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Design:

Biotech Commercialisation

KETBIO PARADE

The best of...

EU biotech projects

Top Ten

EU biotech collaborations

Twenty highly innovative

Biotech Commercialisation

Alongside community building, the mission of the KETBIO-Biotech-Transfer EU initiative, is to identify the most promising research results emerging from EU-funded research projects in the key enabling biotechnologies, and to facilitate their path towards commercialisation. To achieve this KETBIO’s Commercial Committee (made up of senior experts from industry, technology transfer consultants and venture capital specialists) screened and evaluated 300 EU-funded projects and identified the 30 most promising developments from across Europe. The selection criteria featured aspects such as: technology readiness, project results, potential impacts, market attractiveness, commercialisation support, entrance barriers, commitment and resources. The 30 selected projects — the top 10, and 20 highly innovative initiatives — are showcased in this publication, which will be widely spread among innovation experts, industry associations and beyond to raise awareness about the achievements of EU-funded biotech research and to support their introduction to the markets and wider society.

The mission:

Key enabling biotechnologies

KETBIO, the EU funded initiative for biotech transfer, is dealing with the key enabling biotechnologies and its EU research results to speed-up their market uptake. KETBIO has its focus on specific sub-segments of the key enabling biotechnologies which provide methods in bioengineering and in biochemistry for the production and processing in various industrial and technological areas. KETBIO also deals with cross-cutting issues to facilitate the path towards the commercialisation of the research results. Within these fields, the initiative`s goal is to create opportunities for particular contacts between the projects and partners.

The focus:

The sub-segments of the key enabling biotechnologies are:

Industrial biotech, biorefining, biobased- products

Environmental, marine and freshwater biotech

Emerging trends in biotechnologies

Horizontal topics

Industrial biotech, biorefining, biobased- productsExploring novel biomass sources, new enzymatic tools, simplification and up-scaling of processes

Environmental, marine and freshwater biotechExchanging on trends in bio-energies, blue bioeconomy and water biotechnologies

Emerging trends in biotechnologiesDiscovering intelligence on synthetic biology, applications in bioinformatics and trends in -omics

Horizontal topics IPR topics, business plan writing, communication and exploitation steps i.a. licensing, technology transfer, accelerators, industry partner search, finance, etc.

Evaluators pick: Key enabling biotechnologies

TOP TEN EU projects

Using a ranking system, the reviewers selected the TOP TEN EU research projects in the key enabling biotechnologies. These are featured in the first section of this publication. They have all received full marks in at least four of the six evaluation categories. To be included in the TOP TEN the projects had to score at least 10.5 out of 15 during the evaluation process. Additionally, an online vote (with the participation of more than 350 cluster members) helped to identify the best of the best by covering a wide range of the market segments related to biotechnology. The TOP TEN stand out because of their unique novel approaches to key enabling biotechnology, marking them out as industry drivers and/or projects with a high potential impact in terms of their attractiveness in consumer and end-user markets while, at the same time, providing benefits for the environment and health. Twenty other highly innovative biotech developments are also part of the KETBIO PARADE of Biotech commercialisation. These are detailed in section two.

First section

The TOP TEN EU key enabling biotechnology research projects are:

in KEY ENABLING BIOTECH

EmPowerPutida

INMARE

EU

TOP TEN

MePlat

H2AD

iMETLand

P4SB

ReTAPP

FRESH

FlexJET

SusBind

01

Top EU Biotech

flexJET

James Hygate, Founder & CEO

Flying with cooking oil

White Biotech: How the flexJET project is converting food waste and biomass into green jet fuels through biorefining

Sustainable Jet Fuel from Flexible Waste Biomass

flexJET puts its efforts in the research and the commercialisation of a novel route to sustainable fuels for aviation. flexJET is already constructing Europe’s first commercial demonstration plant for the production of advanced aviation biofuels (jet fuel) exclusively from waste vegetable oil and using organic solid waste biomass....

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What it's for

Technology approach

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Top EU Biotech

...biomass(food waste and sewage sludge), for the production of ‘Green’ hydrogen. The novel Sustainable Aviationthrough Biofuel Refining(SABR) process ensures a high quality Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) that is produced consistently from variable waste oils and fats.The project plant will produce 1,200 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel per year from food waste vegetable oil with dried organic waste used for the production of hydrogen utilized in the process. In total more than 4,000 tonnes of waste will be taken out of the environment. A subsequent scale-up first commercial plant is planned to be constructed immediately after the project completion to produce 25,000 tonnes per year of sustainable aviation fuel.

What it's forThe high-quality Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) will contribute to the decarbonization of the aviation industry. Building and extending from previous framework funding the high expert consortium composed of research and industry aims to set the benchmark for future sustainable aviation biofuels development that can be produced at both large and decentralized scales economically whilst simultaneously addressing social and environmental needs.

Technology approachThe innovative, scalable process combinesSustainable Aviationthrough Biofuel Refining (SABR , traditional transesterification technology, then hydro-processing and fractionation) for the upgrading of biodiesel through organic waste fats with the Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR®) technology for the production of green hydrogen. The hydrogen is then separated through pressure swing adsorption (PSA).Non-food competing waste vegetableoils (Used cooking oil, UCO) are transformed into SAF in line with existing standards (HEFA route – ASTM D7566, Annex 2). Using hydrogen from residual biomass conversion and using renewable process energy enables a significant reduction in the remaining CO2 footprint.In the future step, SAF output could be increased by co-refining the oils and fats withbiocrude oil, a by-product of the TCR process. If the results are promising this pathway could become a candidate for a future ASTM approvals process.TRL: 6-9for different processes and componentsFLEXJET engineers highlight the following advantages:The process ishighly scalableand less capital intense since it can be integrated into the existing aviation fuel infrastructureIt produces asustainable, cost-competitive aviation fuelby combining regional and local supply and demand strategies in a circular economyIt contributes to the Renewable Energy Directive Targets in Europe and to the fulfilment of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) goals.

Commercialisation factsflexJET is a commercial demonstration project. A detailed business model has been put together. The industry partners in the project have a strong interest to exploit the technology, pursuing different exploitation routes globally.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.flexjetproject.euJames Hygate, CEO Green Fuels LtdB21, Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park,Berkeley Green, Berkeley GL13 9FB, UKjames@greenfuels.co.ukwww.greenfuels.co.uk

INTERVIEW

“Biojetfuels make the difference in greening airlines”

Interview with James Hygate, CEO Green Fuels Ltd., flexJET technology and facility provider.

James Hygate Founder & CEO

Top EU Biotech

Could you sum-up the novelty of the flexJET technology, please?James Hygate:Since 2003 Green Fuels has pioneered sustainable, waste derived biofuels. The outputs from the flexJET project will add value to existing biofuel producers to enabling the upgrading biodiesel to an aviation fuel on a decentralized scale. To provide a truly sustainable fuel we’re using ‘Green Hydrogen’ in the process produced from organic wastes. In the project, there are many novel elements enabling a fully biogenic jet fuel - the most sustainable you will find in aviation.What are the main features of the flexJET demo plant?James Hygate:Our demo plant works with three key technologies, optimizing biorefining. Linking them leads to green fuels based on simplified and standardized processes.How sustainable is your bio kerosene?James Hygate:Our novel SABR process allows the use of 100% waste derived oils and fats. Renewable hydrogen is produced through a TCR process with no fossil fuel involved. We are flexible, converting different types of food oil waste into one standardized product, simplifying and saving costs in the hydro-processing and fractionation steps. Even our crude glycerol by-product is used onsite for the production of hydrogen, making the process fully circular.How big is the interest of industry?James Hygate:Airlines are keen to see us commercialise because they need to de-carbonize. We are currently developing sustainable jet fuel projects globally, and hope to commercialise our SABR process before the flexJET project is ended in 2022.Is the interest outside Europe bigger?James Hygate:The opportunities globally are huge. Our first commercial facility will be in Brazil, where huge amounts of sustainable feedstock are available. The planning for North America, California, are more incentive driven. We are also looking to Hong Kong where enormous volumes of waste oils are available within the Pearl River Delta. In Brazil our refinery is linked to a reforestation programme where 75,000 hectares of degraded land will be re-forested. It’s encouraging to see that the stakeholders want the fuels as green as possible.When do you plan to expand in Europe?James Hygate:flexJET has its demonstration facility in the UK. In Europe the availability of feedstock is an issue. Here, scale comes in and we need to work on decentralized solutions, because feedstock does not travel. We can use existing biodiesel capacities, with 100-150 tons a day in smaller plants by supplying them with our upgrades. This makes us less capital intense.Are the advantages of the project in the cooperation with existing industries?James Hygate:The flexJET approach allows huge flexibility in feedstock use, the scale enables production close to different waste streams, being close to end users and, on top, being close to cutting edge R&D.How do the results of the Life Cycle Assessment look like?James Hygate:Our carbon savings are more than 80%, which is of great interest to the airlines. The cooking oil- to- fuel ratio is one to one, with around 60% being jet. We are optimising the fractions through co-product applications for future approval; we want to utilize everything. And the amount of circular organic waste disposal with the technology is unique. In biorefining often the scaling-up causes the hurdles. How is that with you?James Hygate:The devil is not in the SABR process. There are challenges in the second stage, fractionation, although this simplified through our front-end processing.. With inexpensive fossil crude prices we need to stick to a simple and straight forward process.Can the low fossil prizes affect your business model?James Hygate:The reality is, that SAF is more expensive than fossil jet fuel. Nevertheless, globally the demand for green fuels is rising. Legislation asks for 10% quotas of biojetfuel in 2030, and for 20% in 2040. With that, we will be going with proportions that are not so significant in cost, but significant in carbon impact. It is clear that Sustainable Aviation Fuels are the only viable way to decarbonize aviation.What kind of incentives do you expect to boost the green aviation?James Hygate:We expect a greater environmental awareness in post-COVID times. The aviation business will be smaller but greener. Look to California, they are promoting biofuels with laws and subsidies. Europe will follow, because the airlines buy internationally. It`s in all of our interest.Thank you verymuch for this interview!

whatsay

people

"We want to explore a powerful alternative for sustainable aviation fuel to maximise the carbon benefits for aviation"

Stakeholders: flexJET project video

"Best scores in Commitment and Resources"; "High market potential"

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

"Excellent stakeholders and commercial partners"; “Regulation and de-taxing biobased Jet Fuel, Tax on CO2 would speed-up market entrance"

Evaluators:KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry experts

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Top EU Biotech

02

iMETLand

Abraham Esteve-Núñez, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Faster,smaller,biotech

iMETLand® is engineering nature to clean upwastewater

A new generation ofMicrobial Electrochemical Wetland for effective decentralized wastewater treatment

iMETLand has developed a water bio-filtration system based on microbial electrochemistry technology to degrade organic waste and pollutants. The project has validated a full-scale application of an eco-friendly device to treat urban wastewater at zero-energy operation cost in small communities. The project concept came from the integration of MicrobialElectrochemical Technologies (MET) into the nature-based concept used in constructed wetlands.

What it's for

Technology approach

Commercialisation facts

Contact

What it's for

Technology approach

Commercialisation facts

Contact

Top EU Biotech

What it's forWith the application precious water resources can be saved for reuse in a circular and sustainable way. Furthermore, vegetation removes nutrients, fixes CO2, and contributes to landing beautification. The low footprint from operational units is saving land resources and cost. Newest EU water treatment and recycling regulations are met.

Technology approachThe system works on the scientific basis from microbial electrochemistry.With an outstanding property of electron transfer between species, microbes from Geobacter genus bacterium are used in a biofilm together with electro conducting materials to activate metabolizing bacteria that eliminate and mineralize organic matter in liquid waste.Engineers of iMETLand, an EU-funded HORIZON 2020 research project, highlight several advantages against classic constructed wetland systems:Outperforming classical biofilters: the combination of electroactive bacteria with electroconductive material leads to 10-fold higher depuration rates than classical nature-based solutions.Landing Beautification: the presence of plants allows a suitable integration in the landscape.Zero-Energy operation cost: METland units are designed to work under grid-free conditions;ICT remote control: the conversion of sewage treatment into electric current can be used as an output signal to control the water quality through a user´s app;TRL-levels 8/9 have been reached: the actual system is proven in operational environment.

Commercialisation factsUp to 25,000 litres a day can be cleaned in urban settlements. However, iMETLand treats not only domestic sewage, but also industrial wastewater. Instead of sending it to general municipality water treatment, companies will have a sustainable tool to treat it on site and reuse the clean water for their own purpose,’ says Dr Abraham Esteve-Núñez, project coordinator of the iMETLand project and CEO of the spin-off company METfilter. Demo plants are operating in Spain, Denmark, Argentina, Mexico and UK. Furthermore, the system is fully operational on a camping site for treating wastewater from1,000 dwellers.As an instrument to speed up market uptake, the spin-off METFilter, owned by the Spanish water tech companies iMdea and CENTA, has been set-up. The METfilter spin-off is ready to construct or to license the solution to some of the “willing-to-pay”users that have shown interest from all over the world.

ContactFind more on the project website and project webinar:www.imetland.euhttps://ketbio.eu/recording?id=7025&app=infoDr. AbrahamEsteve-NúñeziMdea water, Parque Científico Tecnológico de la Universidad de lcalá;Avenida Punto Com, 2; 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Madridabraham.esteve@imdea.orgwww.imdea.org

INTERVIEW

“We needsome early adopters for real market breakthroughs”

Interview with Abraham Esteve-Núñez, coordinator of iMETLand project.

Abraham Esteve-Núñez, coordinator of iMETLand project

Top EU Biotech

With the iMETland EU project and through the iMETland® technology, you have created a water bio-purification system based on microbial electrochemistry. In brief: bacteria oxidise organic waste by respiring an electrically conductive material. How long did it take you to develop the technology?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:We launched our first proof of concept for the iMETland® system in 2011. The idea was to combine our knowledge in microbial electrochemistry with the use of a classic nature-based solution like a constructed wetland to develop a novel hybrid system that works faster and is more efficient. The system consists of electroactive microbial communities reacting with an electrically conductive bed that consumes the organic matter in the wastewater. What is left behind?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:Just clean water and those non-biodegradable substrates (e.g. minerals) present in water. After disinfection, the treated water can be reused for irrigation, flushing toilets or in industry.Do detergents from households pose a problem for the water purification process?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:Not really.We have already proved that our bacteria can deal with soap and detergents. For instance, a Belgian sports association are going to implement the system to clean up the grey water from their showers and, eventually, reuse the water.What type of microbes are active in the technology?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:The central bacteria are Geobacter –iron-respiring microbes with outstanding electrically conductive properties. They were discovered in the USA some 30 years ago. Geobacter are actually like an adapter plug to connect the metabolisms of different cleaning bacteria with the electrically conductive bed. There is no need to feed the colonies in the system anything extra.Does the conductive material need to be replaced over time?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:In contrast with the gravel beds used in standard constructed wetland systems, our technology works with naturally occurring electrically conductive char, either mineral or made from wood residues (biochar). The first demo was implemented eight years ago in Spain, and we have not considered replacing the material.Can the technology eliminate antibiotics, which are a huge problem in farming and urban wastewaters?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:Yes, we can get rid of these pharma residues with a specific solution. We have just published a paper describing how to degrade antibiotics in polluted pig manure and urban wastewater.Could the electrical energy generated by the microbes also be used to operate the IT-monitoring tool?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:In fact, the amount of energy that can be harvested is small. At the moment, we have configured the system to use the electrical current as a signal to inform the user about the water quality.What’s the main advantage of iMETland over classic constructed wetland systems?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:The combination of electroactive bacteria and electroconductive materials leads to 10-fold higher depuration rates. And the higher activity reduces the physical footprint. In classic systems we need 3–5 m² of land per person, iMETland®requires only 0.4 m² per person. This advantage is key when offering a competitive solution in the market. The technology has been approved for settlements of 200 people, with 25 m³ of water cleaned daily. What capacities would be needed for bigger urban settlements?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:iMETland® is ready for bigger systems, we have already constructed a system for 1 000 people in a Natural Park, and we could probably satisfy the needs of communities 10 times bigger than that. However, the major barrier to upscaling is the fact that medium-sized and large towns in Europe already have their wastewater treatment in place. Nevertheless, there are at least 40 million people in Europe without proper wastewater treatment. In many rural areas, septic tanks are common, but they will come under pressure as a result of new EU legislative requirements.What are the main bottlenecks for a wider market uptake?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:These are social and administrative barriers: decision takers in municipalities are sometimes risk averse in terms of installing innovative systems. We now need to increase the number of early adopters. They can provide positive examples and make administrations comfortable with this new application. In contrast, industrial niches seem to be more receptive to our solution, we have developed demos for the oil and gas, food and beverage, and livestock sectors.Where are your fastest growing markets?Abraham Esteve-Núñez:We are focusing on public buildings in cities. Already, all the wastewater generated by employees at IMDEA Water in Spain or INTEMA in Argentina is treated with our system. Moreover, iMETland® is global, we are testing in emerging markets like China. Thank you very much for this interview!

whatsay

people

"How much of water do you waste every day? Did you know that you need:15,000 liters of water to produce only a slice of beef.600 liters of water for a liter of wine.1,200 for a pizza.Water is not unlimited. We have to become a waterwise society"

Stakeholders:iMETLand, promotional video

Top EU Biotech

"Good growth potential in environmental biotechnology markets"; "High market attractiveness, high commercial readiness"

Evaluators:KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market experts

"A great application of distributed processing that looks like it will be able to succeed economically!"

