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Biotechnology for the bioeconomy

Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari


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Scheda corso
Disciplinary Classification Agriculture biotechnologies (LM-7)
Applications and admissions Free.
Duration 2 years (120 credits)
Attendance recommended
Location via Golgi, 19 - Milano[apre una nuova finestra]
via Celoria, 2 - Milano [apre una nuova finestra]
Altre strutture didattiche di Città Studi - Milano[apre una nuova finestra]
Programme coordinator Prof.ssa Sara Borin
Websites http://www.biotem.unimi.it/[apre una nuova finestra]



Admission Requirements

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The access to the Master’s degree in Biotechnology for the bioeconomy (BforB) is open to: graduates belonging to the L-2 class (Biotechnology) and previous class 1 (Biotechnology). It can also be accessed by any student with a Bachelor’s degree providing a strong background (at least 60 ects) in biotechnology-related subjects, identified as “core disciplines” for the L-2 class. Foreign students must possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or University, and a strong knowledge of the following areas: molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, plant cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry. All students must have a good knowledge of spoken and written English: a B2 level certification (vantage or upper intermediate, as defined by the Common European Framework of reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment) or, in alternative, an equivalent result in the Placement test offered by the University of Milan must be obtained prior the enrolment. Knowledge of Italian is not required for attendance.


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Bioeconomy responds to the environmental challenges the world is facing, oriented to reduce the dependence on natural resources, transform manufacturing, promote sustainable production of renewable plant, microbial and animal resources and their conversion into food, feed, materials, bio-based products and bio-energy, while growing new jobs and industries. Biotechnology is one of the key enabling technologies to sustain a new green and sustainable economy (i.e. bioeconomy), offering solutions for i) an efficient and sustainable production of plant and microbial biomasses; ii) production of bioenergy and biomolecules from (waste) biomasses; environmental protection and safety in terms of bioremediation; iii) green chemistry processes and applications; iv) sustainable agri-food production and processes. In this context, the Biotechnology for the bioeconomy master degree aims at providing students with advanced molecular and cellular background of microbial and plant systems, which are the basis for the several sectors of the biotechnologies applied to the bioeconomy. The Biotechnology for the bioeconomy master degree will equip students with a solid and broad expertise about the structure and function of biological macromolecules of interest for the bioeconomy sector. In addition, the Biotechnology for the bioeconomy master degree will provide theoretical and practical instruments for the set up, analyses and improvement of biotechnological processes for the transformation of renewable raw materials in biotechnological processes exploiting microorganisms, plant systems and enzymes.

Career Prospects

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The Biotechnology for the bioeconomy graduate is an expert in coordination, management and set up of research and development laboratories in public entities and in private companies in the chemical, agro-environmental and biotechnological sectors. The function will primarily be the development, implementation and coordination of laboratory activity within basic and applied research projects, the set up of bioprocesses, the quality control. The Biotechnology for the bioeconomy graduate is an expert in planning, development, analyses and control of processes for:

  • Industrial fermentation for production of metabolites and renewable energy
  • plant and microbial cell as biofactories for molecules of interest in the fine chemical and polymer industry, agri-food and pharmaceutical industry with particular application to the green chemistry and bio-based industry
  • bioremediation of contaminated land and waters, using plants and/or microorganisms
  • innovative diagnosis tools, applied in particular to the traceability in agri-food chain

The employment opportunities for the BforB graduate are in research bodies (both public and private) and bio-based chemical, pharmaceutical, agro-food, and biotechnological enterprises.

Experience of study abroad as part of the training program

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During the Degree course, students can participate to study and internship experiences abroad within the Erasmus + Programme, which represents an excellent opportunity to improve their abilities and knowledge in an international context. The University of Milan has agreements with Universities located in different areas, which include: Austria, France, Finland, Germany and Spain.

Degree syllabus

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I year

Insegnamenti comuni e crediti
Compulsory learning activities ECTS
Methods in biotechnology 10
Structure and functions of biomolecules 7
Fermentation biotechnology 7
Biomass and waste recycling promoting the circular economy 7
Protein engineering and proteomics 6
Plants as biofactories 6
Environmental plant biotechnology 6
Environmental microbial biotechnology 6

II year

Insegnamenti comunic e crediti
Compulsory learning activities ECTS
Bioeconomy: management, assessment and intellectual property 6
The student must choose two courses in the following list:
- Applied biocatalysis
- Bio-based innovation in the food industry
- Experimental planning and biostatistics in biotechnology
- Functional foods and nutraceuticals
- Molecular analysis and traceability of biotechnological products
- Natural resource economics and policy

Other activities

  • Free choice courses - 8 Ects
  • Other activities (laboratories, seminars) - 3 Ects
  • Internship and final exam - 36 Ects