Biorefining : from raw materials to chemicals

The summer school « France Excellence China 2018 » entitled "Biorefining : from raw materials to chemicals" will be organized from the 2nd to the 29th of July, 2018 in Toulouse, “Institut National des Sciences Appliqués”.


Biorefineries and, nowadays, more broadly, the bio-economy concepts propose interesting

approaches to produce commodity products by finding alternative solutions from conventional petrochemical routes. The bioeconomy has been identified as a major theme at European and International levels for the development of processes and products using less fossil carbon. The European Commission defines the bio-economy as "an economy that encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into products for human food and animal feed, bio-based products and bioenergy through efficient and innovative technologies "(definition EFIB2017).


Therefore, the value chain in bio-economy requires complementary multidisciplinary skills combining economics, biotechnology, green chemistry, and life cycle analysis, process innovation for intensive and eco-engineered bioprocesses.



Discovering Research in chemistry, biology and microbiology fields in France

The 2018 BIOREF Summer School will offer high-level courses taught in English,

meetings with French, European or International researchers as well as people from industry through visits or conferences. Organizing this school in 2018 will also benefit from a major event in science, the 8th Edition of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) which will allow Toulouse to be the European City of Science. Students could attend conferences and workshops on the theme of "sharing science: towards new horizons", and real opportunities to meet and to exchange with different leading scientific actors. During the course weeks, an introduction to research will be proposed to the students by making supervised projects (lab works, thematic workshop) and a personal research project allowing them improving their learning.


Three laboratories of Toulouse are partners of this School, to propose students to “discover” the research world in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Chemical Engineering. The attendees will meet and exchange with PhD students from our research institutes especially for those who would like to prepare a PhD in France. Our teaching program integrates also cultural aspects.


These cultural activities associated to French courses which will be accompanied by the Chines eengineer-students of our 2 institutes and by Chinese teachers and researchers from our laboratories.These cultural activities will allow Chinese students to discover the Occitania Region, its cultural heritage, its gastronomy (wines and “terroir”) but also the City of Bordeaux and its vineyards ending with 2 day Paris visits.






Arrival in France and transfer to the place of the School:

You will be welcomed on Monday, 2nd of July (2018) at Paris-Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport by members of the BIOREF School and then transferred to Toulouse by train.


Accommodation :

On your arrival in Toulouse, transfer to the « Résidence Universitaire » will be organized.


Meals :

Meals are an opportunity to meet and to interact with teachers and the organizing committee in a more relaxed setting while practicing French. Lunches will be taken at the University Restaurant of INSA Toulouse (a pre-paid personal access card will be provided). Dinners will be taken at the university restaurant from 7:00 PM. A snack (hot drinks and cakes) will be offered between 4:00 PM and 4:30 PM every day of classes.



INSA Toulouse is located in the outskirts of Toulouse but easily accessible by subway or bus from the city center. A personal transport card including a subway/bus subscription for 1 month will be given on your arrival.


Back to China

Your return to China will occur on Sunday, July the 29th, 2018 2:00 PM from Paris Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, transfer from the accommodation to the airport in the morning (10:00-11:00 AM).





Please find here the schedule of the summer school


Course syllabus:

The courses will be given mainly on the INSA Toulouse campus ( and on the INP Toulouse campus ( They will be provided by teachers and researchers from these two institutes as well as by researchers from the partner laboratories : Laboratoire d’Ingénierie des Systèmes Biologiques et des Procédés LISBP UMR INRA 792, UMR CNRS 5504 (, Laboratoire de Chimie Agro-industrielle LCA UMR INRA 1010 ( and Laboratoire de Génie Chimique LGC UMR CNRS 5503 (


Courses and lectures will cover the following topics:

 Kinetics and reactions, enzymology, microbial engineering, life cycle analysis, green chemistry, bioproducts and separation techniques, by lectures, tutorials and practical works. Initiation to documentary research (bibliography) and Development of a personal research project.




Pratical works and worshops :

Practical works are proposed in order to apply the theoretical aspects seen during the lessons/lectures. They also make it possible to work in conditions close to those encountered in our research laboratories, during research initiation projects or for PhD thesis preparation.


The practical works and workshops proposed will concern:

TP1: enzymatic kinetics (sucrose and / or cellulose hydrolysis, pulp case)

TP2: microbiology, discovery of potential microbial genera producing chemical synthons

TP3: life cycle analysis (as a board game)

TP4: manufacture of a bioplastic

Green chemistry workshop deals with small framed projects regarding bioenergy production,

bioplastics, biosolvents etc ...

These workshops and practical works lead to oral presentation to evaluate the training.

This school will propose to each student to develop and to prepare a personal research project

(PRP) related to the scientific themes of our home laboratories. These PRP will be evaluated at the end

of the school by a Jury, in conditions close to the doctoral scholarship competition.


Conferences and Lab visits :

Time will be dedicated to Conferences (ESOF or others) and lab visits will be organized during all the duration of the School Bioref (LISBP, LCA, LGC and Toulouse White Biotechnology predemonstrator, mainly).


Courses of French as a Foreign language

The training program offers 21 hours of French classes judiciously distributed throughout the course period (an intensive part at the beginning of the school, followed by a sequence of slots from 1h to 1h30 per day until the end of the School)

These courses will be taught by teachers from our Institutes by groups of 12-15 students. Depending on the number of attendees, courses may be shared with the Summer School offered by our colleagues from INP-ENSEEIHT (School MSPD). The first week, classes on French culture would facilitate your integration into French daily life. "Ambassadors" (i.e. Chinese engineer-students and Chinese PhD students from our Institutes) will be mobilized to help and to accompany the incoming students during these weeks (during visits for example).


The definitive program will be known at the beginning of April 2018.





Beside classes, many activities will be offered:

Monday, July 2nd: Welcome evening

Saturday, July 7th: Tourist Rally to discover the city of Toulouse.

Sunday, July 8th: Visit of the “Cité de l'Espace” in Toulouse

Saturday, July 14th: National Day in France/ Fireworks on the “Garonne river”.

Sunday, July 15th: Visit of the medieval city of Carcassonne, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Saturday, July 21th: Visit the Cathedral “Sainte-Cécile” of Albi and visit the vineyards of Gaillacois or Frontonnais.

Wednesday, July 25th: End of School Barbecue

Thursday, July 26th: Departure by bus to Bordeaux. Stop at noon at Saint-Emilion to discover the vineyards of Bordeaux. Lunch on the spot and then Transfer to Bordeaux and

visit of the City. Departure at the end of the day for Paris by TGV.

Friday 27th and Saturday 28th of July: 2 days of supervised visits of Paris (guided visits to be specified according to availability of reception).






Biorefining : from raw materials to chemicals

From the 2nd to the 29th of July, 2018 in Toulouse, “Institut National des Sciences Appliqués”.

The total number of places is limited to 25


The price does not include the trip from China to Paris.

Accommodation, meals and local transportation are all included except breakfast.

The summer school will deliver 2 to 3 ECTS

The summer school is reserved to Chinese master students.

To apply, please follow the application procedure on the main page.


Price: 30.000 CNY


The French Embassy reserves a limited number of grants to students with an exceptional academic background. Grants cover the tuition fees but do not cover the trip from China to Paris.