Biotechnology Journal (BTJ) has had yet another exciting year in 2012. Most notably we welcomed the Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) to the BTJ family with a formal collaboration agreement, which was signed in Taiwan in June by Prof. Toshiomi Yoshida (AFOB president, 2008 – 2012) and Dr. Carol Bacchus (Publishing Director and VP, Wiley). With this agreement, we aim to foster biotech research and development in Asia and to further promote this research to an international audience.
This is not the first time that BTJ has worked with the AFOB – we were privileged to publish some of the best research reported at the AFOB's Asia Congress of Biotechnology (ACB2011) in a Special Issue in 2011  (edited by Prof. Sang Yup Lee and Prof. Jian-Jiang Zhong – Current AFOB Secretary General) – and we are pleased that the AFOB has now chosen us as their official journal.
Through the AFOB, BTJ gained valuable additions to our editorial board. We welcome Prof. George Guo-Qiang Chen (who has already served on BTJ's editorial board since 2009) and Prof. Tai Hyun Park as Editors to the Journal, whose roles will be to facilitate our Editors-in-Chief (Prof. Sang Yup Lee and Prof. Alois Jungbauer) in the peer-review process. In addition, we welcome 10 editorial board members (in alphabetical order), Professors Jo-Shu Chang (Taiwan), Masahiro Goto (Japan), Mohd Ali Hassan (Malaysia), Dongmyung Kim (Korea), Kazuhide Kimbara (Japan), Ashok Kumar (India), Kong Peng Lam (Singapore), Bansi Malhotra (India), Ya-Jie Tang (China) and Bang-Ce Ye (China). The collective expertise of the new and existing board members will ensure that all manuscripts submitted to BTJ will be assessed by the experts in their respective fields.
Through the AFOB, BTJ gained valuable additions to our editorial board.
One aspect of the collaboration between BTJ and the AFOB is the publication of special issues based on the outstanding research results of AFOB members – with the blessings of the current AFOB president, Prof. Ho Nam Chang, our two new senior editors, Prof. George Chen and Prof. Tai Hyun Park will edit the first of these special issues. We plan to publish this in time for the next ACB, which will be held in New Delhi, India, at the end of 2013. The Special Issue will consist of invited review articles and will be open for submission of primary research articles to all AFOB members; as with all special issues in BTJ, all manuscripts will be peer-reviewed.
As we welcome new members to the editorial board, we would like to also thank the editorial board members who have served their terms with the Journal. Our sincere gratitude to the following who have retired from active service in the Journal in 2012 – not only were they active in the peer-review process, many also published research and review articles as well as editing Special Issues of the Journal – Prof. Lawrence Bergman, Prof. Pushpa Bhargava , Dr. Andrea Buchacher , Prof. Henry Daniell , Dr. Suwan Jayasinghe , Dr. Christine Machold, Dr. Philippe Mondon , Dr. Maria Mota  and Prof. Sven Saupe. We will also be temporarily without our Assistant Editor, Dr. Uta Göbel, who is currently on parental leave but plans to return in early 2014.
Biotechology Journal continues to work with our existing partners, the European Federation of Biotechnology: Section on Biochemical Engineering Sciences (ESBES) and the European Biosafety Association (EBSA). Together with ESBES, we will publish a Special Issue on “Biochemical Engineering Science" in 2013 (edited by Prof. Alois Jungbauer and Prof. Guilherme Ferreira – current ESBES Chair), which will be based on the research results presented at the ESBES meeting (together with the European Congress of Biotechnology) in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2012.
In 2012, we continued our “Best Cover Competition” and introduced the new “Best Primary Research Paper Award”. Based on votes from our Editorial Board and our readers, our congratulations to Jang et al.  for their best cover, and Chumnanpuen et al.  for their best paper of 2012.
With a successful 2012 behind us, we look forward to 2013 with great enthusiasm. Most importantly, our much anticipated first Impact Factor™ will be released in June. Our unofficial estimate put us on par with many of the well-established, top-ranking journals in the field. We are very much grateful to our authors who have contributed their best articles and to our readers for recognizing the importance of the research published in our Journal.
Judy Peng, PhD, Managing Editor, Biotechnology Journal