More than ninety scientists, sales and marketing managers, production managers, technical specialists from industry and academia involved in starch research, development and sales will convene in Lille (France) on 17-18 November to exchange results and ideas. Marc van der Maarel is one of the organizers.
Van der Maarel, professor of Aquatic Biotechnology and Bioproduct Engineering at the University of Groningen, is the founding father of this European Starch Round Table. So what kind of meeting is this? ‘It is a meeting of academia and industry, behind closed doors and with no recordings or proceedings. The aim is to exchange knowledge and new ideas.’ The inspiration for this meeting came from the American Starch Round Table, which Van der Maarel has visited several times.
It is the fourth Starch Round Table in Europe, the previous editions of this biannual event were in Groningen and Wageningen. Why Lille? ‘There is a lot of starch research going on there. But also, from the European perspective, it is quite central.’ Most participants are from Europe, with some scientists from other continents – even Australia – making the trip. CCC is one of the sponsors of this Starch Round Table.
The idea is to increase interactions between different branches of science and industry. Starch is very versatile in applications: ‘In the US, the Gypsum Board is involved in this Round Table, as starch is used to cement plasterboards.’
Sessions in Lillie include topics on biosynthesis, structure and functionality of starch, starch modification (both enzymatic and chemical), and starch & nutrition. Everyone interested in starch research is welcome, but be swift as there are less than ten places left.
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