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Commercialization of high-value chemical production in moss

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TYCHOBIO (Commercialization of high-value chemical production in moss)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-08-31

The current world population of 7.2bn people is projected by the UN to rise to 9.6bn in 2050. This growth will create enormous pressure on world food production. An increased focus on specific ingredients properties will play a crucial role in this context. Many ingredients originate from specialty plant chemicals, but these are often present in low quantities in the native plant constituting less than 1% of total mass. TychoBio provides a platform for green and sustainable production of plant specialty chemicals used in the personal care, food, pharmaceutical and animal feed industry. The development of our platform enables us to quickly deliver specific products to our customers through a B2B strategy. TychoBio is exploring the use of the moss Physcomitrella patens that only requires light, water and a minimum supply of nutrients to produce high-value ingredients while simultaneously removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The moss has the ability to be engineered to produce a large range of industrial relevant specialized plant chemicals.
Throughout this SME Phase I project we have explored three different work packages: WP1: Investigation of the patentability of our platform
WP2: Upscaling in a relevant environment
WP3: Feasibility report
We have generated a comprehensive feasibility study of our business concept.
A professional freedom-to-operate analysis was conducted during the project, which stated that we have freedom-to-operate when developing new genetic tools to optimize moss for the production of specialty plant chemicals. We plan to submit a patent application covering the production of an antioxidant in our moss platform late 2017.
We investigated several upscaling methods, including Wave plastic bags, tubular photobioreactors and simple glass bioreactors for in-house use. We showed that moss grows very fast in our bioreactor and we expect to be able to reduce the growth-rate in future tests. In the business plan we have identified our target market, made a customer profiling, a business model and initiated customer contact which resulted in positive feedback and proof that our platform has industrial interest.
The evaluation of the feasibility of our business concept has led to several positive outcomes and prospects. We thus conclude that TychoBio have the potential to become a significant player within the synthetic biology sector in Europe by producing plant specialty chemicals for the food, animal feed, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.