Evaluators:KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry experts

03

INMARE

Prof. Peter Golyshin, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Greener industries through enzymes from seas and oceans

Industrial Applications of Marine Enzymes: Innovative screening and expression platforms to discover and use the functional protein diversity from the sea.

The project has succeeded to screen and discover the functional protein diversity from the sea by providing robust enzymes with valuable properties (‘allrounders’) for industrial use, established innovative screening tools, sequence analysis and expression platforms...

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INMARE’s goal was to bioprospect for new enzymes and bioactive compounds in extreme marine environments and use them for new industrial applications

Technology approach

INMARE

Top EU Biotech

What it's forThe need for more sustainable and cleaner industrial processesdrives demand for new industrially useful biocatalysts. The project therefore searched for, and identified the, micro-organisms that already live in extreme environments such as those found in seas and oceans. If they survive in those places, they can be expected to perform in equally harsh industrial conditions. These ‘allrounder’ enzymes (i.e. catalyzing multiple reactions) can be used in more than one industrial setting and may lead to cleaner, safer and cheaper products to fight pollution and to promote health.

Commercialisation factsFour patentshave been filed, and one start-up was founded. The industrial companies involved in the project are leaders in enzyme production and biocatalysis, they have the necessary commercial motivation to exploit the results, and other partners have option rights. No third party customer needs analysis, nor consumer testing have been conducted so far.

ContactFind more on the project website and project video:www.inmare-h2020.euwww.youtube.comProfessor Peter GolyshinSchool of Natural Sciences, Bangor University,Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UKp.golyshin@bangor.ac.ukwww.inmare-h2020.eu

...Their main achievements were: a unique resource of microorganisms, gene libraries and enzymes derived from unique extremophilic marine environments; a series of innovative screening methods; a set new natural and engineered enzymes successfully tested in industrial processes at a pilot-scale; and a novel anti-tumor compound.

Technology approachThe project aimed at shortening and streamlining the industrial bio-enzyme discovery pipeline. It selected ‘frequent hitters’, the enzymes that allow, due to their extremophilic origin, the often unsuccessful enzyme improvement stages to be shortened or omitted. Advanced technologies were used to access and sample unique maritime hot-spots; vast collections of marine enzymes and metagenomic libraries have been built, and innovative shotgun sequencing data were applied to screen many different activities. A total of 947 enzymes have been identified, and 10 protein crystal structures were resolved with 15 ready-to-use biocatalysts for small-scale processes. The project found markers for substrate promiscuity in esterases and transaminases, and identified enzymes important in biocatalysis. Development and deliverytime has been reduced from seven to three years. Scaling-up the processes from lab to pilot stage is the main challenge.TRL:2–7INMARE engineers highlight:Large collection of enzymes, screening platforms with different substrates usable for many industrial settings.Target markets are: pharmaceuticals and pharma intermediates; processing industries; health and medical technologies including animal health; home care products; food and agricultural feed products, including enzymes for processing, animal feed and nutraceuticals.Some of the identified enzymes already perform better than current commercial products.

INTERVIEW

“The bottlenecksfor a faster market entry are in scaling up”

Interview with Prof. Peter Golyshin, INMARE coordinator, about commercialisation in blue biotechnology.

Prof. Peter Golyshin, coordinator of INMARE project

Top EU Biotech

INMARE has discovered and patented few applications of marine enzymes and biomolecules, which have been discovered during this blue biotechnology research. Which was the most promising of them?Peter Golyshin:One of the most interesting discoveries was an anti-tumor compound, a new polyketide, which was derived from a bacterial symbiont by our project partner PharmaMar. Normally it takes a long time and many resources to discover and to identify new drugs test them and get an approval for clinical applications, this discovery through our research project therefore was very valuable. What is about the start-up that was founded at the end of the project ? Are there any lead products that can be exploited for a commercialisation?Peter Golyshin:The start-up, "Biomatter Designs, UAB" has established an elegant screening platform in bioengineered Escherichia coli, which uses pro-chromogenic substrates and auxiliary enzyme for detection of enzymatic reaction. They work with clients with an interest to enzymes of industrial importance: nitrilases, esterases, oxygenases, amidases and alcohol dehydrogenases. This system allows chromogenic screening of a very broad spectrum of enzyme substrates.Which of the INMARE results are most to the interest of big industries?Peter Golyshin:Some of the companies look specifically for chemical conversion reactions, others are more interested in bulk enzymes production for a variety for applications. The chemical company involved in INMARE project, found efficient enzymes and patented (together with academic partners) their application in biocatalytic processes for crop protection and pharmaceuticals.Do you also see markets for alternative proteins that could be covered from marine microorganisms or from algae?Peter Golyshin:Of course, many enzymes are useful for converting (literally) green and renewable feedstock, e.g. macro- and microalgae or agricultural waste, into the monomeric compounds. These can either be used for single-cell protein production, for production of biofuels, or even for synthesis of bio-based polymers. These are straight forward applications for green products with hydrolising and fermenting microbes.Could there come alternatives for meat from the deep-sea microgorganisms?Peter Golyshin:In fact, we see a renaissance of approaches that have been common 50 years ago. Single-cell protein production is coming back to a new level, with synthetic/engineered strains that produce protein (for food or feed) from substrates like methanol, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which contributes to sustainable development and is benign to the environment. Our project did not deal with this particular field, but came at the right time: our enzymes can potentially be applicable in bioremediation of e.g. polyesters (plastics), which is a very hot topic. Environmental pollution is however an eternal problem, and the searches for new biotechnological approaches for environmental cleanup will be important in the future as well. Is process scaling-up in blue biotechnology still a bottleneck for a faster entry into the markets?Peter Golyshin:The discovery of new enzymes is relatively straightforward, the upscaling is the barrier. Typically, everything works well in a small tube in laboratory, the problems start at a larger scale. To mimic the industrial processes we need intermediary steps closing the gap between the initial discovery (typically, done by academia) and industrial production. This actually is a good niche for SMEs and academic institutions active in bioprocess engineering. But they need funding and commitments from the industry to test the products at larger scales e.g. in 100 liter fermentations, for example.Where do you see the biggest hurdles for a better commercialization or research results?Peter Golyshin:It’spretty muchdifficult for academics to find out what the industry really wants. Clearly, the industry has different interests than academic researchers, because its nature lies in profit-making. For this, the industrial stakeholders need to ringfence their ideas by patenting for instance. Understandably, they never tell you what precisely they are actually working on, mostly only some ideas/proxies are floated. Very often though, there is a very strong mutual interest in collaboration, which is very well exemplified by INMARE.Does the INMARE consortium still cooperate?Peter Golyshin:A lot of unfinished business is waiting for us. We also have some core participants from INMARE, with whom we collaborate for about two decades and with whom we will go for new funding calls to explore different enzyme applications. So, we are currently preparing for a follow-up of what has been started in our previous projects, like MAMBA or INMARE.Thank you verymuch for this interview!

whatsay

people

Top EU Biotech

"We need new enzymes to support emerging new industries such as the blue biorefineries. They take care of processing new marine biomass, fish by-products or algae into new valuable products. However, these are new processes that need optimization"

Stakeholders:INMARE, promotional video

"High market attractiveness"; "Very committed project partners, many publications, promising patents filed and a start-up set up"

Evaluators:KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market experts

"Setting out to create what is essentially an enabling technology – great ambition!"; "Enabling technology for health, nutraceutical, etc. - markets which could be highly valued"

Evaluators:KETBIO Commercial Committee

04

Top EU Biotech

FRESH

Steve Davey, Coordinator

Papermade, ovenproof and recyclable

FRESH is a fully bio-based and biodegradable ready-meal packaging system. It is a wood fibre-based ready meal tray that functions as a black plastic bowl, but is easier to recycle and certified for home composting. It is made from natural wood fibres sourced from FSC- certified and renewable Nordic forests. The trays are made from innovative composites, using a new lamination technology.

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FRESH: food packaging alternatives for ready-meal trays in shops and homes

Technology approach

Top EU Biotech

wood fibre-based compostable ready-meal trays

What it's forThe goal was to find asustainable solution for ready-meal traysthat could be used in significant quantities every day and would offer an equal orbetter bio-based alternative to plastic bowlsin terms of their heat and water resistant properties. The project started in 2016 to findalternative food packagingfor trays made from black plastic, most often CPET. The reason to avoid this material is not only its fossil origin but also because it is difficult to recycle due to the detection systems used in end-of-life material separation.

Commercialisation factsThe UK retailer Waitrose & Partners has been testing the trays since May 2018. Customer feedback has been positive. Waitrose launched the first ready-meal FRESH trays in May 2019 for its Italian range and soon moved nearly nine million meals using the black plastic.One of the project goals is to open up new applications and markets, and increase the competitiveness of the European pulp, board and paper-making industries. This shows additional high potential in terms of job creation in rural areas, and replicability in Europe.

ContactFind more on the project website and the BBI website:www.projectfresh-h2020.comwww.bbi-europe.eu/projects/freshCoordinator: Steve Davey,European Project ManagerHuhtamaki Lurgan LtdInn Road, Dollingstown, LurganCo. Armagh, N. Ireland, BT66 7JNsteve.davey@huhtamaki.comwww.huhtamaki.com

Technology approachThe project has delivered a full value chain that demonstrates the techno-economic viability (including customer satisfaction) of a 100 % bio-based and 100 % biodegradable alternative made from an innovative cellulose-based composite.A patented mixture of cellulose and GMO-free PLA called DuraPulp, laminated with a new generation biofilm made from BioPBS and using a novel lamination method, have provided the technical properties (low O2 barrier, heat and water resistance) needed for a high-end ready-meal tray. FRESH has been developed in collaboration by Huhtamaki (Finland), Saladworks (the UK), and Södra (Sweden) through a BBI JU-funded Horizon 2020 project.The trays are produced in Northern Ireland by Huhtamaki Lurgan using bespoke machines developed by Huhtamaki engineers.TRL 8 / TRL 9FRESH engineers highlight the following advantages100 % quality:The tray is food-safe, both oven proof and microwavable, cooler to touch, maintains rigidity when heated and is aesthetically pleasing. It is 10 % lighter than fossil-based alternatives.100 % sustainability: Made from natural wood fibres sourced from FSC-certified and renewable Nordic forests. All composites are GMO-free.100 % environmental: Improved environmental footprint over the product life cycle and more than 80 % lower CO2 emissions. Home compostable (certified and guaranteed).

whatsay

people

Top EU Biotech

"Huhtamaki Fresh was chosen as the winner of the Bio-based Material of the Year award. It was granted in May 12 , 2020 at the annual International Conference on Bio-based Materials, organized by nova-Institute"

Stakeholders:FRESH project news

"Good commercial partners; biodegradable packaging with better qualities than classic biodegradable packaging can provide"

Evaluators:KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry Experts

"Great project results, high market attractiveness, great commitment and resources"

Evaluators:KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

05

P4SB

Prof. Lars M. Blank, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Microbialbio-engineering can upgrade plastic waste

Microbial bioengineering can upgrade plastic waste

The P4SB project has successfully tested a technology for the biotransformation of plastic waste into value-added materials. Under the EU-funded project, synthetic biology tools were developed to engineer the bacterium Pseudomonas putida so it becomes a whole-cell biocatalyst. In a two-step process...

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P4SB: Fighting the plastic crisis with synthetic biology tools and circular recycling

Technology approach

Top EU Biotech

What it's forPlastic waste and plastic littering have been identified as global challenges. With its Plastic Packaging Recycling Strategy, the EU has set ambitious re-use targets for plastic waste that need to be met by 2030. The projects aim at supporting these recycling targets by shaping novel routes to revalourise the gigantic plastic waste streams and make them a substrate for the circular economy.

Commercialisation factsThe project has created direct opportunities for product exploitation for P4SB’s SME and industry partners (e.g. biodegradable glues, bio-detergents, emulsions for cosmetics, platform enzymes for the food and pharmaceutical industry and for waste bio-degradation).Several patents have been filed (e.g. for PU degradation enzymes).Feasibility studies have been completed, value chains have been revised, a customer needs analysis was performed and five business exploitation plans have been developed.Estimated cost for technology converting plastic waste to plastic value on an industrial scale: double digit millions of euros for a facility that can process 5 000 tonnes of PHA.

ContactFind more on the project website and the project webinar:www.p4sb.euhttps://ketbio.eu/recording?id=6314&app=infoCoordinator: Prof. Lars M. BlankChair of Applied MicrobiologyInstitute of Applied Microbiology (iAMB)Aachen Biology and Biotechnology (ABBt)RWTH Aachen University, Room 42A/113, Worringer Weg 1, D-52074 Aachen, Germanylars.blank@rwth-aachen.dewww.iamb.rwth-aachen.de

...enzymes are used to decompose petrol-based polymers into monomers, and trained microbes re-compose the monomers back into their fully biodegradable counterparts. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and ester bonds containing polyurethane (PU) can be depolymerised by the engineered enzymes. The P. putidacell-factory can also be customised to synthesise new environmentally friendly materials, such as biodegradable bioplastics (polyhydroxyalkanoates [PHAs]), from the decomposed plastics. After finishing P4SB, the consortia partners have been continuing the next level of research with the EU H2020 project MIX-UP.

Technology approachP4SB has developed five different technologies at different readiness levels.Molecular, metabolic and process-level modelling for the design and optimisation of PET/PU hydrolysing enzymes, P. putida PHA biocatalysts and the envisioned P4SB fermentation process have been provided.The microbes underwent deep metabolic surgeries to efficiently channel the diverse substrates into the production of PHA and other derivatives. Laboratory evolution revealed the metabolic and regulatory basis of ethylene glycol and butandiol metabolism by P. putida KT2440. The programmed lytic secretion of PHA facilitates a simple harvesting of the bioplastic.P4SB researchers highlight the advantages of circular plastic recycling:New high value products— the prevailing method of mechanical plastic recycling produces only a small array of products with low property standards and high downcycling rates, the bioconversion allows integrated products with high purity gradesCost efficient production — the synthetic biology-based downstream process (DSP) enables the cost-efficient production of PHAs.Second generation carbon source— advancements in the biobased processing of plastic waste mean that they can become a second generation carbon source for industrial biotechnology.For some product developments: TRL 7; for PU degradation: TRL 3.

