The history of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) begins on 6 June 1968, when the decree on the creation of the UAB is officially promulgated. Since its first years, the UAB strived to set the foundations for a university model based on the respect for the basic principles of autonomy, participation and social commitment. After 52 years of existence, the UAB has consolidated itself among the two hundred best universities in the world in the main university rankings, and since the 2011/12 academic year it is one of the 10 young universities with the highest international projection and global prestige.

UAB is the second Spanish university in the post prestigious rankings. The Department of Chemical, Biological and Enviromental Engineering at UAB is a department with a high focus on research, with different groups interacting in the utilisation of microorganisms for the bioproduction of added-value compounds or for the biodegradation of pollutants from either solid or fluid phases. Among the different research groups in the department, GENOCOV stands for Group of biological treatment and valorization of liquid and gaseous effluents, removal of nutrients, odours and Volatile Organic Compounds. GENOCOV, whose principal investigator is Prof. Francisco Javier Lafuente, has been active over the last 25 years in understanding the biological processes for the treatment of urban and industrial wastewater and gaseous effluents, with special emphasis on monitoring, modelling and control of such complex biological systems. The quality of the research group can be measured at first sight through several quality indices such as several EU projects and projects funded by the Spanish Government. With respect to publications, in the last 5 years the group has more than 70 peer-reviewed international journals publications as well as an important participation in international conferences. The Bioprocess Engineering and Applied Biocatalysis research group, led by Prof. Francisco Valero and Prof. Gregorio Álvaro, seeks to develop biotechnological processes to obtain products of interest for the chemical, pharmaceutical, food&beverage and health industries, thus, developing its activities in the field of the Industrial Biotechnology. The research interests are focused on i)  microbial production of recombinant proteins and low molecular weight molecules (bulk/fine chemicals) using several renewable raw materials and ii) enzymatic processes of stereoselective synthesis, developing methodologies and strategies to obtain several products. The research group has been involved in several EU and national funded projects, being as well prolific in high-quality scientific publications in the last years.