Lignins and humins from four selected processes were recovered at kilograms scale and implemented for comprehensive structural and functional characterization, including safety profiling, as well as for the development of processes. Variability of the raw materials was investigated and specific valorisation strategies were settled for each type of raw material. In all case however, a fractionation step by water, organic solvent or alkali depending on the material, turned out beneficial to increase the functionality and/or yield of the intermediate products. Humins could find direct uses without further conversion and could alternatively be converted into methyl levulinate and levulinic acid. Four main routes have been explored for lignin conversion: solvent extraction and treatment by an ionic liquid yielding antioxidant extracts, base catalysed depolymerisation yielding aromatic chemical intermediates, dissolution-aggregation technology to recover colloidal lignin particles and use of lignin as substrate for the production of biomass by insects. Termites species able to be reared at large scale and to digest lignin-rich substrates were selected and implemented for the creation of an innovative rearing system that made the breeding operations possible and led to the first production of chitin from termites. Recalcitrant lignocellulosic fractions were successfully used as carbon source for living termites or by microbial consortia cultivated from termite guts. Based on preliminary life-cycle analyses, efforts to improve the environmental fingerprint of all these routes have been made. The possibility to use enzymes for lignin functionalisation was demonstrated (water-solubility increase by enzyme-catalysed sulfation and depolymerisation by tailored enzymatic cocktails). Transcriptomic analysis of four white-rot fungi, and bioinformatics analysis of new bacterial lignin-degrading strains, allowed identification of several new fungal and bacterial lignin-degrading enzymes and accessory enzymes which were expressed and characterised. These enzymes were used for conversion of technical lignins, and large-scale expression of two fungal enzymes and one bacterial enzyme was achieved. All the technical achievements were integrated in a cross-cutting value-chain approach, aiming at providing valuable bio-based products for targeted markets. A mapping of functionalities was established allowing selection of intermediate products for formulation and processing into skin-care cosmetic creams, PE-based packaging materials and aqueous colloidal systems. Down-stream functionalisation was successfully applied to intermediate products to tailor their properties in view of new markets (e.g. water depollution for cationized colloidal lignin particles). The performances of the end-products were confronted to the end-users requirements and to techno-economic analysis in order to define the efforts requested to bring the applications and new technologies to the market.