Carlsberg A/S has approved the formation of Carlsberg Biosektor, a biotechnology research and development department.

The basis for the new department under the umbrella of the Carlsberg Research Centre is 'Project New Opportunities' which started last year to investigate the possibility of capitalising on the knowledge and inventiveness the research centre contains.

No fewer than 33 employees came up with ideas for new projects and 19 of the ideas were presented to the New Opportunities Venture Board. Five were singled out and it is on the basis of the business plans for these five projects that the board of directors at Carlsberg A/S has decided to establish Carlsberg Biosektor.

The department will receive an initial start-up capital of DKK 10m ($4.5m) from Carlsberg A/S and within the first one to two years it will be known if it's first three projects can be commercialised.

The projects will focus on new biocompatible polymeric materials, a new principle for the development of cancer vaccines and affinyx - a new principle to identify alternative methods to develop medicine.

Biosektor will also work with mapping the genome of the Carlsberg yeast and of barley - the most important ingredients in the production of beer. The company expects that the outcome of the project will provide valuable information for Carlsberg.

The Carlsberg Research Centre comprises Carlsberg Laboratory, Carlsberg Research Laboratory and the Carlsberg Biosektor.