INTERVIEW

"Let’s develop a biotech route for upcycling mixed plastics"

Interview with Prof. Lars M. Blank, Chair of Applied Microbiology, RWTH Aachen University

Prof. Lars M. Blank, Chair of Applied Microbiology, RWTH Aachen University

Top EU Biotech

Synthetic biology is striving to find solutions for the plastic crisis. What are the priorities? Lars M. Blank:The tremendous increase in fossil plastic production, and the associated pollution needs to be stopped at various levels. Banning landfills for household waste and setting up effective waste logistics are key to reducing the pollution. Increasing the cost of virgin plastic would be very effective, e.g. a substantial CO2 pricing system would make the re-use of plastic products attractive. More immediately we will see a technological upgrade of plastic recycling, with a shift from energetic recycling (incineration) to mechanical recycling, and also to chemical recycling or to microbial upcycling where enzymatically degraded monomers can be synthesized using bacteria to create new, valuable products. Finally, all new plastic has to be biobased or CO2-based as part of a circular plastic economy.The new research project MIX-UP has followed on from the P4SB bio recycling project. Please describe the main goals.Lars M. Blank:In our EU-funded projects we aim at circular recycling using synthetic biology technologies, which will even allow blends of different plastic waste to be converted into new products for medical use or into goods and compounds for the food and agriculture industry.Will the upcycling innovations ever compete with petrol products, which are at historical low prices?Lars M. Blank:At USD 40 for a barrel crude oil, the bio-plastic recycling industry will hardly find a competitive high-value solution. Here, industry must be the driver by investing in new technologies. Political regulations are needed alongside investments. Europe can’t steer the oil prices, but it can influence markets via CO2 prices and regulation.What applications have been developed using the microbial conversion technology in P4SB?Lars M. Blank:With our bio-reactor lines we have been following three application routes. One is a biopolyester (PHA) that is directly produced by the microbes and developed by our partner Bioplastech to make a biodegradeable hot-melt glue and a Post-it glue. The second line is a glyco detergent with alternative molecules that can replace the fossil oil- and palm oil-based fat removers of dishwasher liquids, at competitive prices by the way.And the third product route? Lars M. Blank:This follows a specialised enzymatic decoration technology applicable in many different fields. Our partner CSIC in Madrid is elaborating PHA-micro and nano-particles that can be decorated with functionalities that are applicable in the dairy and food industry, or for textile and paper degradation. Biomedical applications in the field of wound healing are also being investigated. Did industry stakeholders show an interest in the synbio applications?Lars M. Blank:Five different business plans were established under P4SB. For three of them we have received a request from Innovation Radar [An EU Commission service to identify and highlight high potential innovations].One consists of a novel platform molecule that might become a hot candidate for a cosmetic emulsifier that there is some industry interest in. The other one is a PHA polyester where our partners in Dublin are working hard to progress the pilot to a demo. For the enzymes degrading PET and PU material, our partners also got requests.Where do you see the main bottlenecks for a faster exploitation of your research results?Lars M. Blank:There are still significant technical hurdles that hinder the commercialisation of the enzyme activity for plastic degradation. It is still not feasible to enzymatically address carbon-carbon bonds. Regarding the PUs, finding the chemical Swiss Army knife is unthinkable, however P4SB partners from Strasbourg delivered interesting progress on single chemical bonds. Are there economic barriers?Lars M. Blank:We will not see breakthroughs in bioplastics without new laws. On top of this, there are financial barriers for small companies that can provide 10 kg of a demo chemical, but not half a tonne for free. Starved of demonstration opportunities, many developed technologies find themselves in the valley of death. The successor of P4SB is the MIX-UP project. What’s the new approach?Lars M. Blank:Chinese research entities are collaborating to find solutions that will have a huge impact, as Europe and China cover 50 % of the world’s plastic production. Our next approach is to use mixed bacteria with mixed enzymes for mixed plastics. This solution can avoid some of the difficulties involved with sorting. We apply a single work flow: put the mix of plastic materials into an enzyme reactor, feed it to microbes, use their metabolic funnel to create a product of value with the leftovers going to chemical recycling or into incineration.What could be your star products in these new value chains?Lars M. Blank:The Chinese partners are heading for a microbial polymer that is applicable as a degradabable agri-mulch foil. For Europe we’re thinking about a lighthouse upcycling product, perhaps a fashionable fabric that once was a plastic bottle but has been bio-redesigned by our hard working bacteria. Thank you verymuch for this interview!

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people

Top EU Biotech

“Great potential impact, several patent applications filed, significant market potential”

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

“Outstanding example of synthetic biology protecting environments” “High market and high need!”

Evaluators: KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry Experts

“P4SB will contribute novel Synthetic Biology technologies (exploited by BCM and PROTEUS) to the important EU plastic waste recycling market, thereby moving Synthetic Biology from academia into large scale application (exploited by BIOPLASTECH and SOPREMA).”

Stakeholders: P4SB project impact outline

06

SUSBIND

Dr. Stephen Webb, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Searching for alternatives to formaldehyde

Currently, there are no bio-based binders available on an industrial scale that are able to compete with existing formaldehyde-based binders or other fossil-based materials. Considering this, SUSBIND’s R&D goal is to produce and validate, in an industrial environment (TRL 5), bio-binders for wood board production...

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SUSBIND produces and tests bio-based binders to make industrial wood panels more sustainable and healthier

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What it's forSUSBIND is endeavouring to create a binder system that at least meets the current performance parameters for P2 particle board (PB) and medium density fibreboard (MDF) but with a 50–70% reduction in formaldehyde emissions compared with current wood-based panel boards. This new binder system will considerably improve indoor air quality for households as well as wood board production workers. Along with this improvement, the project also aims at achieving a significantly reduced carbon footprint (a minimum of 25 % less CO2).

Commercialisation factsSUSBIND’s industrial partners are interested in commercialising the novel SUSBIND solution and eventually scaling-up the process. Based on the costs analysis performed, the economically viable and better performing precursor is expected to stimulate the bio-based furniture market. LCA and consumer testing will be performed.This project has received funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

ContactPartner website:www.susbind.euhttps://www.bbi-europe.eu/projects/susbindProject coordinator: Dr. Stephen Webb,RTDS Group, Lerchengasse 25/2-31080 Vienna, Austriaoffice@rtds-group.comwww.rtds-group.com

...For this purpose, a consortium of leading research and technology providers, industry and furniture manufacturers was assembled.

Technology approachBuilding on outcomes from the FP7 project INDOX, SUSBIND is further developing a novel enzymatic epoxidation (peroxygenases) technology using locally sourced plant oils and carbohydrates. Surplus feedstock sourced from existing European biorefineries will be used for the production of binders and intermediates. The bio-binder will be validated for PB and MDF by leading wood board manufacturers as well as producers and retailer of mass market furniture. By spring 2021, the SUSBIND project expects to provide valuable input for an industry-led white paper on EU Ecolabel criteria. SUSBIND engineers highlight these advantages:SUSBIND will deliver acost-efficient bio-based alternativeto formaldehyde-based binders and a competitive green advantage over cheaper, imported productsAsustainable and economically viable bio-binderwill increase not only public health but also reduce the carbon food print of wood panel productsThe bio-binder alternative will improveindoor air quality for private consumer householdsas well as for craftsman working in the woodpanel industry and in the building sectorThe SUSBIND project covers the full value chain from feedstocks through to pilot production and validation by relevant research, industry and SME partners

INTERVIEW

"A trend towards healthy and sustainable furniture produced in the EU"

Interview with Dr. Stefan Weiss, SUSBIND, on bio-binders as alternatives to formaldehyde in furniture and wood panels

Dr. Stefan Weiss, senior scientist and SUSBIND communication manager

Top EU Biotech

When did you start researching alternatives to formaldehyde?Stefan Weiss:Long before the project kicked off in 2018, the EU launched its Ecolabel certification initiative, including standards for wood binders (which are understood as resins and adhesives). SUSBIND then began a life-cycle analysis of feedstock for a bio-based resin that could be the main component of an adhesive for the production of engineered wood panels.What was the result of the life-cycle assessment?Stefan Weiss:The project aims at using renewable feedstock as a bio-based alternative to formaldehyde resins for wood board production, with renewable ingredients such as glucose from wheat or oil from sunflowers. The results were very interesting: carbohydrates are expected to bring large benefits compared to incumbent solutions; more attention should be given to the selection of the feedstock for lipids because changes in land use also play an important role. Is Ecolabel certification the main driver for this research project?Stefan Weiss:The furniture industry is increasingly interested in developing and marketing ‘green’ product lines and having a first mover advantage. Furthermore, we expect a new EU regulation on binders to come out soon, so we are investigating the implications of this and one of our project outputs will be a white paper containing recommendations for policy- and decision-makers.How realistic is it to pursue a 100 % ban on formaldehyde?Stefan Weiss:First, we must acknowledge that the wood board industry is fulfilling all the necessary precautions, even exceeding their legal obligations, to deliver safe products to the market. That said, between 5 and 15 % of wood boards are made up of formaldehyde resins. Depending on the type of wood board, our ambition is to further reduce this percentage. A total formaldehyde ban would not be realistic for the global market, though our analysis has already shown that a substantial formaldehyde reduction decreases harmful emissions, which is a very important objective.Besides the environmental performance tests, have any economic analyses been done?Stefan Weiss:Despite SUSBIND being an R&D project, it engaged relevant industrial partners from the beginning to keep the development of the technology within a meaningful economic framework. This is challenging and requires continuous adjustments, but the common objective is to deliver a reasonable solution regarding various costs. Regarding the SUSBIND testing results — are there some feedstocks that could be called ‘promising’ candidates?Stefan Weiss:SUSBIND has developed a comparison between traditional chemistry and bio-based solutions based both on carbohydrates and vegetable lipids. Unsurprisingly, in terms of the life-cycle assessments, the incumbent chemistry scored very badly compared to carbohydrate-based binders. But surprisingly, there were some natural oils that scored even worse than fossil chemistry: soybean oil has a negative sustainability balance because of land use and transport problems. The same applies for linseed oil due to land use. The best scores were obtained by more ‘local’ oils, like rape or sunflower. The most promising candidate seems to be a combination of wheat-based carbohydrates with either sunflower or rapeseed lipids.Are high costs an issue for the alternative binders?Stefan Weiss:Cost is an issue in most of the construction markets. The real question is how, across the wood board supply chain, cost variations could be ‘buffered’. For a resin supplier an increase of 10–15 % of the cost is nearly impossible to manage, a wood board producer would see this cost as a price increase of 1–1.5 % for its wood board, a furniture manufacturer would probably spend a few extra euros to produce the same product, and perhaps a larger retailer wouldn’t even notice the difference. Although, in general, higher costs are in principle a problem, a market ‘revolution’ necessarily requires alignment across the supply chain.When will we see the new bio-binders on the market?Stefan Weiss:A broad variety of bio-based chemicals have been tested and new enzymes have been developed during the project. The scientists are still busy interpreting the kinetics of the new adhesive curing mechanism but the main challenge remains in scaling-up the binders. SUSBIND’s goal is to scale-up to TRL 5 — validated in relevant environments. Our Austrian partner EGGER, one of the main manufacturers of wood boards in Europe, and the research institute Wood K plus will do the handover at the pilot scale. For the stage following that, we are researching consumer market perspectives with IKEA. At their facilities, tests will be done on the properties, functions and safety of the high-end products. We are one-and-a-half years away from that.Thank you verymuch for this interview!

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people

“Good collaboration partners with market access; market attractiveness is high”

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

Top EU Biotech

“Very good approach. Might need further restrictive legislation on FA usage to enable market entrance more rapidly”

Evaluators: KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry Experts

Increase market demand of bio-based furnitureHelp mitigate climate change Benefit public health

Stakeholders: SUSBIND -Impact Poster

07

H2AD

Martin Rigley, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Creating value from waste — with a micro fuel cell

Micro H2AD is employed at the source of waste generation. Using a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that combines biotechnology and electronics, the technology treats waste with a fast anaerobic digestion (AD) system and safely disposes of the organic content from the wastewater streams.

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The H2AD technology treats effluents from the bioeconomy industry more quickly and more safely

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Treating waste water with a fast anaerobic digestion (AD) system

What it's forEffluent disposal has been identified by Lindhurst Engineering (LE) as a key restriction on the productivity and profitability of the EU agri-food and drink processing industry (a-FDPI). Vast amounts of effluent are produced every year by the a-FDPI and dairies, but also by biofuel plants and medical and pharmaceutical centres. Classic systems filter the organic matter in the waste streams and dispose of it using AD. This can cause new challenges, from land use to environmental burdens. The H2AD MFC demonstrates a cost effective circular economy solution, by both recycling waste and recovering energy from it in faster ways.

Commercialisation factsLE’s commercial strategy for H2AD is to address the EUR 34 billion global market for waste-to-energy equipment. Target sectors are: food and drink manufacturers, dairy processing, agriculture and farming, industrial residues, pharmaceutical and medical, waste recycling/polishing.Barriers to commercialisation have been identified: for modular and tailor-made equipment, clients need to undergo an audit assessing their complete energy effluent status and surveying their waste-management status; these costs discourage potential clients. Necessary trials: paid trials with users of the chemo-biological system, including the complete fleet of demo plants, could provide real data for building a business case. The project sees a ‘valley of death’ risk of EUR 500 000 in a lack of further funding for a professional commercialisation and marketing strategy and in retaining qualified staff. Its best prospect is to self-finance quickly and attract investors.

ContactPartner website:http://h2ad.org.uk/Coordinator: Martin Rigley,CEO, Lindhurst EngineeringMidland Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield,Nottinghamshire, NG17 5GS, the United Kingdommartin@lindhurst.co.ukhttp://lindhurstengineering.co.uk/

Technology approachLE developed the novelmicro-scale technology H2ADby combining MFCs and conventional AD. H2AD is based on a patented bioreactor and electrode architecture (including the electrical stimulation of the microbial reaction). This way H2AD enables the much faster reaction required toreduce the organic content of waste, andrecovers the energyvia conversion to a hydrogen-/methane-rich biogas. H2AD can directly address the challenge of waste management in the EU a-FDPI, recovering some of the 288 TWh of potential energy it loses in effluent annually.Researchers have built H2AD units on five sites across Europe for the pre- andpost- treatment of organic waste. The purpose of the field trials was to confirm the predicted accelerated payback performance of H2AD in the treatment of organic effluents and slurry derived from different environments in the food and drink sector (such as fruit drink processing, dairy processing, microbreweries and mixed agriculture).H2DA has been funded by the EU’s Horizon SME instrument, and LE are seeking to prove its commercial viability for the efficient removal of organic content from key process waste streams, slurry, and post-AD liquors (with biogas utilisation strategies for optimum payback). The project has seeked to develop sensors for automated / remote control systems, and optimised biogas yields through process performance. TRL 6/7; 9 by project end.H2AD engineers highlight the advantages of their developmentA significantreduction in Chemical Oxygen Demand(COD)Removalof TotalSuspended Solids(TSS)Reduced Nitrogen, Phosphorous & PhosphatesReduced levels of Nitrates, Nitrites & AmmoniaTremendous impact onreducing carbon footprintModular and scalable,reduced waste disposal costRemote controlledLow maintenancecostsAttractive returnonCAPEX

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people

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“Highest market potential”

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

"The environmental age is upon us, the Micro H2AD technology permits the opportunity of sustainable business for all enterprises"

Stakeholders: H2AD website

“Combining two more established technologies to create something novel and valuable makes this a stand-out project.” “Good demonstrations in dairy will help commercialisation elsewhere”

Evaluators: KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry Experts

08

EMPOWERPUTIDA

Prof. Vítor A. P. Martins dos Santos, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

All-rounder microbes working as cell factories

EmPowerPutida demonstrates the potential of synthetic biology innovations for industrial applications

EmPowerPutida, an industry driven synthetic biology project, has focused on a deep re-design of the bacterium Pseudomonas putida to generate a tailored, re-factored chassis with highly attractive new-to-nature properties. The versatile and stress-tolerant all-rounder bacterium P. putida is used as a cell factory with new metabolic biocatalytic functionalities that allow a variety of optimised biosynthetic pathways to be embedded.

