Introduction of Our Spanish Partners: The CIB-CSIC

| By Leon Kirschgens & Jacqueline Plaster

Although the corona virus is limiting all our work and Madrid is particularly hard hit, our Spanish partner has found ways to keep working on the MIX-UP project even during the crisis. Read here what role the CIB plays in our work.

The CIB-CSIC is one of our Spanish partners and located in Spain, Madrid. CIB, the Margarita Salas Center for Biological Research, stands for “Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas – CIB Margarita Salas” and is one of the largest and most prestigious research centres of the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas – CSIC). To improve the understanding of basic biological processes and to find integrative solutions for open questions related to environment, industry and human health, scientists at CIB combine structural, chemical, molecular and cellular biological approaches in their work. Currently, the CIB also actively collaborates initiatives in which the CSIC is participating to face coronavirus causing the causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary technology platform for sustainable plastic of CSIC ( is Auxi Prieto. She received her PhD degree in Pharmacy in 1996, is Research Professor at the CSIC and runs the Polymer Biotechnology group as part of the Microbial and Plant Biotechnology Department of the CIB-CSIC. Shehas huge experience in microbial metabolism for the molecular characterization of pathways related to biosynthesis and biodegradation of bio-based plastics.

The group currently has various priorities including the implementation of sustainable processes involving the use of waste, including gas streams, to produce biomaterials. In the MIX-UP project they work on the following tasks:

1. Computer-based characterization of enzymes, so-called hydrolases and depolymerases, which can degrade the bioplastics PHA and PLA

2. The optimization of bacterial bio-plastic production, i.e. the PHA build-up by the bacterial strain P. putida

3. The production of a variety of bioplastics or other materials that can be derived from PHA, for example to provide enhanced functionality

We look forward to the future cooperation and first successes of the CIB – CSIC group. But first and most importantly we wish our Spanish partners health and strength during the current crisis, since collaboration and togetherness is not only important for our work in the MIX-UP project!