The CBQF (Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Centre of Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry) is a Research Centre formed in 1992 within the Faculty of Biotechnology of the Catholic University of Portugal (ESB). The Centre is not a legally constituted entity, but rather a unit of the host institution from which it is scientifically independent although highly collaborative. The independence of the CBQF / ESB permits the establishment of formal and informal, collaborations and alliances whilst maintaining its identity and management autonomy. Since 2004 the CBQF has enjoyed the status of Associate Laboratory (www.fct.pt/apoios/unidades/las.phtml.pt), one of only 26 in Portugal and the only one that is not state-owned. From its inception there has been a strong tradition of publishing in international, peer-reviewed journals presence in the most relevant international and national conferences in its thematic areas, as illustrated in the indicators and other texts in this document. Considering all relevant criteria, the Centre can claim to be a leading institution in Portugal in its chosen areas and a considerable presence in the European and Latina American forums.
CBQF occupies a single-site in the University Campus of Asprela in Porto, Northern Portugal and has a scientific team of around 50 PhDs and approximately this number of research students and other personnel. Its major disciplinary competences are based around biosciences, analytical chemistry and engineering which it applies to thematic challenges focused on two main areas:
THE HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF THE CITIZEN – particularly focussed on the SAFETY OF THE FOOD CHAIN – generating knew knowledge on key hazards, the risks they represent and the means by which these are controlled and in THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT – contributing new knowledge and solutions for the identification and mitigation of specific, environmental risks.
THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD SYSTEMS By intervening in THE AGRO-FOODS SYSTEM – by (i) identifying, developing and improving novel ingredients, technologies and strategies which lower costs and add value to food products by their health-, safety- and sensory-based attributes and (ii) working towards the SUSTAINABILITY OF AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE USAGE – creating a knowledge base which contributes to the optimisation of the extraction of value (in its various forms) from agriculture. CBQF approached these challenges through a structure made up of 2 thematic research lines, environment and food, each composed if 2 research groups. The Research Line – Environment: Innovative approach to environment and sustainability challenges. Is still made up of the 2 Research Groups which were formed in 2004 – Environmental mitigation tools and strategies and Environmental Diagnosis. The Research Line – Food: Safer, healthier, more nutritious and more competitive food. Is currently made up of 2 Research Groups, Food Safety and Food Quality and Nutrition although this represents a slight evolution from the structure which existed between 2004 to 2012.
CBQF-LAE’s current board of directors is; Manuela Pintado (chairman), António Rangel, Cristina Silva, Ana Gomes and Marta Vasconcelos. The General manager of the Centre is Gonçalo Almeida.