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EmPowerPutida demonstrates the potential of synthetic biology innovations for industrial applications

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What it's forEmPowerPutidahas demonstrated the potential to createnovel processes and innovative compounds for the green chemical industry. The bespoke bacterial chassis will open the door for the production of novel compounds using a platform for large-scale whole-cell biocatalysis.A range of new synbio methodologies have been implemented in the project, leading to the testing and validation of product applications in industrial biotechnology. The applications focus on the sustainable biotechnological production of specialty chemicals such as agrochemicals and chemical intermediaries.

Commercialisation factsIntense industry involvement in the project’s design supplied the necessary testing and validation processes. Innovative workflows for the tailored engineering of the lifestyles of Pseudomonas putida have been developed.Post-project,three large industry playersare developing different application routes and investment has been made in fields such as bio-based plexiglass, bio-based crop protection products and bio-based polymers.Patentability and feasibility studies have been implemented;the process and product innovations will be licensed.The project also actively engaged in public stakeholder dialogues to raise awareness about the potential of synthetic biology innovations for a sustainable greener economy, and to disseminate the necessary information (including how to weigh up the risks involved). The researchers are committed to the ‘safety by design’ concept: the methodology and implementation processes are assessed using a broad framework and dedicated biosafety and biosecurity principles are applied.

ContactFind more on the project website and project video:www.empowerputida.euhttps://ketbio.eu/resource?id=6168&app=infoCoordinator: Prof. Vítor A. P. Martins dos Santos,Chair of Systems and Synthetic BiologyDepartment of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University Stippeneng 4, 6708 WE Wageningen, the Netherlandsvitor.martinsdossantos@wur.nlwww.ssb.wur.nl

...Their main achievements were: a unique resource of microorganisms, gene libraries and enzymes derived from unique extremophilic marine environments; a series of innovative screening methods; a set new natural and engineered enzymes successfully tested in industrial processes at a pilot-scale; and a novel anti-tumor compound.

Technology approachBy using a suite of model-driven designs and advanced genetic tools, the properties of Pseudomonas putida have been enhanced — in particular redox balance and ATP production. Drawing on greatly improved, growth-uncoupled ATP-biosynthetic machinery, empowered P. putida strains were able to produce: a) n-butanol and isobutanol and their challenging gaseous derivatives 1-Butene (BE) and (iso-)butadiene (BDE) using a novel, new-to-nature route starting from glucose; b) new active ingredients for crop protection, such as tabtoxin, a high-value, ß-lactam-based secondary metabolite with a huge potential as a new herbicide; c) the precursors for polymers such as methacrylates.The game-changing innovations provide well-characterised, streamlined and re-factored microbial strain platforms offering easy-to-use plug-in opportunities for novel, DNA-encoded functions under the control of orthogonal regulatory systems. The project jumped straight from the lab to process development.TRL 4: Technology validated in lab; TRL 5: Technology validated in a relevant environment.

INTERVIEW

“More demo products will lead to a better understanding of synthetic biology”

Interview with Prof. Vítor Martins dos Santos on EmPowerPutida’s progress.

Prof. Vítor Martins dos Santos, coordinator of EMPOWERPUTIDA project

Top EU Biotech

EmPowerPutida drives the cell factories concept forward to bring synthetic biology solutions into a practical reality. What is the main future impact — is it more new products or will we see more new processes?Vítor Martins dos Santos:It’s clearly the processes we will advance with, cell factories such as those we have designed with the Pseudomonas putida microbes. We managed to decouple the ATP increase from the cell growth, we were able to re-direct the metabolism, we were able to steer regulation. Like a powerhouse, this enables amazing new metabolic dynamics to drive the relevant chemical processes. The production of chemicals will become faster, tailored, more efficient, needing less input and using less energy. The examples show technology and new processes coming up, widening the range of new products. According to the RoadToBio study the transition to green chemistry could considerably advance using more renewable feedstock. How will synthetic biology contribute to a bio-based chemistry transition?Vítor Martins dos Santos:We are not there yet becausewe work with biological conversions that are not economically viable. The processes based on microbes that we can currently use for biotransformation are simply not productive enough and cannot compete with the oil-derived materials and products of our daily lives. Though we can demonstrate solutions, they produce either low amounts, show low activity or are not robust enough. To enable more reliable and robust processes and productivity we need deeper knowledge, the capability for radical genetic modifications and control over microbial regulations and metabolisms. The impact synbio will make has game-changing potential.How does industry respond to your ideas for the development of an up-scaled synbio processs — are there some investments on the horizon?Vítor Martins dos Santos:EmPowerPutida has three big chemical industry players on board. They want to explore the opportunities and they have responded with major investments, for example in new sites for bio-based plexiglass, bio-based agrochemicals and bio-based polymers. There is a lot of industry interest in metabolic engineering.One of the project goals is a better development of bulk chemicals through synthetic biology processes. Can this compete with low petrol prices?Vítor Martins dos Santos:In our experience, applications for the tailored production of fine chemicals are faster and more appropriate than those for bulk compounds. There are also high-value examples for a large range of semi-bulk compounds that can be produced using synthetic biology. However, for the time being, biofuels simply cannot compete with the established petrochemical industries, considering the vast economies of scale. Some productivity gains and the flexibility of synthetic biology would help to widen the bio-based product portfolio for green chemistry.Biological crop protection products, toxin removers and plastic degradation are seen as the practical flagship examples of EmPowerPutida. Could these demo developments help to clarify the somewhat misty image of synthetic biology?Vítor Martins dos Santos:One of our main project missions is not just the translation of the knowledge and performance testing into potential end-use applications, but also the implementation and assessment of biosafety aspects, as well as the evaluation of the ethical, legal and social implications of synthetic biology. Some of the concrete products could help in the debate. We engage the lay audience as much as possible. The acceptance of the applications — if they are not food related — seems quite high. It’s our task to clearly inform people about opportunities and risks. Could you give us some examples about your engagement with lay audiences?Vítor Martins dos Santos:In the Netherlands we have organised a film festival. We invite artists to add some imagination to the debate about the pros and the cons of synbio. We also organise open days in our labs, and we are committed to dialogues with many different stakeholders. These dialogues offer the chance to demonstrate our ‘safety by design’ concept (which we apply to ensure safe biotechnology research), safe mechanism screening and risk assessment procedures.Let’s also talk about the business perspective of EmPowerPutida — have patents been filed and actions been started to bring the product applications to market?Vítor Martins dos Santos:There are big plans for patenting and licensing among the research partners in the project, but they do not intend to create a company. We pursue concrete application pipelines with our industry partners that will be licensed in due course. Our major project findings are documented in numerous publications. They are meant to leverage developments and methodologies that can also be found in the implemented workflow. The biggest impacts of this project will be long term, and its successors will soon appear.Thank you verymuch for this interview!

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people

Top EU Biotech

“Robust strain re-engineered. Would be attractive for industrial applications due the robustness, excellent industrial partners”

Evaluators: KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry Experts

“Dozens of publications, significant market potential, strong commitment and resources”

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

“EmPowerPutida answers current market needs by the thorough application of synthetic biology.”

Stakeholders: EmPowerPutida flyer

09

ReTAPP

Matti Heikkilä, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

From wood to fructose, to bioplastics

From wood to fructose, to bioplastics

The ReTAPP project has demonstrated the biorefinery conversion of wood-based feedstock into fructose sugar on an industrial scale. The project has facilitated the whole value chain for the production and the market introduction of polyethylene furanoate (PEF) resin, using this fructose for novel bio-packaging...

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ReTAPP: A full biorefinery value chain to re-use lignin-based feedstock with a smaller eco-footprint

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What it's forThe fructose gained by the conversion process can be used to produce PEF — a bio-based alternative to replace the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics mostly used for bottles. The PEF resin has enhanced barrier, thermal and mechanical properties over existing packaging materials. Wood side-streams from industry and forestry enable the use of a very economical and sustainable feedstockby attaining high lignin and glucose exploitation rates and small eco-footprints.

Commercialisation factsAccording to estimates the yearly market for fructose for bio-based chemicals will be in the order of 1.5 million tonnes by 2021. High-level techno-economic studies show that an economically sound business case is feasible. Already, at less than 10 % market capture of the enzymatic solutions for fructose production by 2021, the sales of MetGen enzymes for this application are estimated to exceed EUR 10 million, while another EUR 10 million could be saved in fructose production costs.SEKAB has demonstrated the production of cellulosic sugars from wood-based feedstock, with a glucose yield from cellulose of over 80 %. SEKAB has developed and demonstrated a process for the separation of xylose rich liquid streams from the solid cellulose stream in the biorefinery demo plant, which improves the conditions for enzymatic hydrolysis. SEKAB also tested and verified the CelluAPP® conversion process to handle pulp chips and even larger wood chips while enhancing energy saving rates. Avantium commercialised akey technologyand reached their target in the first six months of the project. Ten technologies were looked at, some with high TRLs were commercialised.Each partner has their own business plan, including a marketing and commercialisation strategy. Licencing/joint development agreements have been signed, patentability was ensured.TRL 7 (at average).

ContactPartner website:www.metgen.com/retapp/Coordinator: Matti Heikkilä, COO MetGen OyRakentajantie 2620780 KaarinaFinlandmatti@metgen.com

...The processes were optimised and demonstrated by three consortium partners: SEKAB, a provider of the wood-to-sugars technology; Avantium, a world leader in the production of PEF; and MetGen, the project coordinator that provided the enzymes and biotech solutions to make the conversion steps possible and the processes more economically and environmentally sustainable.

Technology approachThe approach of ReThink All Plastic Packaging (ReTAPP) has been to demonstrate the production of fructose from wood (hardwood and softwood) in a full value chain process with a conversion system that has never been commercialised before. Using current methods, hardwood is very difficult to fractionate into sugars. In addition, most of the sugars in hardwood are glucose and xylose, which need to be transformed into fructose. ReTAPP has made this process technologically and economically feasible with the help of enzymatic solutions. The mixture of fructose and glucose resulting from the enzymatic isomerisation of the wood-based glucose requires workup in order to obtain high fructose syrup (HFS).MetGen has developed a novel glucose isomerase capable of efficiently convertingwood-based glucose into fructose even in crude hydrolysates (with up to 25 % xylose), showing much better results than the enzymes used in commercial fructose production. MetGen glucose isomerase has been demonstrated as suitable for continuous column process conditions at 70–80 °C by remaining active in the studied process conditions significantly longer (6 vs 12 days) and performing more efficiently than commercially available solutions. The glucose to fructose conversion with MetGen’s MetZyme® PURECO™ has been successfully demonstrated. In addition, MetGen successfully demonstrated the use of the MetZyme® SUNO™ tailored hydrolysis solution.The fructose produced can then be converted into alkoxymethylfurfural (RMF) and 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural (5-HMF) to be used to produce PEF resin.

INTERVIEW

"ReTAPP has provided industry with a biotech tool"

Interview with Matti Heikillä, ReTAPP coordinator, about the valourisation of lignocellulose for plastic packs

Matti Heikillä, COO of MetGen on the lignocellulosic biomass valourisation for plastic packages

Top EU Biotech

What’s the big advantage of having a wood fructose for plastic packaging instead of alternative feedstocks?Matti Heikkilä:The original thinking was that when bioplastics are being produced at an industrial scale, we should not compete with food or with farmland use — nor increase deforestation. The feedstock should be sustainable and non-edible to avoid any food or feed competition. Of course, the feedstock must also be affordable.When you tested the conversion of lignocellulose into fructose in the ReTAPP project, which parts were intended for commercialisation — the conversion technology, the catalytic enzymes, or the PEF resin as an alternative to the widespread use of PET?Matti Heikkilä:All of them. From the start, weintended to commercialise the full value chain: the original wood, processing it to fructose-based polymers, such as 5-HMF and FDCA, and finally PEF plastic material. The plan was that each party in the project played their own instrument without any conflict of interest while still striking the right notes for a symphony — we aimed for overall success by combining our individual strengths. The baisis of the project was to develop a demonstration.How could you then demonstrate savings and economic viability?Matti Heikkilä:The truly novel approach was the creation of industrialised sugar conversion enzymes for wood sugars. Commercially available enzymes were not appropriate. We had to create something much more robust. While SEKAB had access to feedstock and the pre-treatment equipment, Avantium developed the plan to lift market barriers through better sourcing, and wood is a sustainable non-price-volatile source. To connect the supply with demand, the companies wanted to demonstrate a price at least below EUR 500 a tonne. Life-cycle assessments showed that this could be attained by the newly established conversion and further improved by the co-valourisation of other side-streams when using residues from industries or forestry. We also have technologies ready for improving efficiency by refining the lignin in trees — combined technologies aim at using 95 % of the carbon content of the feedstock. Just using cellulose you only reach 40 %. Additionally, with the economic viability comes a smaller eco-footprint through better feedstock exploitation. Is the goal to use PEF to replace the ubiquitous PET as a mainstream material for bottles?Matti Heikkilä:The advantage is in the higher material strength and quality. PET poses difficulties for delicate products, such as wine or beer, and for sizes smaller than 0.5 litre for fizzy drinks, as below this capacity we see problems with oxygen getting in and carbonisation escaping. PEF is a better alternative for aluminum cans or glass bottles — or, for example, packaging for foods that rot easily to avoid losses and waste. This may benefit logistics as well as creating fewer waste streams, and contribute to longer shelf-lives through the use of more sustainable materials.Within ReTAPP most of the components started as pilots. Have they been scaled-up for market launch?Matti Heikkilä:Our enzyme for the glucose conversion has been advanced to a commercial scale. Though the end-user PEF products have not been widely launched yet, some product intermediates are available. We have reached new steps in the value chain by turning previous single chemical steps into a full biotech catalysis process.Has a business case been made from the developed technologies?Matti Heikkilä:Yes, several, but we have been more interested in demonstrating the efficient biorefining of biomass for a new wave of sustainable materials (using a thorough breakdown and valourisation process and including lignin) than setting-up individual business cases for separate technologies. We wanted to provide a cheaper feedstock by avoiding waste for high-value markets. ReTAPP is an example of MetGen providing industry with a biotech tool.And the outlook — will you go for new projects?Matti Heikkilä:Definitely, yes. The framework of a Horizon 2020 collaboration is key to unlocking ideal combinations along both big and small value chains. This, together with the bio-based industries initiative, creates a mutual learning environment and an open innovation platform that we would never find in bilateral collaborations. One has to find the right collaboration model for harnessing the power of open innovation. We are very happy with all of our projects, including the ongoing flagship project that introduces our technologies at an industrial and commercial scale and finds further partners for joint ventures and commercialisation. Thank you verymuch for this interview!

whatsay

people

“Best market attractiveness, high commercial readiness, strong commitment and resources”

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

Top EU Biotech

“Good to see that an efficient glucose isomerase is available”

Evaluators: KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry Experts

“European competitive advantage can be found in strength of collaboration between masters of their field, such as MetGen, SEKAB and Avantium”

Stakeholders: Cordis - European Commission website

10

MePlat

Francesco Menna, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Contact lenses: A constant biomolecule layer to avoid contamination

A constant biomolecule layer to avoid contamination

The Mediplasma company has identified a business opportunity based on cold-plasma technology that can disrupt the contact lens industry and market in the years to come. The cold-plasma treatment modifies...

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What it's for

Commercialisation facts

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How MePlat’s developments in cold-plasma technology can make medical devices more safe and comfortable

Technology approach

Top EU Biotech

What it's forWhile the market for contact lenses has evolved over the years, there still remains a need for contact lenses that inhibit or do not promote bacterial and microbial growth or biofilm adhesion to the surface of the lenses, while simultaneously being safe for the wearer. Mediplasma's technology can increase comfort by adding an aqueous layer to the contact lens, reducing the chances of the lens drying out (compared to conventional cleaning solvents).

