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Enhancing the industrial exploitation potential of marine-derived enzymes


Specific challenge: If we consider the vast reservoir of enzymes identified through the latest large-scale marine genomics and metagenomic sequencing projects, the potential to unveil novel interesting enzymes from marine sources remains very high. However, this potential does not automatically guarantee novel commercial products. The challenge at hand is posed by both current limitations in screening and expression technologies as well as by issues of property rights and intellectual property. Both are still limiting factors that require further attention.

Scope: Proposals should address the development and demonstration of innovative technologies for high throughput enzyme screening and/or for the expression of marine enzymes and proteins through dedicated hosts and should focus on respective key research challenges including purification systems and upscaling of the marine enzymes. Screening should take into account industrial technical specifications of the enzymes of interest. Win-win academic and industry cooperation and/or agreements on issues related to property rights and intellectual property should be considered in order to maximise the exploitation potential.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 6 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:

  • Enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of European industry sectors such as consumer products, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and fine chemicals, through increase efficiency in the enzyme identification-to-market success rate;
  • Bring broad societal benefits by facilitating the development of novel, improved or more economic and eco-friendly end-products and processes;
  • Contribute to realising the objectives of European policy initiatives, such as the EU Blue Growth Strategy and EU Strategy for Key Enabling Technologies.

Type of action: Innovation actions