About Us

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Vision and Mission

To provide quality teaching with strong core science concepts and an application-oriented undergraduate and post-graduate education along with a solid foundation in the rapidly expanding fields of biotechnology and food technology that will enable the Department to produce high-quality professionals. Our goal is to provide students with sound knowledge and understanding of current theories, concepts and laboratory practices in Biotechnology and Food Technology. In so doing, we strive to:

  • Generate high-quality Biotechnology and Food technology professionals by offering Under Graduate (Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Honours) and Post Graduate (MSc and Ph.D.) programmes in the Biotechnology and Food Technology disciplines. We would also endeavour to develop a premier Biotechnology and Food Technology teaching and research department to cater to the needs and challenges of the country and the world at large.
  • Initiate a level of attitude in research scholars that will provide solutions to environmental, industrial, agricultural, food and health-based problems.
  • Equip and subsequently graduate students who can compete, with advantage, within the relevant academic and commercial markets in the world.

Overview of Biotechnology and Food Technology

It cannot be overemphasized that numerous changes, developments and the wave of the 4th Industrial revolution is questing the “status quo” and gradually transforming our lives positively. A Biotechnological and Food Technological revolution is indeed unfolding and it will shape the future and transform our lives. New tools and technologies, advances in Food Technologies and multidisciplinary approaches are changing the way Biotechnology and Food Technology are undertaken.

UJ has a unique and central place in supporting SA’s position in Biotechnology and Food Technology. Our training provides knowledge and skilled people thereby making major contributions across society and economy by:

  • Ensuring the supply of excellent scientists into South African industries and public bodies.
  • Support development of new technologies that improve lives and boost the economy

Excellent research underpins and drives advances in medicine and health, green technologies, new pharmaceuticals and safe and nutritious food; it leads to more sustainable agriculture, helps to combat infectious diseases and underpins responses to climate change. In the no distant future, Biotechnology and Food technology will be at the heart of providing solutions to major challenges facing humankind such as:

  • Feeding nine billion people sustainably by 2050
  • Staying healthier for longer as lifespan increase and society ages
  • Increasing the lifespan of fresh food
  • Bioconverting food to other products
  • Addressing the challenges of antimicrobial resistance

Key strategic research priorities

Our key research priorities are as follows:

  • Agriculture and Food security:

Biotechnology and Food Technology for sustainable and productive agriculture, supplying not only sufficient, affordable, nutritious and safe food, but also non-food products and feedstocks, in a rapidly changing world.

  • Industrial Biotechnology:
    Industrial materials and biopharmaceuticals, developed and produced using biological processes will help to drive SA economy.
  • Biotechnology and Food Technology for Health:

We will be driving advances in fundamental Biotechnology and Food Technology for better health across the life course, reducing the need for medical and social intervention.

Enabling Themes

These are:

  • Enabling Innovation: Maximizing the impact of science and skilled people in boosting the South African economy, informing policies and improving quality of life.
  • Exploiting new ways of working: Enabling innovative ways of working practices in an era of rapid technological advancement, and multidisciplinary research.
  • Collaboration and Partnership: Working with different stakeholders (Government and Private sector, Academic Institutions) both nationally and internationally, to deliver our vision for a global meaningful impact.

We strive to drive Biotechnology and Food Technology forward by exploiting new and exciting ways of working and thinking.