Commercialisation factsQuality and safety approval has been attained, the companies commercialising the product hold an EU certificate to market it within the EU. Mediplasma has agreed licence fees for the exploitation of the technology with Safilens, a mass lens manufacturer, and with Soleko, producer of a special intraocular lens, the eye-o lens. The hydrophilic treatment facilitates the inclusion of the lens during surgery. An innovative coating, with antibacterial, non-fouling and high lubricity properties, has been tested. The prototypes were validated during the application phase by a leading optical centre, supported by the University of Molise’s Ophthalmology Clinic.Widening commercialisation opportunities, such as labelling pharma packages and filter coatings, are being tested. Mediplasma expects an annual revenue of EUR 1 million from the first contract with a mass producer.

ContactFind more on the project website and project video:www.mediplasma.it/enSeeCoordinator: Francesco Menna,CEO of MediplasmaRegistered Office: Piazza Sannazzaro, 71 – 80122 Napoli, Italy Operating Office: Via Vittorio Emanuele III, 202 – 80034 Marigliano (NA), Italyinfo@mediplasma.itf.menna@mediplasma.it

...the surface properties of the contact lens while applying antimicrobial active molecules to increase resistance to the attachment of bacteria, making the contact lens safer. Mediplasma, which started as a university spin-off in Molise, Southern Italy, received first-phase funding from the Horizon 2020 SME instrument for its MePlat project.

Technology approachThe cold plasma gas is ‘produced’ in a reactor chamber in a vacuum and at low temperature. Active cold plasma species modify the surface of thermolabile materials such as polymers, paper, textiles, etc., without altering their properties using three different types of process: the deposition of thin films (PECVD); etching (superficial ablation); grafting (of functional groups, crosslinking). The MePlat technology applies the compound heparin. Proven by successful clinical studies, the grafting of heparin to the surface of the contact lens decreases contact lens-related morbidity. Heparin is a glycosaminoglycan and, when exposed to a substrate (sulfur salt), forms a molecular layer of water that prevents the attachment of bacteria to the surface via adhesins. The possibility of grafting heparin directly and permanently to the surface will provide a safe and comfortable solution for users. During the project a specific small cold-plasma reactor for lens treatment was developed.Mediplasma engineers highlight the following advantages of the MePlat contact lens treatmentUser safety: With Mediplasma's process, the company aims at drastically reducing the number of incidents of severe eye infection resulting from inappropriate contact lens use and care.User comfort: Customer retention is increased and dropout rates are reduced by making lenses more comfortable, and reducing instances of dryness and discomfort.Low cost production: Production costs are very low at an industrial scale.TRL 8, TRL 9: Approved in a relevant environment.

INTERVIEW

"Staff growth will come along with the growth in revenue from the antibacterial contact lenses"

Interview with Francesco Menna, MePlat coordinator

Francesco Menna, CEO of Mediplasma coordinator of MePlat project

Top EU Biotech

MePlat has received funding from the EU’s SME Instrument. The company behind the project, Mediplasma, started as a spin-off from the University of Molise. When did the research on contact lens treatments start?Francesco Menna:In 2013 we began as a start-up. The company was dedicated to creating plasma-chemical devices and an antibacterial coating for different purposes in the medical sector, for example for catheters and for filters. At that time we received funding from the Italian government to advance a key technology I was developing — a plasma-chemical bioreactor for the treatment of different compounds. What has happened to the innovations since the EU project MePlat finished in early 2018?Francesco Menna:Since then we have started to market our technology with the help of the Campania Region. They awarded our SME with a grant that originated from the EU Regional Development Fund. This grant has enabled us to start negotiations with two innovative lens companies, to which we will license our research and development innovations. One company is a mass lens manufacturer, the other one is a special intraocular lens producer. Here, our hydrophilic treatments will support cataract surgery. We have exchanged letters of intent and we expect to start production in a few months.This is good news! Do you see other applications to continue with?Franceso Menna:Indeed, we have been approached by a pharma company that is busy with growth-factor production. They want to make use of the cold plasma technology for labelling their bottles in safe ways and avoiding losses during storage. A pre-contract for 1 000 bottles with a fee for each treated bottle has already been signed.The initial EU financing for your SME came from first-stage funding of EUR 50 000 under the SME Instrument. How useful was this?Francesco Menna:We benefited from this grant. The instrument provided support to develop a small reactor for the contact lens treatment. However, to round out the innovation we would have needed phase-two funding. Unhappily, this was not granted due to a budget shortage in the Horizon funding strand. Luckily we were able to mobilise other economic resources that allowed us to finalise the last development steps.Could you explain the biotech element in the contact lens treatment developed under MePlat?Francesco Menna:In the controlled chamber of the cold-plasma reactor, using very low ambient temperatures and gas, we bring the plasma and the device together, attaching the molecule layer that provides the antibacterial activity. In the case of contact lenses this is heparin, for other applications we use silver iodide or other bactericidal chemicals. With MePlat we demonstrated that, through the anti-inflammatory heparin activity, the wearer of the contact lenses did not develop infections. The chemo-physical process with which we control the parameters allows us to produce the stable plasma coatings. The film costs only five cent per lens. This competitive price provides a good chance in a very competitive market.At which Technology Readiness Level did you attain EU certification?Francesco Menna:We were at TRL 8, system complete and qualified, when we were approved for the quality and safety certification for the technology. Now at level 9, proven in an operational environment, we are ready for the market. The companies who are poised to produce and sell the lenses have already received legal admission to the EU markets.How long did it take to obtain market approval?Franceso Menna:For the lenses it was rather quick — six months; for more complex devices the admission phase can last up to two years.Is the extension of the cold-plasma technology to other applications already an option for you?Francesco Menna:Indeed, the filter market could be interested in the application of silver iodide to achieve antibacterial results in filters. This could be relevant to the health market (filters in hospitals) but also for airplanes (improving air quality). Initial talks with companies that are active on international levels are underway.Will your SME see an expansion in staff numbers to fully commercialise the MePlat innovation?Francesco Menna:We have a projection of 2–4 million sales of treated lenses per year, which will generate revenues of EUR 1 million. Staff growth will come along with the growth in revenue. Ultimately, this will also be a good thing for the region.Thank you verymuch for this interview!

whatsay

people

Top EU Biotech

“A very focussed market application has helped the project to keep its eye on the ball throughout: I expect to see this in the market before long!”

Evaluators: KETBIO Commercial Committee of Industry Experts

“Good project results, good commitment and resources, good networks”

Evaluators: KETBIO Technology Transfer and Market Experts

“Our solution provides added value and safety for contact lens users, making the process of using and maintaining contact lenses less labor intensive and natural.”

Stakeholders: Mediplasma website

Evaluators pick 2: Key enabling biotechnologies

TWENTY HIGHLY INNOVATIVE EU collaborations

The KETBIO evaluators have rated 20 projects from the EU Biotechnology Research and Innovation Programmes as ‘highly innovative’ due to their outstanding performance in specific market segments in at least two categories (such as ‘Potential impact’, ‘Market attractiveness’, ‘Commercial readiness’ and ‘Commitment and resources’). The projects presented here cover product or process innovations that are very likely to be early market movers, or developments that may soon take on the hurdles of commercialisation. The biotech innovations range from biorefining to bio-based health products and medical materials, and from plant and soil control or monitoring and bioinformatic platform products, to environmentally friendly surfactants and sustainable building and water technologies. The highly innovative projects convinced the evaluators of the uniqueness of their approaches as well their ability to meet strong end-user needs or respond to pressing environmental or health challenges. To be included as a ‘highly innovative project’, the initiatives had to score at least 9 out of 15. Marks were given by evaluator groups made up of experts in technology transfer and members of the biotechnology and chemical industry from across Europe.

Second section

In KEY ENABLING BIOTECH

AgriMax

MARISURF

APEX

BioRECO2VER

PolyBioSkin

NEEDbioWash

MYCOSYNAVC

OLEFINE

SO2SAFE

BIOFOREVER

SUSFERT

MilliDrop

EFFECTIVE

REHAP

NextGen

Sweetwoods

GRAIL

EU20 HIGHLY INNOVATIVE

DD-DeCaF

FALCON

PULPACKTION

Sweetwoods

01

Karl Peebo, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Making a cascade of products out of wood chips

The SWEETWOODS demo plant wants to disrupt the wood industry

Making a cascade of products out of wood chips

The SWEETWOODS project has constructed a full-size wood-biofractionating demo plant in Estonia. This first-of-its-kind flagship plant will develop and produce biomaterials made from low-quality hardwood residues on an industry scale. As a result of temperature...

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EU Biotech

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...pressure and mechanical force, the innovative technology splits wood fibres biochemically into basic elements, such as high-purity lignin and wood sugars, which can be used in several high-value industries.SWEETWOODS seeks to establish:Five new bio-based value chainsto change raw material valourisation in the wood industry;Four novel bio-based materialsin the areas of insulation, elastomeric foams, injection moulding, biofuels and biochemicals;80 % less wastethan current industry state of the art biorefining processes. The flagship demo plant for this collaboration project between high-potential industry partners demonstrates the technical and economic feasibility of producing high purity lignin as well as C5 and C6 carbohydrates (high-purity sugars). This is achieved using anovel pre-treatment technologyin combination with innovative enzymatic solutions. By usinghardwood as biomass,the biorefinery demo plant achieves a throughput capacity of 80 t./ a day.The process will convert over 90 % of the hardwood residuesfrom industry and forestry into usable high-value biomaterials and bioproducts to be exploited in different end products for a range of novelapplications and markets:Elastomeric foamsfor tube insulation;Rigid polyurethanefoam panels for insulation;Polymer compoundsintended for injection moulding;High quality lignin- and novel sugar-based platformchemicals (i.e. glucose, fructose, xylose and glucosone for novel end-use cases, namely producing bio-Isobutene).The technology will improve overall wood value-chain sustainabilityby using all the main components of thebiomass feedstockand itscarbon content. At the same time the biorefining process will minimise any low-value energy valourisation strategies related torecycled woodand wood by-products.The SWEETWOODS flagship plant appliesSweetwater’s Sunburst pre-processing technology. This fractionates biomass into biocomponents faster and more efficiently than any other technology available on the market. The enzymatic solutions are provided by MetGen Oy. The result will be lower greenhouse gas emissions and decreased water and chemicals use. Essentially the technology aims at using almost the entire wood mass in the production, making it a waste-free process.TRL 7/8: systemprototype demo in operational environment/system complete and qualified.Allindustrial partnersare focused on different product categories; patentability has been agreed. New cross-sector interconnections will be established. Life-cycle assessments and industry viability and consumer market analyses are envisaged. The research and development project has received funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking under the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

ContactFind more on the project website and in the BBI website:www.sweetwoods.euwww.bbi-europe.eu/projects/sweetwoodsCoordinator: Karl PeeboAS Graanul InvestHumala 2, 10617 Tallinn, Estoniakarl.peebo@graanulinvest.com

02

BIOFOREVER

Peter Plomp, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Different wood feedstock

BIOFOREVER - industry partners collaboration to make the best of biorefining wood feedstock

Different wood feedstock+ different biorefineries= Optimised products

The BIO-based products from the FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes (BIOFOREVER) project uses four different biorefinery cascading concepts to demonstrate five new bio-based value chains and three valourisation routes for co-products...

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...This allows for the optimal combinations offeedstock andspecificbiorefinery processes. Forestry varieties likespruce and poplarmake up the target feedstock, along with wastewood mix and other formsof lignocellulosic biomass.Lignocellulosic feedstockis expected to soon become a key strategic resource forchemical intermediates and products.The goal is to produce end-products(such as chemicals, foodsand specialties)from value chainsthat can be successfully implemented at a commercial scale. The project selects thebest type of woodfor diverse applications and uses the best technology to convertwoody biomassinto intermediates like C5 or C6 sugars, lignin and humins of a sufficient grade for the production of final products.The main focus is onclean sugarsthat can be used aschemical building blocks. Final products cover a wide spectrum, ranging between resin acids, specialty sugars, furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), butanol, lignosulfonates and enzymes. For these products, the whole processing route, from feedstock until final product, is demonstrated up to a pre-industrial scale. These technical demonstrations will fuel the project’s techno-economic evaluation and enable a blueprint for a full-sized industrial plant to be implemented for the phase following the project.Funding for the next step is a challenge. Thenumber of direct jobscreated by a commercial-scale biorefinerywould be about 1 200, and 6 000 – 7 500 indirect jobs would typically be generated. The plant would also position European ports for the transition to renewables driven business. Creation of bio-refinery technologies as export product outside the EU is also an expected impact.The 15 industry partners are commercially motivated to provide:feedstock, yeast and enzymes;biorefinery outputs; andtechnology licensing. It will be crucial to discover the premium prices these products can be marketed at, and to avoid competition with fossil-based value chains. For a1.5 million tonne/year lignocellulose biorefinery, an estimatedEUR 400 million turnover in biorefinery intermediates(lignins and sugars) andEUR 650 million in chemical intermediatesand products are expected. The additional investment required for the commercial large scale biorefinery would be up toEUR 300 million.Main markets: personal care, health and medical technologies (including animal health), building and construction, food and feed, aerospace and automotive, textile and leathers. Main products: chemical and pharmaceutical intermediates, biomaterials/bioplastics, biocatalysts/enzymes, proteins, biofuels, bio-energy and bio-processing technologies.A feasibility study has been conducted, a customer needs analysis and consumer trials have been performed, and talks with feedstock suppliers and consumers have been held. A project business model exists, as well as supply chain descriptions. An end-user market analysis and various consumer studies were presented in August 2019 (nova-Institute).TRL: 9 The BIOFOREVER project has received funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

ContactFind more on the project website and the bbi website:www.bioforever.orgwww.bbi-europe.eu/projects/bioforeverCoordinator: Peter Plomp,DSM Food Specialties BV,Delft, the NetherlandsContact: Anton Robek, Biorefinery Development BV,Brunssum, the Netherlandsanton.robek@brdbv.com

03

APEX

Matti Heikkilä, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Redox enzymes in paper mills

The APEX project helped to pave the way to the commercialisation of an enzymatic tool

Redox enzymes in paper mills — 50 % resource savings

The APEX project has enhanced the potential of an already developed industrial enzyme (MetZyme®). The optimised enzyme helps to lower energy inputs and chemical uses within the resource-consuming pulp and paper industries and in biorefinery pilot plants. ...

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EU Biotech

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APEX

...The enzyme also increasesfibre quality. By improving catalysis, the enzymatic tools enable thelow-cost productionof cellulosic fibres and support the production of bio-based chemicals in sugar biorefineries (with alower eco-footprint). MetZyme®is used to liberate cellulose from lignocellulosic wood material through the oxidation of lignin. The project’s goal has been to upscale from the lab and pilot stage to initial commercialisation. This has been successfully demonstrated within two target industries: pulp and paper mills and biorefineries. APEX was funded under theEU’s Horizon 2020 SMEInstrument dedicated to the MetGen Oy company in Finland.APEX enzymescatalyse oxido-reduction reactions. Previous enzyme solutions did not function well under harsh industrial conditions (high temperatures and pressures, high/low pH conditions and short retention times). Under APEX, large-scale industrial production has been tested at contract manufacturers’ facilities (50–150 m³).The data from the trials (demonstrating theproduct’s safety, potential energy savings, and quality improvements) are essential for convincing potential customers. Tissue and packaging applications saw>50 % energy savings, and, in the pulp and paper industry, fibre quality improvement and energy savings were substantial.In biorefining the ability toreduce cellulase enzymatic dosing by >50 %with pre-treated lignocellulosic substrates has been demonstrated. A reduction of the time required for the hydrolysis (from 72 to 48 hours with certain substrates), without compromising the sugar yield or increasing cellulase dosage, has also proved to be feasible. TRL: 8Main markets and main clients: pulp and paper mills and bio-refinieries; wastewater treatment; testing, pre-treatment and conversion. MetGen Oy also offers drop-in solutions in biotechnology and enzyme manufacturing.Main products: industrial enzymes; chemical intermediates; renewable chemicals; textiles and leathers; biogas.The project exploits the possibility of creatingnovel enzymes in an industry-leading timeframe(<1 year from idea to industrial solution).Small companies enjoy the flexibilityof drop-in fixes and larger industries can benefit from tailored solutions.Feasibility studies have been completed, as well as a landscape analysis, life-cycle assessments, customer market assessments, reports for contract manufacturers, and a logistics and supply assessment. A patent has been filed.The business model is developed around contract manufacturers, tailoring productsto suit the needs of the customers, and using licenses so that customers can work with contract production.MetGen Oy has used the data from successful mill trials to create sale-supporting business cases. Three business cases are in active use: TMP energy saving, a tissue application, and a fluting application for boards. APEX has widened networks in the bio-based industries.

