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CTG Brasil won 2019 Brazil Bioeconomy Award



Last week, August 8th, a R&D project funded by CTG Brasil and executed by the biotechnology startup Bio Bureau won the 2019 edition of the Brazil Bioeconomics Award, the most important award on biotechnology in the country. The project relates to the biotechnological control research of the golden mussel, an invasive species of Asian origin that affects the operation of the hydroelectric dams and reduces the electricity generation of the enterprises.


The award ceremony took place on August 8th during the 2019 Brazil Economy Forum, an initiative of the Brazilian Association of Bioinnovation (ABBI in Portuguese). Held in Saint Paulo, the event brought together more than 200 representatives from industry, government, the press, investors, academia and civil society. CTG Brasil was represented at the awards by the Research & Development team. The award was received by the founding partner of Bio Bureau, Mauro Rebelo.


The winners of the 2019 Brazil Bioeconomics Award were chosen by a multidisciplinary panel of judges that included national and international representatives of the academy, investors, non-governmental organizations, funding agencies and sponsoring companies of the event.


"Respect for the environment and the development of innovative solutions for the Brazilian electricity sector are strategic pillars of CTG Brasil. Winning this award, recognizing the pioneering spirit of the initiative, is a proof that we are on the right track, working with the best partners to innovate and contribute to the sustainable development of our operations, "says the Director of Health, Safety, Quality, Environment and Land Management of CTG Brasil, Aljan Machado.


The project for genetic control of golden mussel, carried out under the ANEEL Research & Development program, is a pioneer research in Brazil and aims to mitigate the economic and environmental impacts caused by the limnoperna fortunei mollusk. Considered as an invader, it has no natural predators in the Brazilian fauna and is hosted in the generation turbine water catchment systems, compromising the operation, besides being a risk to the aquatic ecosystems, causing imbalances in the local fauna and flora.


To solve this problem, which affects 40% of Brazil's hydropower dams, CTG Brasil, the Bio Bureau and Senai Chemical and Textile Industry Technology Center (CETIQT in Portuguese) are researching the creation of a genetically modified mussel that only generates sterile offspring and thus reduces the reproduction rates of the mollusk by fighting its uncontrolled proliferation. The eradication of the species would solve the negative impacts caused by infestation in Brazilian waters.


For genome alteration, CRISPR technology was used, capable of rewriting the genetic code of the mollusk. The expected result after 10 years is to control the mussel population, freeing the ecosystem from its impacts. Started in 2017, the research is now in its third phase and has a total investment of R $ 8.12 million.

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