ESAB: EFB Section on Applied Biocatalysis

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1. The Mission

The mission of the Section is to promote the development of Applied Biocatalysis throughout Europe. The definition of the field is the application of commercially useful biological catalysts and the underlying science and engineering.

Applied Biocatalysis can be useful across the range from preparative organic synthesis at laboratory scale to industrial manufacture of bulk products. Hence it is of interest in chemistry, biochemistry and to the pharmaceutical, food, environmental and chemical industries. The aim of more fundamental work in the field is to understand how the activity, specificity, selectivity and stability of the biocatalyst are affected by its microenvironment, and hence in turn by the reactor operating conditions. Biocatalysts are mainly but not exclusively enzymes and whole cells containing them. Among the fields relevant here are enzymology, cellular biochemistry and physiology, physical chemistry, and biochemical engineering science.

2. Strategic Objectives

In order to accomplish the mission, in complement of the more general objectives defined in the statutes of the EFB (Article 3), the activities of the ESAB have to be oriented specifically to:
- increase the understanding of the principles of biocatalysis, in particular its commercial applications,
- improve the general biocatalysis technology level,
- improve the use of biocatalysis,
- take initiatives in areas of growing scientific and industrial interest and importance in the field of applied biocatalysis;
- identify novel developments in basic and applied aspects of biocatalysis and bring them towards a broad audience of scientists, engineers, policy makers, active in the diverse fields of biotechnology,
- identify key topics which may be rate-limiting for the development of scientific and technological capabilities in applied biocatalysis and to take steps to stimulate these areas.
- improve the knowledge among engineers (and other scientists) about application of biocatalysis, i.e. improve the education related to Applied Biocatalysis
- promote education and training in Applied Biocatalysis, including the translation of the developments in biocatalysis also to the consumer;
- promote international co-operation (in particular, with Eastern Europe),
- improve the public perception of Applied Biocatalysis.

The strategic activities to accomplish such objectives are oriented to:
- organizing international symposia.
- contributing actively to the scientific programs of the European Congresses of Biotechnology.
- organizing courses to promote the enrolment of younger generations (particularly in less developed European countries) in Applied Biocatalysis,
- organizing workshops on selected topics, for instance on emerging technologies or on special technologies needed in biocatalysis,
- publishing educational materials (such as the book on Applied Biocatalysis).
- publishing special reports in important issues of relevance to Applied Biocatalysis,
- writing position papers about technical, as well as political issues related to applied biocatalysis - e.g. about the value of using gene manipulated organisms to increase the variety of enzymes available for industry, and consumers
- continuing building the network between European applied biocatalyst people,
- contributing to the definition of EU research programs,
- continuing to strengthen our official journal (Biocatalysis and Biotransformation)

3. Working rules

The Bodies of the ESAB are
- the Executive Board (A President, a Vice-President and the Secretary)
- the Scientific Committee (2 or 3 members from each country)
- the Section General Assembly

3.1. The General Assembly is open to all members of the Section and meets once every 3 years (preferably coinciding with the ECB's or Section Symposia).
The General Assembly should:
- ratify the election and the program of the Executive Board,
- discuss the activities reported by the Executive Board,
- discuss and approve the proposal for the actions to be developed during the next period,
- ratify the members of the scientific committee,
- approval of statutes modifications.

3.2. The Scientific Committee is elected for 3 years by the general assembly in the following way:
- the members of each country nominate 2 persons (exceptionally 3 persons) from their own countries (preferably one from academic world one from industry), these nomination will be ratified by the general assembly,
- during the interim period the current WP will act as scientific committee,
- in the first meeting, the Scientific Committee will elect among its members those who will be President, Vice-President and Secretary.
- the process will be ratified by the Section General Assembly
The Scientific Committee meets ordinarily twice a year.
The Scientific Committee is responsible for the accomplishment of the strategic objectives.

3.3. The Board is the executive body of a Section.
The Board consists of the three elected members (the President, the Vice-President and the Secretary) elected among the members of the Scientific Committee.
The Board members will serve for three years and can be re-elected for a second period.
The Board is the permanent body, with executive responsibilities.
The Board is responsible for maintaining contacts with the members, with the EFB Executive Committee, other Sections/Working Parties and Third Parties (e.g., EU), and for coordinating the activities of the Scientific Committee and Working Groups.
The Board will report to the General Assembly on the activities that were developed during the finishing session.
The Board will prepare the general program for the next session to be proposed for discussion during the General Assembly.

Any members to the Scientific Committee can propose Working Groups. They have to submit a business plan (including title, objectives, justification, action plan and time schedule, deliverables, milestones and budget, plus a suggestion for financial resources). If approved, they will work within the Scientific Committee and the Task Group leader will report regularly according the plan schedule.

3.4. Membership

Scientists interested in European biotechnology can become a member by sending a request to the section secretariat. Members will have the right to receive information on the Section, attend the General Section Meetings and Section Symposia and vote for Scientific Committee members.

These working rules are open for further amendments as needed.

© DECHEMA e.V. 1995-2017, Last update 07.10.2010