ContactFind more on the partner website:http://www.metgen.com/apexCoordinator: Matti Heikkilä, CTO, MetGen OyMetGen OyRakentajantie 2620780 KaarinaFINLANDmatti@metgen.com

04

GRAIL

Dr Roberto Horcajada Navas, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

New markets for green chemicals from biofuel waste

GRAIL - glycerol biorefineries re-using residues from biodiesel production

New markets for green chemicals from biofuel waste

The overall concept of GRAIL was to convert waste from biodiesel production into high-value chemical products and compounds. The GRAIL project aimed at developing a set of technologies for converting waste glycerol...

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...which is a by-product of biodiesel production, in a biorefinery, to end up with products of high value and high-value platforms e.g. chemical intermediaries. Another goal was to set up a research-driven cluster for the use of crude glycerol.Given the vast biodiesel market, the GRAIL project has a strong business focus and its ultimate goal was to set up the implantation of biorefineries in close coordination with upcoming biodiesel production. The main research purpose of the GRAIL EU project was to demonstrate a technology and to find a viable process to exploit the crude glycerol (at present a by-product of biodiesel production, with no value) as a novel valuable feedstock for biofuels/bio-chemicals such as: 1,3-Propanediol, fatty acid glycerol formal esters, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), hydrogen and ethanol, synthetic coatings, powder coating resins, secondary glycerol amines, biobutanol, EPA, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), ß-Carotene, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).The GRAIL project has designed an overall strategy based on three main pillars covering the whole value chain:Pillar 1— Raw materials: Evaluation of crude glycerol and purification.Pillar 2— Product development: Research and development to transform crude glycerol into high added value products, such as biofuels, green chemicals and food supplements.Pillar 3— Industrial feasibility aspects, including economic and environmental evaluation. This pillar took the results of GRAIL from product development to the industrial site. To carry out the technical feasibility assessment, a demonstration pilot plant was implemented.TRL 6: biopolymers area, TRL 9: food and biofuels with a flagship demo plant in Portugal.Target markets: pharmaceuticals; health and medical technologies, including animal health; chemical intermediates; food and feed products, including enzymes for processing; animal feed and neutraceuticals; biofuel industry.The products have been tested on engines in a laboratory and in cars. The project consortium had different, specific business plans for different products. A patent application has been filed by a Spanish partner. A post project goal is to build an industrial site for biofuel revalourisation with an investment of EUR 25–30 million.

ContactFind more on the cordis website and on the linkedin page:https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/203869-creating-a-market-for-crude-glycerolhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/grail-project-46a776a6Coordinator: Dr Roberto Horcajada Navas,INSTITUT UNIV DE CIENCIA I TECNOLOGIA SA,Mollet Del Valles, Spainint.projects@iuct.comhttp://www.iuct.com/

SUSFERT

05

Günter Brader, Scientific Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Healthier soils and healthier plants through biobased fertilisers

SUSFERT provides green technology for a sustainable agriculture

Healthier soils and healthier plants through biobased fertilisers

SUSFERT develops sustainable multifunctional fertilisers for supplying phosphorus and iron by using renewable mineral sources from urban waste and microbial bio-based solutions. The innovations combine biodegradable lignin-based coatings...

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...probiotics and struvite — a source of renewable phosphorus. Tests on different crops include economic and sustainability analyses ensuring industrial-scale production processes and a low carbon footprint for the novel fertiliser. Thebio-based fertilisershave the potential todecrease soil contaminationandgreenhouse gas emissions, and synthetic fertilisers are not produced in a sustainable way — mining and transport are CO2 intense, and raw materials are becoming scarce.SUSFERT will develop sustainable new sourcesto supplyphosphorus and iron to plants that fit existing production processes and EU agricultural practices. These highlysustainable bio-based fertiliserswill replace conventional products, and will valourise various side streams and the by-products of several industries tostrengthen the European circular economy. Field trials are being conducted to test four different products: novel organic formulations, microgranules, granules and liquid fertilisers.The stable phosphorus source provided by struvite represents a huge benefit compared to today’s phosphorus-production processes (which are heavily dependent on imported rock phosphate). Areduction of greenhouse gases(up to 2–4 %) is aimed for, which will in turn lead to additional savings (fewer CO2 costs).SUSFERT’s innovative concepts include: 1) probiotics as a plant stimulants; 2) a demonstration of a microbial siderophore (an iron chelator); 3) the enzymatic modification of the by-product lignin for cost-effective, bio-degradable controlled release coatings and product stabilisation; and 4) a demonstration of struvite, a renewable source of phosphorus found in wastewater as a partial substitute for mineral phosphorus. Current level:TRL: 4–6, project goal level: TRL: 7–8.The increase in organic agriculture, coupled with the rising demand for fertilisers that are certified fororganic farming, will be supported by SUSFERT. The project will align itsinnovations with the latest EU fertiliserregulation framework conditions (presented in June 2019).Main clients include: fertiliser producers, retail agri shops, cooperatives, organic and conventional farmers.Following the successful field trials of the different components and compound fertilisers, the project expects to complete registration dossiers.The main product(s) will be marketed by fertiliser companies. As the project covers the whole value chain, several components present commercial value. An industry partner and an academic partner have the technology needed for coating and controlled coating release, and another industry partner will produce the fertiliser in granulate and liquid form. A business model projects a EUR 50–60 million increase in turnover.The SUSFERT project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

ContactFind more on the project website and on the bbi website:www.susfert.euwww.bbi-europe.eu/projects/susfertScientific coordinator: Günter Brader,Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)Giefinggasse 41210 Vienna, Austria; Project management: Daniela Fichtenbauer,RTDS Group, Vienna, Austriasusfert@rtds-group.com

PULPACKTION

Kasper Skuthälla, Coordinator

06

Top EU Biotech

Smartwood-based bioplastic

PULPACKTION – sustainable packaging for food and electronics

Smart wood-based bioplastic packs, 100 % biodegradable and close to reality

Leading European chemical and packaging industry firms, bioplastic manufacturers, technology developers and quality control specialists are collaborating in the demo project PULPACKTION to provide 100 % bioplastic multi-purpose packaging...

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...The novel packs will be made from cellulose blended with a bio-polymer mix for specific applications in food and electronics. An integrated electronic tracing system will inform consumers about the products’ origins and processing stepsPULPACKTION's goal is to meet the medium and high barrier requirements demanded for fossil-based plastic materials by the food and electronic industry. Aflexible packaging manufacturing systemwill be combined with100 % bio-based coatingsand films on a paper substrate..Demo versionsof the light paper-based food trays with bio-laminate coatings were presented at thePULPACKTION exhibitionstand during the BBI stakeholder conference in December 2019 in Brussels. The food trays are both moisture and temperature resistant — in the fridge at the shop, in the microwave oven, during transport to the lunch room or to the table — and leave no residues for the food to absorb. An integrated QR-code link at the bottom of the pack informs the consumers about the country of origin, the cultivation and processing of the produce and every step of the package production line. The plastic pack solutions are also tested in relation to printed ink products. Novel processing: Different types of wood pulp are combined to prepare slurries for wet-moulding applications. Bio-polymers and other bio-based compounds are added to these slurries in order to tailor the final properties of the resulting wet-moulded materials. By tailoring the composition, a wide range of final properties in the resulting dry material will be achieved. This flexible packaging manufacturing system is combined with 100 % bio-based coatings and films on a cellulose-based substrate. New bio-based polymer blends, containing bio-polymers such as thermoplastic starch (TPS), polylactic acid (PLA), other bio-additives, and reinforcements such as microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), are processed to achieve the multilayer films, composites and coatings. Finally, a 100 % bio-biobased integral packaging solution with similar properties to existing fossil-based packaging solutions will be achieved.Theinnovation will take advantage of the experience and flexibility of the packaging industryin the wet-moulding production of wood pulp-based materials. The use of improved cellulose fibre compositions will reduce the weight of the packaging and help reduce waste streams, while providing a shaped part. Life-cycle assessments are aiming at demonstrating a 50 % reduction in emissions compared to competing fossil-based packaging for food and electronic applications.TRL 5–8The price of the new packs is a challenge compared to conventional plastic products, but not compared with bio-based competitors. The project partners expect new regulations to strongly support the use of eco-friendly bioplastic packs. The patentability of the technologies being developed has been discussed. A start-up located close to a manufacturing site may be envisaged. For the packaging processor, the chosen strategy is to focus on a standard range in order to establish an efficient process. Dialogues with a brand owner advisor committee are ongoing.PULPACKTION has received funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

ContactFind more on the project website and the bbi website:www.pulpacktion.euwww.bbi-europe.eu/projects/pulpacktionCoordinator: Kasper Skuthälla, Sales and Business Development Director, RottnerosRottnerosVallviks Bruk, Box 144826 23 Söderhamn, Swedenkasper.skuthalla@rottneros.com

07

OLEFINE

Prof. Markus Herrgård, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Sex-hormones from the biotech lab

Olefine has developed bio pest-control solutions fit for the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy banning toxic pesticides

Sex-hormones from the biotech lab to prevent bugs from mating

The Olefine project offers solutions for non-toxic pest management using biotechnical pheromones to act as mating inhibitors for crop-damaging insects. The enzymes are applied to high quality crops such as fruits as well as to row crops such as maize and soy...

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Olefine and its partner spin-off BioPher have optimised the strains of bio-agents used to produce the extracts necessary for application. The Olefine bio-insecticide is based on eco-friendly yeast-fermentation methods.The project is also focused on the up-scaling of the industrialfermentation and purification methodsused to produce the bio-pesticides. In March 2020, the BioPher spin-off joined the consortium of the new EU-funded project PHERA (BBI), a successor of Olefine, to advance the scaling-up of the fermentation and commercialisation of the biopesticide.The biotechnically produced pheromones will offer an economically interesting alternative to chemically synthesised pheromoneswhich, due to high production costs, have only been applied on a small scale so far. Metabolic engineering and new fermentation technology for the mating inhibitors will allow harmful pest control in crop production to be abandoned on a large scale, and will better preserve plants, animals, other insects, soils and water. Pesticide resistance can also be avoided using this technique.The pest control principle behind Olefine is tosimulate the scent signals from female sexual hormones(pheromones) in order to confuse the males, thus preventing fertilisation and reproduction. While the chemical synthesis of the pheromones is still costly,the biotech methods promise much cheaper pesticidesin larger quantities. Using yeast cells and tobacco plants as bio-agents for metabolic engineering, the researchers have built a synthetic biology platform. By usingplants as bio-agents, neither foreign DNA nor toxins are introduced. Olefine has started to perform tests with apples, grapes, citrus fruits, cotton, maize and soybeans on farms. TRL: 7–9Main markets and main clients: After the field trials have been finalised, there will be three products on the markets in a few years, depending on regulatory progress. The key market is inagricultural crop production, but also in pharmaceutical intermediates and industrial bioprocessing as synbio technologies involving yeast strains and bio-agents are further developed. Some project partners will focus on the product, others on the distribution and supply chains to create a value chain. Three industry partners have been working with the Olefine project. The market value is estimated to be at three-digit millions of euros. Current market growth is 5.5 % annually, but it can expected to rise as the production of larger quantities begins to lower overall costs.A feasibility study and consumer needs studies have been completed. Patents have been filed and IP has been licensed in collaboration with the start-up BioPher (DTU). With the successor project, PHERA, a new agricultural technology will be provided to make pheromones an affordable form of pest control for row crops.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.olefine.euwww.phera.infoCoordinator: Prof. Markus Herrgård,Technical University Denmark (DTU)Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for BiosustainabilityKemitorvet, 220, 54552800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmarkherrgard@biosustain.dtu.dk

08

AgriMax

Georgios Chalkias, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

A secondlife forfood waste

Multi-feedstock biorefinery creating opportunities and saving resources for food production, harvesting and consumption

Multi-feedstock biorefinery creating opportunities and saving resources for food production, harvesting and consumption

Throughout the whole value chain, from farmers to consumers, approximately one-third of all the food produced globally is wasted every year...

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...To extract the significant amounts of valuable compounds contained in these wastes,Agrimax combines affordable and flexible processing technologies— from mechanical to biotechnological solutions — for the valourisation of side streamsfrom the horticulture and the food processing industry. The system is to be used in a cooperative approach by local stakeholders.In March 2020 Agrimax has launched aninnovative new online servicewhich connects crop producers, food processers and agricultural cooperatives to the biorefinieries. With Agrimax they will sell their waste as feedstock for the two project related biorefineries in Spain and in Italy. This will help maximise the EU’s sustainability while providing new business models on local level.The biorefining technologies used byAgrimax range from ultrasound-assistedand solvent-extraction and filtration methods to thermal and enzymatic treatments. Through the selection of case scenarios previously developed to pilot scale by the participating research and technology organisations (RTO) and their industrial transfer to new applications, the project will unlock theholistic potentialof four new agro-value chains entailing residues and by-products from the cultivation and processing of tomatoes, cereals, olives and potatoes. The end-products expected are: food additives, packaging and agricultural materials and bioenergies. Any by-product generated along the production cyclewill be valourisedin a cascade manner so that high value uses can be createdfrom over 40 % of the waste. This will lead to the additional production of active ingredients in lower concentrations, as well as fibres, biogas and fertilisers from the remainingbiomass. The latter will be used in closed loops for crop cultivation to prevent soil degradation.Alife-cycle assessmentand alife-cycle costinghave studied the best approach to minimising the environmental impact of the new value chains without jeopardising the cost effectiveness of the operations. The pilot multi-feedstockbiorefinery processesis validated in the two demonstration sites in Spain and Italy. Societal, ethical, safety, techno-feasibility and regulatory aspects have been studied. TRL: 5–7A detailed analysis of the raw material availability and an interim study on the relevant sectors of thebioeconomy marketshas been conducted. A comprehensive report, including a series of case studies showcasing successes and failures in each area and taking into account the perception in the food and packaging supply chains as well as that of consumers, will be delivered at the end of the project inautumn 2020.The Agrimax project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

ContactFind more on the project website and on the bbi website:www.agrimax-project.euwww.bbi-europe.eu/projects/agrimaxCoordinator: Georgios Chalkias, IRISIRIS Technology CenterParc Mediterrani de la TecnologiaAvda. Carl Friedrich Gauss nº 1108860 Castelldefels, Spaingchalkias@iris.cat

09

EFFECTIVE

Edi Kraus / Mattia Comotto, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Sneakers and backpacks from bio-nylon

The EFFECTIVE project on biofibres works closely with the fashion and sportswear industry

The EFFECTIVE project on biofibres works closely with the fashion and sportswear industry

Producing bio-based fibres for large consumer products by using renewable feedstocks and innovative technologies is at the centre of the EFFECTIVE project. The innovative process begins with creating and manufacturing bio-based polyamides and polyesters, and continues with a demonstration of their usability in a large range of consumer products...

