The Institute of Microbiology of Academy of Sciences of Belarus Soviet Socialist Republic (current designation – State research institution “Institute of Microbiology, National Academy of Sciences, Belarus”) was reorganized on June 1, 1975 from the former Department of Microbiology, functioning within the framework of Belarusian Academy of Sciences since 1966. The corner-stone of the Department was laid by Associate of the Academy of Sciences Prof. Semen A. Samtsevich who made significant contribution into progress of soil microbiology. A founder and first Director of the Institute was Academician, Doctor of Biology, Professor Anatoly G. Lobanok leading its activities from 1975 till 2004. In the following years he was succeeded by Associate of National Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Biology Emily I. Kolomiets.
Research trends of the Institute were formulated to meet the challenges of national economy and were aimed at investigation of physiology and biochemistry of microorganisms, elaboration of theoretical principles for application of microbial strains in various industries, agriculture, medicine, environmental protection.
The Institute record was marked by genesis and formation of advanced research schools specializing in symbiotic and non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation (Samtsevich S.A., Zimenko T.G., Milto N.I.), yeast lipid synthesis (Zalachko M.V.), enzyme production (Lobanok A.G., Astapovich N.I., Mikhailova R.V., Sapunova L.I.), bioconversion of vegetative substrates) Lobanok A.G., Stakheev I.V., Babitskaya V.G., Kolomkiets E.I.), biotechnologies of nucleic compounds (Zinchenko A.I., Erochevskay L.A., Kvach S.V.), biological agents controlling plant and animal pathogens (Kolomiets E.I., Zdor N.A., Romanovskaya T.V., Sverchkova N.V.), development of microbial fertilizers (Milto N.I., Sukhovitskaya L.A., Aleshchenkova Z.M.), probiotics (Astapovich N.I., Golovnyova N.A., Naidenko I.A., Novik G.I.), bioactive diet supplements based on medicinal fungi (Babitskaya V.G., Shcherba V.V., Puchkova T.A.), xenobiotic degradation processes (Samsonova A.S., Aleshchenkova Z.M.).
Now the Institute of Microbiology is a leading national research center in the area of microbiology and biotechnology.
Its innovation stock list comprises a broad spectrum of items – substances for medicines and diagnostic kits, bioconservating agents, food and feed additives, biodisinfectants, probiotics, plant biological control agents, microbial fertilizers, technologies for decontamination of wastewaters and environmental objects, specific anti-biodeterioration recommendations. Steady efforts focused on mastering novel methods, upgrading quality of the products, shaping market of biocommodities boosted national biotechnological sector.
A vital stage of innovation strategy was setting up at Institute facilities of Biotechnological Center (Laboratory of Fermentation Processes with Pilot Plant) designed to scale up laboratory procedures and manufacture diverse biological products on pilot plant level. Operation of the Center enables to carry out original methods of microbial submerged fermentation, to recover active metabolites from cultural media, to create competitive commercial forms of biopreparations.
Increased scientific level and elevated innovation potential of studies raised international prestige of the Institute and enlarged the range of contacts with foreign colleagues from Lund University, Sweden, Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigations, institutions from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, etc.
The Institute is a member of East Palearctic section of International Organization for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants advertising and promoting application of biological methods for comprehensive plant protection in national programs and international cooperation projects.
Recognition of Institute competence is its assignment as the principal Contractor and Coordinator of interstate task program “Innovation biotechnologies” financed by EuroAsian Economic Community (EAEC). Integration of scientific and engineering resources from Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan allows to realize breakthrough projects in the field of microbial and DNA technologies aimed at solution of critical food, biological and ecological safety problems in EAEC countries.
Belarussian Non-governmental Association of Microbiologists locating its headquarters on the premises of the Institute was incorporated into Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) which ensures constant close contacts with EEC partners.
The Institute holds on a regular basis (biennially) International conferences – forums for constructive discussions of relevant topics, like current status and prospects of microbiology and biotechnology, initiation and fostering of fruitful links, international scientific collaboration schemes, acceleration of innovation cycle in various branches of national economy.