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Rational design of plant systems for sustainable generation of value-added industrial products

Objective

Plants sustainably produce low levels of secondary metabolites of high industrial value. However, they are often too complex to be economically manufactured by chemical synthesis. Advanced metabolic engineering and exploitation of plants as Green Factories has been prevented due to poorly understood metabolic pathways in plants and the regulation thereof. SmartCell brings together 14 leading European academic laboratories and four industrial partners in order to create a novel concept for rationally engineering plants towards improved economical production of high-value compounds for non-food industrial use. Although SmartCell focuses on terpenoids, the largest class of secondary metabolites, which exhibit extremely diverse biological and pharmaceutical activities, all knowledge, tools and resources developed in the project, are generic and broadly applicable to engineer any plant biosynthetic pathway. A systems biology approach using metabolomics and transcriptomics is taken to move beyond the state of the art. New multigene transfer technologies are developed. By screening and functionally categorizing genes at structural, regulatory and transport levels a comprehensive knowledge base of how secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways operate in plants is developed. The case study component i.e. manufacturing a valuable terpenoid in an optimized large-scale system gives SmartCell a unique opportunity to directly make transition from fundamental science to application. For long-term exploitation an integrated database, compound library, cell culture collection and a genebank available for academic and industrial communities will be established. SmartCell provides new opportunities for SMEs and established European biotech companies, and the technology can also be transferred to other e.g. fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries. SmartCell will prove that plant-based resources can furnish the European society and industry far more than they presently do.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/economics/sustainable economy
  • /engineering and technology/industrial biotechnology/metabolic engineering

Call for proposal

FP7-KBBE-2007-2A
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-IP - Large-scale integrating project

Coordinator

TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT
Address
Tekniikantie 4 A
02044 VTT Espoo
Finland
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 508 209
Administrative Contact
Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey (Dr.)

Participants (18)

VIB VZW
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 675 377
Address
Rijvisschestraat 120
9052 Zwijnaarde - Gent
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Rik Audenaert (Mr.)
UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 505 540
Address
Rapenburg 70
2311 EZ Leiden
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ton Brouwer (Mr.)
UNIVERSIDAD DE LLEIDA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 364 725
Address
Placa Victor Siurana 1 1
25003 Lleida
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Josep M. Sentis Suñé (Mr.)
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
EU contribution
€ 601 770
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Munchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Maximilian Steiert (Mr.)
UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 184 125
Address
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zürich
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Enrico Martinoia (Prof.)
UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 222 565
Address
Place De L Universite 1
1348 Louvain La Neuve
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Marc Boutry (Prof.)
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 448 004
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Denis Fix (Mr.)
ZURCHER HOCHSCHULE FUR ANGEWANDTE WISSENSCHAFTEN
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 142 821
Address
Gertrudstrasse 15
8401 Winterthur
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Regine Eibl (Prof.)
JOHN INNES CENTRE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 275 619
Address
Norwich Research Park Colney
NR4 7UH Norwich
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Mary Anderson (Dr.)
KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 185 852
Address
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ivan Kristoffersen (Mr.)
MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 140 802
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munich
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Lothar Grube (Mr.)
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 146 906
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Rufus Trotman (Mr.)
WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 308 445
Address
Droevendaalsesteeg 4
6708 PB Wageningen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Harro Bouwmeester (Prof.)
Plant Advanced Technologies
France
EU contribution
€ 120 125
Address
Rue Du Bois De La Champelle 13
54500 Vandoeuvre
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jean-Paul Fevre (Mr.)
SoluCel Oy

Participation ended

Finland
EU contribution
€ 70 981
Address
Tietotie 2
02150 Espoo
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jan Pen (Dr.)
Philip Morris Products S.A.
Switzerland
Address
Quai Jeanrenaud 56
2000 Neuchatel
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Markus Klein (Dr.)
Dow AgroSciences LLC

Participation ended

United States
Address
Zionsville Road 9330
46268-1054 Indianapolis
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Ronald Maciak (Mr.)
INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE PIERRE FABRESAS
France
Address
Place Abel Gance 45
92100 Boulogne Billancourt
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Yves Barbin (Mr.)