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BIOTEK2021-Bioteknologi for verdiskaping

ERA-NET: Seaweeds for Novel Applications and Products (SNAP)

Alternative title: BlueBio - Nye anvendelser og produkter fra tang og tare

Awarded: NOK 6.8 mill.

The main objective of the SNAP project is to develop novel applications and products based on selected brown and red algae, including wild harvested and cultivated species. The global utilization of seaweeds is increasing rapidly, where today most cultivated biomass is used directly as food or in food additives. Besides food, there is also an increasing demand for new high-value products from more sustainable bioresources. Here, complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) from seaweed demonstrate competitive advantages for multiple market sectors. However, there is still a need for new knowledge and methodology for effectively isolating and characterizing these polysaccharides and understanding how their structures are related to their physical and biological properties. This will provide an important basis and prerequisite for using seaweed polysaccharides for novel medium- and large-scale applications and products. New innovative applications as well as biorefineries for efficient utilization of the biomass will be important drivers to establish industry-scale seaweed aquaculture in Europe. The SNAP project will provide new knowledge on the structure and composition of important brown and red algae species and employ advanced biorefinery processes to isolate high-quality polysaccharides. These polysaccharides will be modified by chemical and enzymatic approaches, functionally characterized, and utilized for novel products targeting multiple industry sectors, including biomedical materials, cosmetics, and functional foods and feed. The project has an academically strong and interdisciplinary consortium with six research partners from five countries (SINTEF (NO), NTNU (NO), KTH (SE), TLU (EE), UNITS (IT) and MARUM (DE)), as well as two industry partners (DuPont (NO) and Seaweed Solutions (NO)) providing respectively wild harvested and cultivated biomass as well as key expertise on production, harvest and processing of seaweeds. The SNAP project has in the last year established a biorefinery process for cultivated brown algae and have applied this in pilot scale to produce large amounts of biopolymers (alginate, fucoidan, laminaran and cellulose) of high quality and purity. Through characterization of new enzymes that can modify and depolymerize biopolymers from macroalgae, the project aims to establish new analytical methods/kits for structural determination and quantification of these biopolymers in complex samples. Furthermore, the project has established and validated specific assays for biological activity, including prebiotic, antiviral and pro-/anti-inflammatory properties. We will in 2022 apply structural variants (natural and modified) of the biopolymers in these assays (and more) to assess biological effects as a function of molecular structure, to evaluate commercial application areas. Of specific applications, we have developed and characterized biomaterials based on functionalized alginates for cultivation of cells and tissues, which will in the coming year be evaluated in clinically relevant model systems. The consortium has also generated new knowledge on the natural structure and architecture of the macroalgae, which can be utilized in new light and mechanically strong composites and nanomaterials.

The future bio economy is reliant on increased utilization of marine resources to meet increasing needs for food, feed, materials and products. Seaweed is an underutilized biomass in Europe with a great potential for value creation and industry development. The SNAP project is innovation-focused and aims to develop novel products by upgrading and modifying five different polysaccharides (alginate, cellulose, fucoidan, laminarin and carrageenan) from selected brown and red algae: Laminaria hyperborea, Saccharina latissima, Alaria esculenta and Chondrus crispus. A consortium with extensive infrastructure and competence in seaweed and marine polysaccharide research and innovations has been established. SES is a Norwegian seaweed farming and processing company, and DuPont has broad experience in seaweed utilization and is a major manufacturer of high-quality hydrocolloids from brown and red algae. Tallinn University has expertise in processing, isolation and utilization of valuable compounds from a wide range of seaweeds. The Royal Institute of technology has expertise in plant and seaweed polysaccharide structural elucidation and development of polysaccharide-based products. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology and SINTEF have decades of experience on structural characterization and chemoenzymatic tailoring of marine polysaccharides. University of Trieste has expertise in making advanced biomaterials from marine biopolymers. The University of Bremen has expertise in discovery and use of biopolymer-modifying enzymes. SNAP will improve processing methods by enzymatic approaches allowing for complete utilization of biomasses. Furthermore, important knowledge on the structure/function relationship of the polysaccharides by the use of advanced analytical techniques will be obtained. Next, SNAP will deliver highly defined chemoenzymatic functionalized oligomers and polysaccharides, and novel materials targeting selected markets and high cost applications.

Activity:

BIOTEK2021-Bioteknologi for verdiskaping

Thematic Areas and Topics

BioteknologiPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderFiskeri og kystGrunnforskningBransjer og næringerProsess- og foredlingsindustriLTP2 HavBioøkonomiMarinHavbrukNanoteknologi/avanserte materialerAvanserte materialerBransjer og næringerNæringsmiddelindustriAvanserte produksjonsprosesserAvansert produksjonsteknologi som fag og teknologi (ny fra 2015)Anvendt forskningInternasjonaliseringInternasjonalt prosjektsamarbeidLTP2 Nano-, bioteknologi og teknologikonvergensPortefølje Industri og tjenestenæringerMarinMarin bioteknologiLTP2 Samfunnssikkerhet og samhørighetPortefølje Muliggjørende teknologierBransjer og næringerMatGlobal matsikkerhetNordområdeneKlima, miljø og biologiske ressurserAvanserte produksjonsprosesserNordområdeneKunnskapsbasert næringsutviklingLTP2 Styrket konkurransekraft og innovasjonsevneResponsible Research & InnovationRRI Utviklings- og prosessorienteringLTP2 Et kunnskapsintensivt næringsliv i hele landetBransjer og næringerHelsenæringenBransjer og næringerFiskeri og havbrukPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderHavbrukAnnen havbruksrelevant forskningBioteknologiMarin bioteknologiResponsible Research & InnovationInternasjonaliseringInternasjonalt samarbeid om utlysningPortefølje LivsvitenskapERA-NETERA-NETERA-NET CofundMarinLTP2 Utvikle fagmiljøer av fremragende kvalitetLTP2 Klima, miljø og miljøvennlig energiHavbrukHavbruks- og foredlingsteknologiInternasjonaliseringHavbrukMatPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderNæring og handelNordområdeneNanoteknologi/avanserte materialerLTP2 Muliggjørende og industrielle teknologierLTP2 Fagmiljøer og talenterBioteknologiIndustriell bioteknologiLTP2 Rettede internasjonaliseringstiltakLTP2 Marine bioressurser og havforvaltningBioøkonomiSektorovergripende bioøkonomiLTP2 Samfunnsikkerhet, sårbarhet og konfliktLTP2 Bioøkonomi og forvaltningPortefølje Hav