€6 Million Project Development of New Biobased Processes

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has launched a €6 million project entitled “Carbosurf” with the aim to develop new processes and solve bottlenecks in the fermentative production of biobased biosurfactants and specialty carbohydrates.

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All partners met for the project kick-off.
All partners met for the project kick-off.
(Picture: Carbosurf)

Ghent/Belgium – The new three-year project brings together eleven partners from four European countries: Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs), an open innovation pilot plant, four biotech SMEs and three large industries. The project received funding through the first call of the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The Carbosurf project aims to develop new biobased processes as well as products and solves bottlenecks in the fermentative production of biobased biosurfactants and specialty carbohydrates. Specifically, it targets different glycolipid biosurfactants with a wide range of application fields and specialty carbohydrates, i.e. complex Human Milk Oligosaccharides that find applications as neutraceutical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic ingredients. The project is coordinated by Prof. Soetaert from Ghent University (Belgium).

Beyond the development of new processes or solving technical bottlenecks, sufficient amounts of new products will be produced for application testing, in order to evaluate their market potential in a wide range of application fields. Also, the technical, economic, environmental and social sustainability of processes over the whole value chain from biomass to product application will be assessed, with an emphasis on identifying and addressing the bottlenecks in the innovation chain. A valorisation plan will be drafted to complete the innovation process.

Carbosurf brings together all the required players to obtain the expected impact, in all eleven partners from four European countries. Research and Technology Organisations address the research challenges in this project: Ghent University (Belgium), VITO (Belgium) and Fraunhofer IGB (Germany). The open innovation Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (Belgium) will optimize and scale up the new processes. Four biotech SMEs, CIMV (France), IMD Natural Solutions (Germany), Inbiose (Belgium) and Carbosynth (UK), as well as three large industries, Croda (UK), Evonik (Germany) and EOC Belgium provide product concepts and guidance for commercialization.

With a total project budget of €5.961.743, Carbosurf receives €2.730.605 funding through the 2014 call (Research and Innovation) of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking. The BBI JU is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium, operating under Horizon 2020 and investing in bio-based innovation from 2014-2020. The €3.7 billion splits into €975 million provided by the EU and €2.7 billion of private investments.

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