Worden, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and an MSU AgBioResearch scientist, is delighted at the international recognition. He led the MSU portion of the project.

“The program was made possible by the close collaborations between MSU and MBI on bioreactor engineering and MSU’s focus on international outreach,” Worden said. “The trainees spent their first week at MSU, learning concepts of bioreactor engineering, optimization, and scale-up through a combination of lectures, hand-on experiences and computer-lab exercises.”

Worden said the trainees also spent two weeks at MBI applying the concepts they had learned while scaling up a fermentation process in MBI’s pilot plant. “The trainees successfully put what they learned into practice after they returned to Russia, as evidenced by the gains the company has achieved in profit and product quality,” he added. 

CRDF Global is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training and services. It is based in Arlington, Va., with offices in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Jordan. CRDF Global is an implementing partner of the U.S. Department of State.

The Production Association Sibbiopharm Ltd. produces more than 30 enzymatic preparations for agriculture, feedstuff, plant protectant, and food and alcohol industries.