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...Finally, the loop is closed by demonstrating circular methods for the end-of-life treatment of the novel products. The idea that ‘the end is a new beginning’ will fundamentally drive the products’ design and realization for a circular economy.The fibres and films with enhanced properties will be applied in large eco-designed consumer productstargeting different markets (i.e. construction, automotive, primary and secondary packaging and textile) and have the potential to be applied to many other markets, such as fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, plastic engineering, hygiene and personal care. The sustainability of the value chainswill be further enhanced by an improved end-of-life for the eco-designed solutionsthrough the application of monomer regeneration, recycling (for polyamide-based fibres and films) and composting / anaerobic digestion processes (for polyester-based films). Conversion technologies, including fermentation-based techniques for making widely used chemicals from renewable feedstocks are being implemented.The project intends to represent a key milestone in the industrialisation of bio-based fibreand film production in Europe. It foresees the mobilisation of relevant investments by its industry partners. EFFECTIVE fosters the adoption of multi-stakeholder collaboration models to demonstrate effective ways of developing a new circular plastic economyby joining environmental sustainabilityand economic profitability. TRL 4–7Chemical industry and sportswear manufacturers with interests in renewable polyamidesand renewable polyestersare involved in the project. Demonstration activities with other partners (such as H&M, Balsan, VAUDE, Novamont, Carvico and Aquafil) are planned for a range of products: the recycling of bio-nylonmade from sugar; the production and presentation of bio-based polyamide food packaging; the production and presentation of bio-based and biodegradable packaging for carpets, garments, etc. Consumer market studies and surveys are being performed. A standardisation and certification strategy for the bio-fibres is being elaborated. Patents are expected to be filed shortly.The EFFECTIVE project has received funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

ContactFind more on the project website and on the bbi website:www.effective-project.eu/www.bbi-europe.eu/projects/effectiveCoordinator: Edi Kraus /Mattia Comotto, Aquafil SLOLetališka cesta 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Sloveniamattia.comotto@aquafil.comeffective@aquafil.com

10

MycoSynVac

Luis Serrano, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Designing animal vaccines using synthetic biology

MycoSynVac has developed a multi-purpose drug to fight respiratory disease and antibiotic resistance in farm animals

Designing animal vaccines using synthetic biology

Every year, lung infections caused by mycoplasmas in poultry, cows and pigs, affect the animal welfare of millions of animals and result in multi-million euro losses in farming...

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...Using synthetic biology technologies, the MycoSynVac project has engineered the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae as a universal chassis for a broad spectrum of vaccinations. With this, MycoSynVac aims at providing new types of vaccines and new solutions to help tackle a major public health concern: antibiotic resistance.Overall,the project has contributed to the development of vaccines for animal healththat perform better, allow for fewer injections, have a better safety profile, lower the costs of goods and target previously encountered diseases.This all leads to better animal welfarewith less handling and better disease protection, and includes advantages for public health and reductions in costs for farmers.The MycoSynVac projectwill leave different long-lasting marks. One example is the creation of a spin-off company from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), called Pulmobiotics. Pulmobiotics is a pre-clinical life sciences company using synthetic biology to developnew treatments and vaccinesfor various types of lung disease. Pulmobiotics will engineer attenuated bacteria to deliver specific therapeutic agents, one of the most promising applications in the nascent field of synthetic biology. Engineered bacteria can ‘smartly’ deliver a precise amount of therapeutic molecules to the affected tissue, overcoming many of the limitations of current treatments.So far, to develop a vaccine, mycoplasma species need to be reproduced in axenic cultures with complex growth media using animal serum. The large scale production of mycoplasma species for vaccinations with animal serum risks high irreproducibility in the production process and possible contamination with animal viruses.MycoSynVac therefore has modified the existing methods of genome transplantationused for mycoplasma species and developed serum-free media to be scaled-up in bioreactors.The project has engineered a new set ofgenetic toolsto incorporate on/off switches in mycoplasma for better and safer vaccines, they are showing good results in the lab and currently being analysed in vivo. The project has developedgenome-scale metabolic, dynamic and whole-cell kinetic models of mycoplasma and designed an open access modelling software tool (DMPy). Thecomputer simulationsrevealed important bottlenecks and led to crucial improvements for the large-scale production of vaccines.New methods have been applied to design mycoplasma that is not pathogenic, and to integrate entire ‘genetic circuits’ in the organism. Surface proteins from several strains of mycoplasma (to which the immune system reacts) have been identified and used for future vaccine designs. MyCoSynVac also developed anew genome engineering techniquecalledMydelOrbitthat allows for the rapid knock-in and knock-out in any genome of interest, which may also beconsidered for future use in human therapy. MycoSynVac scientists have developedbiosafety elementsto ensure that the synthetic vaccines created are safe and harmless. After successful trials, commercialisation routes are being explored with the project’s industry partners.The project also designed afree educational online and mobile gamecalledBattle for Cattle, alongside self-learning and teaching materials.

ContactFind more on the project website and on the communicator`s website:www.mycosynvac.euwww.biofaction.com/designing-multi-purpose-vaccinesCoordinator: Luis Serrano, Director of the CRGCentre for Genomic RegulationDoctor Aiguader, 8808003 Barcelona, Spainluis.serrano@crg.eumycosynvac@crg.eu

SO2SAFE

11

Arrate Jaureguibeitia Cayrols, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Shrimp surveillance

SO2SAFE — a biosensor tool for rapid food safety tests

enzymatic biosensing for rapid food safety tests

Sulphites are food additives with antioxidant and preservative properties. However, they are recorded as allergens by the main international regulatory bodies for food safety because of their adverse health effects. In this context, the SO2SAFE project has developed a novel, miniaturised, ready-to-use enzymatic biosensor. The technology is based on disposable screen printed electrodes (SPEs) and provides a highly sensitive, selective, and user friendly...

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SO2SAFE

...method to determine the sulphites found in crustaceans — to comply with consumer health protection.Theseafood industrydemands fast, simple and reliable solutions for monitoring sulphite levels that can be integrated into HACPP programmes. SO2SAFE has been financed under the H2020 SME instrument for the development of a biosensor based on disposable SPEs for the determination of sulphites in crustaceans. It has the following properties:Biofunctionalisation of SPEswith a specific enzyme;Afast and simple, miniaturised measuring device;Aready-to-use, pre-calibrated solution that can simplify analysis by eliminating pre-analytical steps.Areproducible large-scale fabrication methodology(for scaling-up) was developed to help with commercialisation. Specific activities were carried out in order to determine the specific potential market niches. The required company reinforcement in terms of human and financial resources was determined, and all the possible risks and barriers in all project development phases identified. The SME BIOLAN, which has been funded under SO2SAFE, doesn’t have any serious competitors because a similar technology offering such an advantageous performance has not been developed anywhere else. The European market is the priority target for the SO2SAFE biosensor, followed by the Asian markets and USA and Mexico. As a result of a SO2SAFE background and foreground IPR assessment, the freedom to operate was validated.2018 was the first year for commercialising the product after the SO2SAFE project finished. The BIOLAN SME further developed the portable monitoring product BIOFISH 700, a pocket biosensor that uses SPEs to monitor parameters of interest in relation to the quality of fish and/or seafood in less than one minute. The SO2SAFE project increased the production capacity of BIOLAN to an industrial level. The SO2SAFE biosensor targets all agro-food industries where sulphites are used as additives at different steps of the supply chain. The enzyme-driven sensor is open to new market opportunities in other sectors such as wine, juices, etc.TRL 9: The product is sold on the market and is currently being scaled to other parameters.

ContactFind more on the company website and on the cordis website:www.biolanmb.comhttps://cordis.euroa.eu/project/id/684026Coordinator: Arrate JaureguibeitiaCayrols, PhDBIOLAN MICROBIOSENSORES SLLaida Bidea Edificio 409 · Parque Tecnológico de Bizkaia48170 Zamudio, Spainbiolanmb@biolanmb.com

12

DD-DeCaF

Prof. Markus Herrgård, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Bioinformatics for cell factories

DD-DeCaF: support for data management from cutting-edge biotech

Bioinformatics Services for Data-Driven Design of Cell Factories and Communities

DD-DeCaF is busy with the data-driven design of cells and microbial communities for applications ranging from human health to biotech chemicals. With advances in synthetic biology, genomes can now be edited at unprecedented speed allowing multiple changes to be made in the same genome at the same time...

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...This increases the need for computational tools to design cells and communities; and building a comprehensive design tool is a long term goal. The academic project partners develop cutting-edge methods for using large scale data. Three innovative SME partners convert these advanced methods into software tools.In biotechnology, design tools need to be able to use existing large-scale databases to discover new parts and place them in the functioning context of a cell. The tools need to be easily accessible and to provide an intuitive visual map of the cell to the biotechnologists working in the lab on building better cell factories and communities.One of the project goals is to make a broad spectrum of omics data useful to areas of the biotechnology industry that range from industrial biotechnology to human health.Novel approaches to integrative, model-based omics data analysis comprise the:Identification of novel enzymes and pathways (by mining metagenomic data);Data-driven design of cell factories for the production of chemicals and proteins;Analysis and design of microbial communities relevant to human health, industrial biotechnology and agriculture.All research efforts are integrated with an interactive web-based platform availableto the industrial and academic research and development communities. This supports, in particular, the enhancement of the competitiveness of biotech SMEs by economising resources and reducing time-to-market within their respective areas of focus. The platform is composed of standardised and interoperable components that service-oriented, bioinformatic SMEs involved in the project can re-use in their own products. An important aspect of the platform is the implementation of different entry levels for data and software tools, allowing access to them to be controlled. Two end-user companies, using proprietary omics data they have generated, will be involved in the practical testing of the platform. Demonstrations of cutting-edge software tools that make data-driven modelling possible are available.TRL 5: The software products have been validated in a relevant environment.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.dd-decaf.euCoordinator: Prof. Markus HerrgårdThe Novo Nordisk FoundationCenter for BiosustainabilityBuilding 220,Kemitorvet2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmarkherrgard@biosustain.dtu.dk

13

MARISURF

Prof. Stephen R. Euston, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Replacingtoxic petrochemicals

MARISURF: marine-derived, eco-friendly emulsions and household cleaners

eco-friendly emulsions and household cleaners from marine sources

Most household chemicals and industry surfactants and emulsifiers are still synthetically manufactured using petrochemicals, which are non-renewable and also have a potentially toxic effect on humans and the environment. This group of chemicals...

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...has a total global production of over 13 million tonnes a year because of their capacity to mix water-soluble and oily substances together. Now, the MARISURF project is discovering and producing marine-derived bio-surfactants with natural and eco-friendly ingredients.A number of manufacturers are looking for ways to increase competitiveness using underexploitedsources such as the marine environment. New legislation is required for a shift towards the industrial use ofless toxic compounds. MARISURF seeks to developeco-friendly end-productsand explore their commercialisation. The project’s first focus was on discovering, characterising and producing novel marine-derived bio-surfactants from a large bacterial collection (more than 500 strains, originally isolated from various coastal and open ocean waters around the world) housed at Heriot-Watt University.TheMARISURF collectionconsists of novel bacterial species (originally isolated for their ability to degrade oils) with proven promise in this respect. Collaborating with industrial end-users that identified desirable properties, the MARISURF team screened the marine bacteria strains for surfactant/emulsifying activity. Out of the 500, 79 strains with promising properties (e.g. emulsion and gel forming, ability to reduce surface tension, etc.) that could potentially replace the current mainly petroleum-based, chemical products were identified. From this batch, four promising strains (two bio-surfactants and two bio-emulsifiers) have been selected for pilot-scale production. Efficient processes for polymer production have been tested and further testing to highlight other properties such as anti-inflammatory or anti-aging properties has been completed. Researchers in the project explored possibilities for increasing yield using genetic modification and established an isolation/purification protocol and other identification techniques. Life-cycle assessments of the production process have begun.The consortium offers a wide range of expertise and will address technical bottlenecks, namely those of marine resource identification, sustainable supply, discovery pipelines and efficient production in biological systems (e.g. to scale-up fermentation to pilot level). The three end-users in the project represent different commercial sectors and have played a key role in highlighting the properties they require from the bio-surfactants/emulsifiers.Marine microbes are screened for bio-surfactants/emulsifiers that can be applied in the food, personal care, pharma and biotech sectors. Most growth expectations are in personal care, including bioactives and cosmeceuticals, but they are also expected in bio-surfactants for food (which need to be non-pathogenic and produce high yields for commercial success). Waste materials will be considered later, perhaps as feedstocks.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.marisurf.euCoordinator: Prof. Stephen R. Euston,Professor of Food & Beverage ScienceSchool of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt UniversityEdinburgh CampusEdinburgh EH14 4AS, UKs.r.euston@hw.ac.uk

14

NEXTGEN

Jos Frijns, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Water innovations to combat climate stress

NextGen explores and develops the latest water technologies at 10 demo sites

Innovative solutions for water technologies

By 2030 global water demand is expected to exceed supply by 40 % and approximately half of the world’s population will suffer from water stress. Not only drier regions and cities are affected: areas in Europe...

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...are also facing high or very high water stress, through growing pollution for example. A more sustainable management and use of water can help to avoid water crises and stress becoming a daily challenge. NextGen is working on innovative ways to use and re-use water rather than letting it go to waste.Water technologiesand knowledge are being developed in demonstration cases across Europe.The latest scientific and engineering results and state-of-the-art technologies (including the opportunities provided by digitalisation and eco-innovative solutions for the sustainable treatment and recovery and re-use of renewable resources from the water cycle) are in focus for NextGen. The project demonstrates the water–energy–food and nutrients nexus, develops niche markets and seeks to lift legislative, regulatory and social acceptance barriers to deliver the circular economy to the water management sector.NextGen’s innovative solutionsare being explored in 10 high-profile, large-scale demonstration cases across Europe. In order to up-scale, transfer tools and partnerships are being developed. At each NextGen site, multi-stakeholder discussions and feedback is organised into a community of practice (CoP) — these diverse groups meet regularly as approaches and technologies are refined.Thefocus areasare:Water(re-use at multiple scales, supported by nature-based storage, optimal management strategies, advanced treatment technologies, engineered eco-systems and compact/mobile/scalable systems);Energy(combined water–energy management, treatment plants as energy factories, water-enabled heat transfer, storage and recovery for allied industries and commercial sectors);Materials(nutrient mining and re-use, manufacturing new products from waste streams, regenerating and repurposing membranes to reduce water re-use costs, and producing activated carbon from sludge to minimise the costs of micro-pollutant removal, enzymes and proteins, fit-for-use water, activated carbon, PK fertilisers, microbial proteins).The project mobilises astrong partnership(water companies, industry, specialised SMEs, applied research institutes, technology platforms, city and regional authorities) and builds on an impressive portfolio of past research and innovation projects, leveraging multiple European and global networks.Threefeasibility studiesare being conducted (e.g. dedicated wastewater treatment solutions for breweries), new business models for the more mature and close-to-marketNextGen technologiesare being developed (including the ideation of new services for the circular economy) and high-impact exploitation with the creation of a marketplace and spinoffs will be ensured.Strane Innovation SAS, a start-up company, is managing the commercialisation side of the project. Industry and community partners are interested in replicating the wastewater treatment plants developed in the Netherlands for the brewing industry; other partners have expressed an interest in replicating solutions for sewer mining to produce fresh water.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.nextgenwater.euwww. ketbio.eu/recording?id=7025&app=infoCoordinator: Jos Frijns, KWRKWR Water Research InstituteGroningenhaven 7, 3433 PE Nieuwegein, the NetherlandsJos.Frijns@kwrwater.nl

15

MilliDrop

Dr Yamina Ghomchi, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Scanning droplets, preventing sickness

MilliDrop: Disrupting microbiology analysis to rapidly screen for infectious diseases

rapid detection of infectious diseases

Worldwide, one person dies every 3–4 seconds from sepsis, causing between 6 and 9 million deaths every year. Sepsis usually occurs when a bacterial infection spreads to the bloodstream...

