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BIOTEC-06-2017: Optimisation of biocatalysis and downstream processing for the sustainable production of high value-added platform chemicals

Specific challenge:

The bio-based production of chemical building blocks from renewable resources has become an interesting alternative to inherently non-sustainable petrochemical-based processes, which are neither low-carbon nor resource-efficient. However, despite the discovery and development of numerous platform cell factories, bio-based production is not (or not fully) competitive in terms of economics and remains, therefore, a niche market application dedicated to high-value specialty products. To overcome current limitations, it is necessary to further improve the efficiency of bio-based production processes by creating better performing platform cell factories and relevant downstream processes.


The objective is to optimise already existing or newly developed platform cell factories for the production of platform and fine chemicals and biofuels (excluding pharmaceuticals), following the cascading use of resources. Proposals should include areas such as bioinformatics, systems biology and synthetic biology where appropriate. Furthermore, applicants should take into account integrated approaches from sourcing of renewable biomass to bioconversion and downstream processing, including the final consumers of the bio-based product. Proposals will have a strong industry drive and include demonstration activities to prove the techno-economic viability of the proposed value chain on the basis of a full Life-Cycle-Assessment, including the preparation of a model business plan to be developed during the project. The optimisation of the final product's 'end of life' through, for example, biodegradation or recycling should also be considered. Promotional activities, beyond the usual web-based approaches, targeted at all groups of participants should be included. Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 5 to 7 and centred around TRL 6. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

- Reduction of the production costs of the proposed bio-based products by at least 30%.
- Demonstration of the economic feasibility of the proposed value chains.
- Full set of promotional and outreach activities, targeted at specific stakeholder groups, and based on the full Life-Cycle-Assessment and business plan prepared.

Type of action:

Innovation action


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