"This means taking good care of the climate and making responsible use of our raw materials. In fact, it means taking care of our planet and the people that live here. Today, but also of future generations. New ‘worlds’ are opening up, new ways of thinking and doing things and there is a willingness to work together to create a sustainable society. Micropia is a unique project which will provide the understanding to make a start on this work. dsm-firmenich was one of the founding fathers of the project and is still right behind it.
We at dsm-firmenich are familiar with this world. Scientists are now studying the smallest creatures close-up to see how they could play a role in solving the major problems facing society, such as food, raw materials and climate issues. These organisms are already being used in various fields, including in the production of foods, such as cheese, yoghurt, beer and wine, but also in the manufacture of medicine and in the purification of waste water. New uses are constantly being discovered, such as the use of micro-organisms to produce energy and ‘second-generation’ biofuel from plant waste material.
There has always been a gulf between science and the public. It is the same as far as micro-organisms are concerned, even though they are an essential part of nature and can be used in innovative ways to deal with major issues. Think of their impact on the transition from our present linear economy to the circular economy, in which waste is seen as a raw material in order to lighten the burden on our planet. It is a good thing that Micropia will not only lift the veil on the miraculous world of the micro-organisms, but will also provide a link between the scientists and the public, by setting up a wide-ranging educational programme. Primary and secondary school students will not only be able to discover this fascinating world, but will also be introduced to career possibilities in microbiology – from academic scientific research to work aimed at practical use.
It is hard to overestimate the importance of increased microbiological expertise, the introduction of the general public to this wonderful world and practical research into its possible use to man. Microbiology promises us a great deal. Those who have visited Micropia will not only be impressed by this major initiative, but will also realise how much we have yet to learn from nature."