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...With the emergence of antibiotic resistance it has become ever harder to treat. Administeringan effective and targeted therapy as early as possible is crucial for patient survivaland avoiding serious sequelae — the MilliDrop microbial analyser technology supports the early and precise and early detection of infectious diseases and ensures life-saving therapies. The MilliDrop device is a miniaturised and fully automated instrument for the rapid analysis of microorganisms. Microorganisms are placed in a culture and each one is incubated in a droplet in a capillary (containing several thousand droplets separated by air bubbles). The capillary system is installed in front of an optical system that tracks the droplets individually. The optical system is equipped withfluorescence and light diffusion analysismodules to detect both growth in the microorganisms and the molecules they express.Each droplet is monitored and measuredin real time,allowing infectious stains to be identified much faster than other existing technologies(6 vs 24 hours). Followed by immediate antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) in the same instrument, AST results are obtained fewer than 12 hours after the patient sample has been received (instead of the standard 48).The technology comprises the manipulation of microbial cell culture in only one droplet(~100 nL), together with automation and extraordinary parallelisation (1 000 samples).The innovation closes the gap from lab to marketand has disrupted microbiology analysis after hundreds of years of standard Petri dish technology.MilliDrop Instruments SAS is a French start-upfounded in 2015. Its technology is protected byseven patents. The company has receivedfunding for its millifluidic technology from the EU’s SME Instrumentto further develop clinical diagnosis and in-vitro diagnostic products (IVDs). The funding goal was to develop, validate and industrialise a new version of the medical device analyser for the IVD clinical microbiology market. A first generation, dedicated to the research and development market, is already in the industrialisation process. A second generation, intended for diagnostics, is in the pipeline. Health professionals who are not laboratory analysis experts will be able to use it unassisted. The MilliDrop IVD under development will be fully automated and can identify both infectious agents and the doses of antibiotic required to eradicate them.The start-up has also received fundingfromBPifrance, as a laureate of the ‘Concours d’innovation’ in the health category, to further develop and commercialise the rapid diagnosis test for sepsis.TRL 9:Nine instruments are already being testedaround Europe. TRL 3: IVDs— several MilliDrop systems have been installed in partner academic laboratories, including ESPCI Paris and Wageningen University in the Netherlands.MilliDrop’s technology can be applied to several markets: biotech research into high throughput analysers; agri-food, health care and industrial biotech manufacturing for analysis and product development; clinical diagnostics.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.millidrop.comCoordinator: Dr Yamina Ghomchi, CEOMilliDrop SASPépinière Santé Paris Cochin29, rue du Faubourg Saint-Jacques75014 – Paris, Francey.ghomchi@millidrop.com

16

FALCON

Prof. Ronald de Vries, Coordinator

Top EU Biotech

Towards a zero-waste biorefinery

FALCON makes shipping fuels, additives and chemicals from bioethanol waste

shipping fuels, additives and chemicals from bioethanol waste

Currently, large amounts of waste are generated in the production of bioethanol, and lignin-rich wood is the most commonly used biomass. To better valourise industrial lignin waste, the FALCON project aims at converting the waste streams from lignocellulose-based bioethanol plants into a crude oil...

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...This can be used directly as alow-sulphur marine fuel(value chain 1) or, alternatively, as arenewable feedstockfor aromatic fuel additives (value chain 2) or chemical building blocks (value chain 3) such as substituted monomeric phenols.The creation of a ‘zero-waste biorefinery’ is supported by this project. It deals with existing second generation (2G)biofuel plantsgenerating large waste streams.The main component of this waste is lignin, the glue that holds plants and wood together. At present most of this waste is incinerated to produce green energy (energetic valourisation).The FALCON projectseeks to better valourise it by converting it into high-value products.To design their processes, FALCON has taken full advantage of the lessons learned over the last 150 years in the petrochemical industry. This includestreatment at the 2G bioethanol plant,converting the waste to a lignin oilthat can be more easily transported and also directly used as a low sulphur shipping fuel. The oil will be further converted into fuel additives and chemical building blocks. To achieve this, FALCON has formed a consortium delivering the lignin waste to the enzyme producers, chemists and process engineers that depolymerise the lignin into oil. Current end-users are a fuel and chemicals producer and a ship engine developer.Thelignin-rich sludge from 2G biofuel plantsundergoes saccharification, turning the polysaccharides into C6 and C5 sugars. Lignin is the most recalcitrant substance in biomass. The challenge this presents will be surmounted by using enzymes from fungi and bacteria that can depolymerise the plant fibres. The power of enzyme conversion is combined with other innovative technologies to enable mild and environmentally friendly processesEconomic and life cycle assessmentsfocusing on industrial state-of-the-art base case scenarios fortwo value chains(marine fuels and gasoline fuel octane boosters) have been conducted. Lignin bio-oils are already used as additives for heavy-duty engines to reduce soot emissions. One of the project’s goals is tomature enzymatic low-sulphur lignin fuel oil production from bench scale(1–10 litres) to pilot scale (tonnes). It also hopes to optimise the technical separation processes, and reduce drying and pyrolysis costs by directly processing wet lignin-rich slurry.A computer-aided engineering model enabling the evaluation of the whole process (to convert lignin-based biomass into a product mixture applicable for maritime fuel) based on its mass- and energy-balances was achieved. An improved purification method for the lignin biomass prior to enzymatic oxidation has been developed. The characterisation of the 25 produced enzymes involved in the conversion of aromatic compounds has been finalised. The standard operating procedure (SOP) for the production of newly developed laccases at a pilot and industrial scale has been developed and an experimental matrix to test different organic solvent combinations to formulate lignin oil-like solutions from smaller lignin fractions has been delivered. A combustion property benchmark for the Lignin Derived Fuel Oil (LDFO) under development has been created by the industry partners using a purposely designed and built small scale compression-ignition (CI/diesel) test engine and commercially available RMG 380 grade heavy fuel oil (HFO).Main markets: chemical intermediates, aerospace and automotive, marine transport.TRL 5–6: Thermochemically processed lignin crude oil prototypes tested using marine engine hardware, TRL 8: Enzyme technology platform.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.falcon-biorefinery.euCoordinator: Prof. Ronald de Vries,Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity InstituteUppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT, Utrecht, the Netherlandsr.devries@westerdijkinstitute.nl

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NEEDbioWash

Caroline Hennigs, Coordinator

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GMO-free enzymes for eco-detergents

NEEDbioWash: Fermenting active compounds from food waste to make eco-detergents

Natural Enzymes for Ecological Detergents to improve biologically certified Washing products

NEEDbioWash develops and demonstrates an organic, GMO-free enzyme used in detergents for eco-certified laundry products. The innovative idea uses a solid state fermentation technique to avoid genetic modification in enzyme production. The natural enzymes will enhance the...

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NEEDbioWash

...performance of the eco-label laundry product by degrading stains that are not removed by surfactants.Market studies show thatconscious consumers, as well as the ‘organic community’, are asking forenvironmentally friendly, GMO-free detergent productsthat are entirely natural and still have an outstanding washing performance.NEEDbioWash, a HORIZON 2020 projectunder the SME Instrument, is composed of four partners, and is funded under the European Innovation Council Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) initiative. The forerunner project (SSFENZYMES) was finished in May 2017 (SME Instrument, phase 1). It confirmed that aNEEDbioWash product would meet a huge market demand within Europeas well as across the world. The new project’s EU funding will end in 2021.The ingredients of the future product are being kept secret until the market launch and patenting is completed. The coordinator of NEEDbioWash, the German Naturstoff-Technik GmbH, is a specialist in solid state technologies, from drying and pulverisation to milling, coating and fermenting.To createorganic products, producers aim at using natural methods as far as possible throughout the production process. This includeschoosing natural raw materials. The feedstock materials for the natural enzyme production are made from food residues usingbiotech fermentation techniques. The enzymes will be used by abio-detergentproducer as a new component inorganic home-careand laundry products.TRL: 6–9Main markets: home-care products, chemical intermediates, food and feed products (including enzymes for processing), animal feeds and nutraceuticals.Constant internal market monitoring and impact assessment studies have been done.

ContactFind more on the project website:https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/852970/deCoordinator: Caroline Hennigs,Naturstoff-Technik GmbHMarie-Curie-Straße 11,27711 Osterholz-Scharmbeck, GermanyEmail: hennigs@naturstoff-technik.dehennigs@naturstoff-technik.de

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BioRECO2VER

Heleen De Wever, Coordinator

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Carbon capture to run the circular economy

BioRECO2VER finds biological routes for CO2 re-use using industry gases

biological routes for CO2 re-use using industry gases

While biomass is increasingly being used, CO2 and renewables are the only abundant sources of energy, and carbon will be the ultimate sustainable resource in the circular economy...

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...To maximise the benefits, carbon capture and its microbial conversion into valuable platform chemicals is combined within the BioRECO2VER project. The project uses CO2 from industry gas emissions.Capturing CO2from industry plants and converting the substrate into useful new chemicalsis the goal of the BioRECO2VER project. The microbial production of valuable platform chemicals from CO2-based industrial off-gases provides many benefits. The high-level goal of BioRECO2VER is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the non-photosynthetic anaerobic and micro-aerobic biotechnological processes for the capture and conversion of CO2from industrial point sources into two valuable platform chemicals, i.e. isobutene and lactate.To overcome several of the existing barriers for CO2 conversion using industrial biotechnology, the project’s focus is on minimising gas pretreatment costs, maximising gas transfer in bioreactors, preventing product inhibition, minimising product recovery costs, reducing the carbon footprint and improving scalability. To this end, a hybrid enzymatic process for CO2capture from industrial point sources is being investigated. The conversion of captured CO2 into the targeted end-products that follows is realised through three different microbial platforms (which represent a much wider range of products and applications). Fermentation and bioelectrochemical systems are used to optimise the bio-processing. The three microbial platforms will be advanced to TRL 4, and the most promising solution for each target product will be validated at TRL 5 using real off-gases. To prepare for industrial implementation and contribute to public acceptance, the technological activities are complemented with virtual plant designs, economic and sustainability assessments and extensive dissemination.Main expected impacts:Creation of an enzymatic CO2 capture process that will reduce energy and costs, increase process impurity resistance and subsequently yield a concentrated gas stream of at least 95 % CO2;Reduction in downstream processing efforts through production of a gaseous molecule or coupling with separation technology for in-situ product recovery (reduction in energy consumption);Establishment of an optimised modular technology train, from CO2 source to final marketable product (<15 % deviation from model with respect to experimental results, process improvement through optimised set of operation and design parameters);More favourable sustainability assessment of the microbial CO2 conversion (lower carbon footprint compared to gas fermentation at non-optimised conditions — processes relevant to >5 % of industrial CO2 emissions in Europe);Proof of socio-economic and industrial feasibility (equivalent variable costs compared to conventional processes, and replication of those processes, for at least two other major industrial CO2 emitters).TRL 5 at the end of project.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.bioreco2ver.euCoordinator: Heleen De WeverFlemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)VITOBoeretang 2002400 Mol, Belgiumheleen.dewever@vito.be

REHAP

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Dr. Aitor Barrio, Coordinator

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Greener buildings through biotech innovations

REHAP — sustainable cement and construction materials from agroforestry residues

Greener buildings through biotech innovations

The building and construction sector wants to become more green. The REHAP project found a solution: together researchers and industry are developing bio-based materials from...

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...agroforestry waste to build a house showcasing the novel materials and their properties to the construction industry. The residues from agriculture and forestry can be converted using biotechnology into several classes of construction materials: wooden panels with bio-phenolic resins, green concrete including bio-plasticisers, bio-insulation foams and adhesives.Construction and furniture is the second largest sector in terms of turnover within the EUbio-based economy, only preceded by the pulp and paper sector. European policy and Europe’s regulatory framework is increasingly boosting the introduction ofmore sustainable and alternative solutionsin industrial fields, including eco-designed building and construction.The processes and products developed and optimised by REHAP have the potential to help European bio-based industry to effectively involve the primary sector (agriculture and forestry) within their value chains, as well as to cover more mass markets (e.g. the construction sector). The identification and development of feasible and sustainable alternatives valourising agroforestry residues (apart from their use in energy production), can pave the way to the creation of new bio-based concepts and business opportunities in rural areas. Here the primary sector is truly involved, it is considered not just as a ‘biomass supplier’, but as a key partner in fostering efficient andsustainable bio-based business cases.REHAP’s 16 partners aim at recovering and revalourising waste from agriculture (wheat straw) and forestry (bark). Primary processing (sugars, lignin, tannins) and secondary processing (sugar acids, carboxylic acids, aromatics and resins) turns the compounds and the chemicals into novel materials for the green building sector. The project will provide reductions in the use of fossil resources of 80–100 %, and in energy use and CO2emissions of over 30 %.Specifically, building blocks (1,4- and 2,3-Butanediol, esther polyols), materials (polyurethanes [PUs], phenolic resins, modified hydrolysis lignin) and products (wooden boards, insulation foams, cement, adhesive) will be obtained:Isolation of tannins and carbohydrates from forestry waste, to turn them into bio-phenolic resins for wooden panels and isocyanate-free PUs for insulating foams, respectively.Isolation of lignin and carbohydrates from agricultural waste, to turn them into bio-phenolic resins for wooden panels and bio-superplasticisers for cement, and esther polyol PUs for adhesives, respectively.Fire retardant lignin and sugar-based additiveswill be also developed.Processing technologies (chemical/thermal/enzymatic and fermentation) are being optimised at pilot scale for further exploitation and the replication of the results. A building prototype is demonstrating industrial applicability in the green construction sector.Throughout the project, life-cycle and cost assessments, market analyses, a business plan, a waste management strategy and measures for future standardisation are being implemented using a systemic perspective approach. The patentability of the solutions that have been developed has been prepared. The life-cycle assessment delivered promising results. Initial market analyses will be updated towards the end of the project.TRL 7 (project goal): System prototype demonstration in operational environment.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.rehap.euCoordinator: Dr Aitor Barrio,Tecnalia Technology CentreTECNALIAÁrea Anardi, 520730 Azpeitia – Gipuzkoa, Spainaitor.barrio@tecnalia.com

EU Biotech

Polybioskin

Dr. Simona Neri, Coordinator

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Skin friendly biomaterials

The POLYBIOSKIN project develops functional bio based polymers for special skin-contact applications in biomedicines, cosmetics and sanitary

Skin friendly biomaterials to innovate personal care and health product markets.

Antimicrobial and antioxidant functionalities of specific biobased materials for baby nappies will prevent inflammation and skin irritations; nanostructured biomaterials with a non-woven tissue will improve woundhealing; facial beauty masks based on textiles or films made from biopolymers and impregnated with molecules beneficial for the skin....

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...All products will befully biodegradableand will have undergoneLife Cycle Assessments.PolyBioSkin has created biopolymers that contain90% renewable materials. PolyBioSkin focus lies on two main classes of bio-based polymers:Polysaccharides(cellulose, starch and chitin/chitosan) derived from waste feedstocks which are chosen for their biodegradability and peculiar functional properties, such as absorbency and anti-infectivity,Biopolyesters, such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which are100% based onrenewable resourcesand also biodegradable. Within the project specific films and textiles with i.a. electrospinning nanofibers technology are produced for the specific applications.The project has investigated theanti-inflammatoryandskin compatibility properties of severalbiobased components. Chitin nanofibrils (CNs) were found to have significant anti-inflammatory and re-epithelialisation properties. CNs also demonstrated effects on keratinocytes influenceing skin health and autoimmune systems.Medical trials and consumer acceptance tests have been started for thenanofiber based cosmetic beauty mask. Bionicia, a Spanish CSIC spin-off is scaling face mask and wound dressings within the project. SME involved in the projects have interests to commercialise. The project addressessustainable bio-based alternativesin high-value market segments beyond packaging. It will contribute toimprove regulation for skin-compatibility biopolymer materials.

ContactFind more on the project website:www.polybioskin.euGötz Ahrens, Communication ManagerEuropean Bioplasticsahrens@europeanbioplastics.org

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 researchand innovation programme under grant agreement No. 768570.

KETBIO biotech transfer EU initiative

The key enabling biotechnologies including the industrial biotechnology and the synthetic biology, with its pioneering developments recovering waste and CO2 by using biological and microbial engineering, will create less toxic, more energy saving and more eco-friendly products and processes that will have a positive impact on future circular economies. These bio-based technologies, however, still need a boost from investment and commercialisation. KETBIO, an EU-funded biotech transfer initiative, has set up an online cluster hub to act as a virtual platform. It already has more than 1 500 members from the European biotechnology research and innovation community to foster its commercialisation, clustering and communication activities.

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Join the bub: www.ketbio.eu/home

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