NTNU is a national centre for technological education and research within the natural sciences but it also includes expertise in the classical university disciplines and academic eminence in the social sciences and the humanities. The university is funded by the Norwegian government. With about 20,000 students, including 1400 doctoral students, and a staff of 3160, NTNU is Norways second-largest university. Close co-operation between the different disciplines is one of NTNU's key features. It allows the development of interdisciplinary programmes that unite many areas of specialisation and cross the boundaries of faculties and departments. NTNU has a European research infrastructure in marine resources and 14 Marie Curie Training sites, including one in fish chemistry, processing and quality. The University is well equipped to handle supervision of visiting/foreign PhD-students. The 2003 budget is approximately NOK 2 billion, including externally funded research worth approximately 400 million pr year. NTNU staff co-operate closely with the research foundations SINTEF and ALLFORSK. The Department of Biotechnology is one of six departments under the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology. The main research areas are biopolymers, marine biochemistry, genetics and microbiology, biochemical engineering, food chemistry and environmental biotechnology. In the field of food chemistry, the main area of research is protein chemistry related to fish processing. The changes in the properties of the muscle proteins during different handling and processing conditions and how this affects the quality of the final products is being studied in projects on fish texture, superchilling, enzymatic processing of marine raw materials, salting, smoking and storage, combining fundamental understanding of biochemical processes in the raw material with knowledge on the processing conditions.