Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Biocatalysis is increasingly used in synthetic routes to complex molecules. However, the lack of a broad range of reactions platforms catalysed by enzymes and the long development timelines are hindering the full potential of biocatalysis. As a result, while the industry is in need of sustainable routes for a number of important chemical reactions (e.g. some oxidation, C-C bond formation reactions, etc.) biocatalytic alternatives with reduced environmental footprint are still not accessible to large scale chemical synthesis and other industrial conversions.

Scope: Development of specific robust biocatalysts for application at a large scale. Attention should be given to oxidoreductases, oxygenases, lyases. Proposals will have a strong industry drive and include demonstration activities to bridge the gap between lab and industrial scale and to assess the technoeconomic viability of the targeted biotransformation. Proposals should address the design and development of generic platform technologies and methods for fast and accurate enzyme activity determination and enzyme optimization enabling the design of highly efficient biocatalysts with an expanded range of substrates and for industrially important conversions. The development of methods for formulation and immobilization of enzymes could be considered with view to optimising process efficiency. Strong weight will be put on industrial leadership of the proposals which are aimed at introducing a real innovation focus. Activities will span between Technology Readiness Levels 5 and 7.

For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, which will be developed further in the proposal project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 10 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:

·         The demonstration of biocatalytic routes to new chemical reactions at large scale will pave the way for a subsequent market replication. The industrial concepts demonstrated should have the potential for a significant economic, societal and environmental benefit.

·         Enhancing industry's capabilities for design of biocatalysts (e.g. rational, computational) and their fast quantitative evaluation with view to ensuring the worldwide leading position of the EU biocatalysis sector.

·         Increasing sustainability and competitive-edge of biotech’s concomitant sectors such as chemical, pharmaceutical intermediates, fine chemicals, food additives, cosmetics etc.

·         Contributing to realising the objectives of industrial and innovation policy, such as the EU Strategy for Key Enabling Technologies.

Type of action: Innovation Actions
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