Industrial Biotechnology & Biocatalysis Group (IndBioCat)

The Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis (IndBioCat) group, under the leadership of Professor E. Topakas, is dedicated to advancing biotechnological tools for the purpose of valorizing waste from the food and agroindustrial sectors, along with post-consumer plastics. Our initiatives encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from extracting high-value products from renewable resources to utilizing residual biomass for the production of second-generation liquid biofuels. Furthermore, we are actively engaged in converting and upcycling synthetic polymers. Our sustainability agenda is centered on the creation of efficient and scalable bioprocesses that contribute to waste reduction, optimized resource utilization, and the alleviation of environmental pollution.

In the realm of Biotechnology and industrial processes, our research initiatives span across various domains. We delve into enzymatic and microbial systems, exploring the intricate mechanisms that drive biological catalysts towards enhanced efficiency and specificity. Complementing this, Multiomics & Bioinformatics empower us to unravel complex biological pathways, facilitating a deeper understanding of cellular processes. Fermentation stands as a cornerstone, where we harness microbial prowess to produce valuable compounds and biofuels. Protein Engineering drives innovation, allowing us to tailor enzymes for specific applications. Through heterologous expression, utilizing bacterial and yeast hosts, we expand the scope of bioproduction. Downstream processing, involving protein purification and biochemical/functional characterization, ensures the quality and efficacy of our products. Catalytic performance assessment, evaluating diverse substrates from lignocellulosic biomass to synthetic polymers, guides our pursuit of sustainability and efficiency. Lastly, preliminary upscaling bridges the gap between lab-scale achievements and industrial implementation, paving the way for impactful solutions in biotechnology and beyond.

The IndBioCat group operates within the esteemed Biotechnology Laboratory, housed within the School of Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. Spanning an impressive 400 m2, the Biotechnology Laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure catering to diverse research needs. Our facilities comprise a wide array of resources, from access to computational power to molecular biology and protein expression equipment, including PCR, electrophoresis, and electroporation. Our fermentation facilities include several flask shaking incubators as well as benchtop bioreactors with working volumes ranging from 150 mL to 20 L. Our capabilities extend to downstream processing systems, such as ultrafiltration, FPLC, and freeze drying, and to an array of analytical instruments, including UV/Vis spectroscopy, GC, HPAEC, GPC, and HPLC, facilitating meticulous scientific analyses.


  • Multi-omics analysis of target fungal and bacterial targets for the discovery of novel enzymes
  • Discovery and recombinant expression of novel biocatalysts for the modification of plant cell wall material and synthetic polymers (plastic waste)
  • Biocatalysis: discovery of novel reaction systems and biocatalysts for the synthesis and modification of bioactive compounds
  • Industrial Biorefinery: Saccharification and fermentation of agricultural wastes towards the production of second generation bioproducts and functional materials
  • Molecular mechanisms and kinetics in enzyme processes based on complex carbohydrate substrates
  • Study of the function/structure of novel biocatalysts
  • Discovery of novel marine biocatalysts for the degradation of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Utilization of biowaste and lignocellulosic biomass for the production of high added-added value products from microalgae