ESBES Section on Downstream Processing (DSP)

Bio-based products embrace foods, fuels, medicines and other products made from renewable biological resources. With the increasing demand for bio-based products, and the currently massive expense for their isolation and purification, there is an urgent need to improve the existing downstream processes, and design new sustainable ones. Our role is to help develop these innovative processes, and to promote downstream processing in Europe and beyond.

The currently established platforms for downstream processing of bio-based products account for more than 80% of the manufacturing costs. As a consequence, there is a need to improve existing downstream processes, as well as, to design new, sustainable, and integrated platforms for isolation and purification of bio-based products.

The market for bio-based products has grown sharply over the past decade as consumers embrace foods, fuels, medicines and other products made from renewable biological resources.

The use of bio-based raw materials for chemical synthesis is of growing importance, and process improvements in the chemical industry are focused on the development of biocatalytic reactions or patways in order to replace hazardous chemical reagents. The integration of biocatalytic reactions and downstream processing with product isolation has led to a variety of in situ product recovery techniques and has found numerous successful applications.

The specific needs an aging society for new affordable biopharmaceuticals to treat age-and prosperity-related diseases, such as Alzheimer, cancer, or Rheumatoid arthritis, will increase considerably, reinforcing the demand for efficient, scalable and cost-effective production technologies. Continuous discoveries in molecular biology and genetics, combined with new advances in media and feed development, have significantly increased the production titres. In order to keep up this gain, it is now essential to design new, as well as to improve existing downstream processes, currently seen as an unresolved bottleneck.

Bio-based products, including recombinant therapeutic proteins, monoclonal antibody and nucleic acid-based products, have shown to have application in several medicinal areas such as vaccination, immunisation, oncology, autoimmune, cardiovascular, inflammatory and neurological diseases. Additionally, other bio-based products like enzymes, diagnostics, specialty chemicals, and food ingredients are also produced in today's biochemical process industry. Also here dsp improvements on existing processes or the introduction of novel technologies are highly needed to increase productivity by alleviating dsp bottlenecks.



The Mission of the DSP Section is to identify and help develop novel dsp techniques and methodologies for the European community and beyond, and:

• Develop and promote the field of Downstream Processing (dsp) of bio-based products pursuing sustainable and integrated processes;

• Promote the industrial application of new technologies and processes envisaging process development, scale-up and design of innovative dsp;

• Promote students education in the area of dsp;

• Increase the visibility of the area of dsp for the non-scientific community;

• Identify the most prominent European R&D priorities and stakeholders needs in the area of dsp and promoting and stimulating the area in European and national science policies;

• Promote workshops and international conferences, involving academia and industry, in the area of dsp in Europe (and beyond) on key topics important for the development of dsp of bio-based products.


Upcoming Event



Biotech industry has adopted HT screening in micro well plates as process development tools but still the major question remains on how the process can be optimised, so that it is representative of the large scale. Conversely what are the criteria for scaling-up the process developed at the microscale to large scale systems? Meanwhile technologies of even smaller dimensions such as microfluidic devices, lab-on-a chip approaches and HTPD on the nanoscale are discussed as state of the art for process development in the biotech community. Successful application of HT systems for process development depends on the right choice of technology in combination with Design of experiment strategies or mechanistic modelling and statistical evaluation of the obtained data.

The symposium will focus on:


The call for poster is open. Deadline: 12 March 2023




Past activities


  • HDTP Workshop (High Throughput Screening & Process Development) - Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2020 - BOKU Vienna, Austria

  • Workshop “ABC2 - Anything But Conventional Chromatography” 22-24 November 2017, Lisbon, Portugal 

Organized on behalf of the Downstream Processing Section of ESBES
ABC2 focussed on less conventional methods for the purification of biological products, namely: Aqueous two-phase systems; Magnetic fishing; Precipitation & Crystallization; Unconventional chromatography methods (e.g. expanded bed, monoliths, radial chromatography); Membrane separation systems. The workshop is aimed for PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, principal investigators and any professionals from academia and industry wishing to learn and update their knowledge in the field of bioseparation applying packed-bed chromatography alternative methods. Please check the website to learn more about the workshop.