Biotechnology represents an innovative key technology with great potential for growth and the future. In the field of biotechnology, those physical, chemical and biological processes are researched at the molecular and cellular level, and then become significant in the development of new molecular modular systems, cell-based bioprocesses and bioprocess engineering processes. Biotechnological research demands the integration of the life sciences and process engineering with the aim of technologically deploying (macro) molecules, cells and organisms for the production of useful substances such as biological products, food and feedstuff and chemical feedstocks as well as bio-composites and functional nanoparticles. A unique selling point of BOKU concerns the fact that the entire range of biotechnologically relevant prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms is used.

Biotechnological research strengths at BOKU include the analysis, chemistry and biology of complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins, molecular enzymology, protein design and engineering, protein dynamics, analysis of cell surfaces and biofilms, metabolism and cell engineering, discovery and classification of bioactive metabolites, bioinformatic analysis and editing of genomes, molecular modelling and simulation, modelling and analysis of metabolic processes, as well as the self-organization of (biologically-inspired) superstructures.

Regarding bioprocess engineering, nanobiotechnology and bio interfaces, the following research areas are being pursued and expanded: Digitization of bioprocesses and model-based process development, development of new bioprocesses for the production of innovative biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, gene therapy vehicles, 3-D cell cultures, synthetic membranes for sensors, functionalized nanoparticles (e.g. for medicine delivery) and feedstock chemicals.

Within biomaterial science, the focus is on research into biological tissues, implants and interfaces. Further activities include the development of food-grade cell factories, cell-based diagnostic methods, biosensors, regenerative medicine, and heritage science, as well as assessment of the implications of technology in selected areas of modern bio- and nanotechnology.

The cross-linking of departments researching in this area is carried out by the following graduate schools (i) Biomolecular Technology of Proteins (BioToP), (ii) Bioprocess Engineering (BioproEng) and (iii) Biomaterials and Biointerfaces (BioMatInt) with additional support by the Centre for Bioeconomy.

Projects in this field are funded by both national and European sponsors, which finance basic research and applied research in a balanced relationship. BOKU is involved in research in the field of biotechnology through two centres: acib and FFoQSI. Five Christian Doppler Laboratories are currently in operation: Innovative Immunotherapeutics, Growth Decoupled Protein Production in Yeast, Next Generation CAR T-Cell Therapies, Glycerine Biotechnology, and Production of Novel Biopharmaceuticals in E. coli); another is planned: Manufacture of Gene Therapy Vectors. Major current and planned FWF projects include the BioToP graduate college and SFB submissions (e.g. in glycobiotechnology and next generation viral vaccines). Other funding sources include FWF individual projects and grants, and WWTF and FFG projects, as well as projects with local authorities and industry partners. Several Horizon 2020 projects are running at European level (including ERCs, Marie Curie Actions and H2020-ETN) in addition to the planned submission of Horizon Europe projects \ [ERCs, Pillar 2, Cluster 1 (Health) and Cluster 6 (Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources)].