BBI.VC3.R9-2015 - Valorisation of aquatic biomass
The use of ‘blue’ biomass such as algae, microalgae and aquatic plants for high value applications such as food ingredients, polymers, feed proteins, cosmetics, pharma and nutraceuticals represents a promising means of reducing Europe’s dependence on imports (e.g. fish, vegetable oils, proteins for animal feed) and diminishing the pressure on land resources. The integrated production of other bulk products together with the targeted high value added products could increase the cost competitiveness of the biorefinery concept. Although the production of biomass from a number of cultured algae and aquatic plants has been proved at pilot scale, the challenge is to reduce the costs of the extraction and conversion processes in order to achieve cost-competitive concepts.
- Delivering a robust scientific and technological basis for substantiating strategic decisions for the industrial development of algae for high added-value products.
- Decreasing dependency on imports of vegetal and fish oil and proteins for animal feed.
- Depending on the developed cascading concept, proposals will contribute to one or several of the following impacts:
- Technological validation of high value products from aquatic biomass for aquatic biomass.
- Technological validation of products for the food and feed markets with high nutritional content, at least a 40% higher content in amino acid than wheat and rice and up to 30% higher than soy.
Technological validation of products with high digestibility (at least 50% protein assimilation) and/or high functional value (binding, gluten replacement, gel forming);
Development of innovative multi-step approaches for the separation of the chemical components present in aquatic biomass and their cascading conversion, maximising the valorisation of biomass components into high added value applications such as ingredients for food, polymers, feed proteins, cosmetics, chemicals, pharma, nutraceuticals. Proposals should include the optimisation of the separation, extraction and purification processes and evaluation of the bioactive (e.g. nutritional, antimicrobial and antibiotic) properties in view of their application in the corresponding markets. A life-cycle assessment of the entire process should be performed, taking into account requirements from the addressed markets. Proposals should assess the impact of the developed processes on the environmental, social and economic performance of the whole value chain. Strong weight will be put on industrial leadership to fully exploit the developed products/processes.
It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget in the range of EUR 2-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.