Biotechnology allows us to create new and more sustainable processes and new products in field such as medicine, agriculture, food, and energy. Biotechnology is a vital part of the Danish life sciences sector—it employs 50,000 people with rapidly growing exports.

Biotechnology covers all technological use of biological systems, living organisms, and products derived from these. These applications have many different purposes, including the production of food, medicines, and energy.

Bacteria, microalgae, fungi, and yeast are just some of the living microorganisms that are exploited in biotechnology. Microbes’ products, for instance, include various proteins, including enzyms and antibodies.

The whole world is increasingly exploiting living organisms for a more sustainable production of a wide range of substances. That means that biotechnology can be used to trigger a green transition in both agriculture and industry to production without the use of animal husbandry, chemicals, or coal and oil. Using biotechnology, it is now possible to make cow's milk without cows, gas without fossil resources, and egg whites without chickens.

In Denmark, biotechnology makes up the foundations of many businesses, and the field is part of the life sciences sector which saw exports double in the period 2012–2022 according to the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. This meant that exports in 2022 had risen to DKK 175 billion.

Professor Alexander Kai Büll (back) together with his colleague Soumik Ray, both researching at DTU Bioengineering. Photo: Bax Lindhardt

DTU ranking third in the world in biotechnology

DTU is at the global forefront of biotechnology research. This is evident from the Shanghai Rankings ‘2022 Global Ranking of Academics Subjects’. In the field of biotechnology, DTU maintains an impressive 3rd place in the world in 2022, only surpassed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Approximately 1,000 employees work full or part time with biotechnology in a handful of departments at DTU.

Between 2016-2020 approximately one third of DTU's published research articles were related life science, which is the overall category with biotechnology being part of.

Find the article 'DTU ranking third in the world in biotechnology' here.

Study programmes - Master of Science in Engineering (MSc Eng)

DTU currently offers one English-taught full degree BSc programme in General Engineering. All other undergraduate programmes are taught in Danish.

DTU offers several MSc programmes – all are taught in English – that can lead to employment within biotechnology. You can see all MSc programmes here.

All Engineering students are taught biology

Biology is part of DTU’s polytechnic foundation, and all Bachelor of Engineering students are introduced to the fundamental principles of biology and biotechnology—regardless of their study programme. The aim is to provide the basis for interdisciplinary, biological applications across all engineering-related fields.