North America community engagement

In North America Novozymes is part of one of the largest biotechnology hubs in the USA.

Science challenge

In 2013, Novozymes North America launched a new partnership program with the Early College High School in Franklin County North Carolina, called the “Science Challenge.”   Novozymes employees created an investigative protocol to challenge students to identify enzyme classes based on lab techniques used in real-life work settings. NZNA-citizymes-1
Students were given the necessary materials and coached for a month by Novozymes' employees.  The work culminated in student teams presenting their results to an audience consisting of their peers, parents, teachers, school officials and Novozymes judges who awarded prizes for the best work.  The science challenge was conducted twice in 2013 and reached 150 learners.

Students earning college credits with enzymes

“Get AMPed with Enzymes!” exclaimed Team Rocket, one of the three teams of freshmen students from the Franklin County Early College High School presenting the results of their projects at Novozymes in North Carolina in May 2013. “AMP”, an acronym for Amylase, Mannanase, and Protease, represented the three enzyme classes the students were working with and learning about as part of a project hosted by Novozymes to get students excited about science through a hands-on challenge to identify these three enzymes based on what kind of stains they cleaned.
For over a month these teams worked hard during and after school to complete their experiments, collect results, and prepare their presentations which they delivered for 15 minutes each to an audience of teachers, administrators, members of the Board of Education, and proud parents. Novozymes in North Carolina has partnered with the Early College High School for over a year. The school is one of a number of schools around the state that allows students to earn a high school diploma and 2 years of college credit while still in high school, thus significantly reducing the cost of college education. Many of the students will be the first in their family to attend college and potentially pursue a career in the sciences.

Connecting kids and agriculture

Novozymes BioAgriculture department in Saskatoon gives financial and board support to "Agriculture in the Classroom – Saskatoon" (AITC-SK).  AITC – SK is dedicated to “Connect kids and agriculture” by providing resources, learning kits, and offering programs in schools.  The school garden program, "Little Green Thumbs," provides gardens and education to schools throughout the province and allows children to learn about plant growth and food production. The program has gardens in 58 urban, rural and First Nations schools. Before the program most of the students (72%) were indifferent to agriculture and had little understanding of where their food comes from, while after the program 72% had a caring attitude and 19% had a very caring attitude. In 2013, AITC outreach programs and presentations reached approx. 15,000 students and 1,800 teachers and parents.

Reaching out to rural areas with a curriculum on science and enzymes

In collaboration with the Contemporary Science Center and Franklin and Granville County Highschools, Novozymes has developed a curriculum on science and enzymes. Moreover, Novozymes Salem has facilitated 10 classes in the Franklinton area to participate in field trips and in team taught lessons at the Contemporary Science Center. The Contemporary Science Center is a local non-profit organization focused on encouraging hands-on science experiences through day-long field studies for middle and high school students. To ensure a broad community impact, the educational project aimed at encouraging students in the rural areas to participate in the classes. In 2011, 266 students were exposed to the BioinnovationNationcurriculum on enzymes and biotechnology of which 122 were from rural areas surrounding Novozymes. 70% of the students expressed that the project had increased their enthusiasm for science. The project has brought Novozymes and the high school students closer together and thereby placed the first seed for future recruitment of young professionals from the local area.

Helping build Radford University's new biology lab 

In Salem, VA, Novozymes made a $50,000 gift to Radford University for a laboratory in the new Center for the Sciences building. The soon-to-be-named 'Novozymes Biology Lab' will be a teaching laboratory for introductory biology courses for undergraduate students. Construction on the Center for the Sciences is expected to begin in fall 2012 with a tentative completion date of fall 2014. 
The Novozymes Biology Lab is the second Radford University program supported by the company. It has also supported the Summer Bridge Program for the previous three years and has made a $10,000 gift to the 2012 event. The program is offered free of charge to rising sophomore, junior and senior female high school students from across Virginia to study science, technology and mathematics for a week-long college experience with Radford University professors. Students came to Novozymes for a half-day to participate in an interactive lab tour with our employees to get the newest insight in biotechnology. Learn more about the Novozymes Biology Lab.

Filming biotechnology 

In North America, Novozymes is a strong supporter of local community colleges and the Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Recently, the company participated in an educational film entitled 'Heal, Feed, Sustain' made by the North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR). The film will be shown to American middle- and high-school students when they learn about biotech. It is a lot of fun to follow three middle school students from North Carolina on a quest to learn what biotechnology is all about and why they should care.

Inspiring Franklin County Schools 

Novozymes employees are volunteering to inspire students and parents in Franklin County and surrounding areas to pursue a science education and possibly biotechnology-related careers by working with local schools in student outreach, science and technology demonstrations and career talks. The partner schools include Franklin County Schools and also schools outside of Franklin County such as Cardinal Gibbons High School, RTP Charter School and Northern Vance High School. For students and their parents, it is beneficial to see the value of a science education, learn about biotechnology and environmental awareness. Informal polling of students and teachers has been very positive with most agreeing that the experience increased their enthusiasm for science and related careers. In 2013, volunteers from Novozymes engaged with more than 1700 students.

Sponsoring founder of Contemporary Science Center 

As another example, Novozymes is a sponsoring founder of the Contemporary Science Center (CSC) in Franklinton.  Local science teachers and their classes were challenged to rethink tomorrow by submitting a class project to demonstrate what products could be made from, or better with, the use of corn or biotechnology.  Ten science classes won an all-expense paid one-day field trip to the Contemporary Science Center to spend a day in their learning lab where they were instructed on the science behind biotech corn and biofuels with hands-on learning experiments and projects.


Novozymes site in Franklinton, North Carolina, has its own composting facility which handles the production and sale of compost called Nature's GREEN-RELEAF from start to finish. Every year the site produces 12,500 tons of compost from waste activated biomass and other organic materials. The facility gets an overflow of requests for compost donations. In 2010 more than 500 cubic yards were donated to local community gardens and schools. The facility is an opportunity for Novozymes to reach out to the surrounding community.
In 2010 the Nature’s Green- RELEAF™ initiative sponsored a soil science poster contest for 5th graders in Wake country. The 10 winners of the contest and their families were invited for a tour at the Nature’s Green- RELEAF™ facilities where Novozymes employees taught the students about composting and soil science. Novozymes North America was subsequently recognized by North Carolina science and Mathematics Education on its commitment to science and mathematics education.

Developing a greenway in the Roanoke Vally

Novozymes Salem, VA site contributed significantly to the development of the Roanoke River Trail, which is part of the larger greenway system of the Roanoke Valley. Novozymes employees built a greenway bridge at Green Hill Park and planted trees and shrubs along the Hanging Rock trail in Roanoke County, between Smith Park and the Rivers Edge Complex on the Roanoke River Trail in Roanoke City, and along the Roanoke River Trail in the City of Salem.