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TEKNOKONVERGENS-Teknologikonvergens - grensesprengende forskning og radikal innovasjon

Nano4CRISPR: Novel nanocarrier reagents for environmental delivery of CRISPR/Cas

Alternative title: Nano4CRISPR: en ny og unik metode for levering av CRISPR/Cas komplekser i miljøet basert på nanoteknologi

Awarded: NOK 15.0 mill.

Gene-editing is the new generation of genetic engineering that can be applied to food through the production of plants, animals and microorganisms with agronomic traits of interest. Nano4CRISPR advances from ‘transgenic laboratory approaches’ to an ‘in site approach’ in which gene-editing ingredients will be applied directly in the agricultural field to modify plants, pests and other organisms. The main goal of Nano4CRISPR is to develop, test and risk assess an innovative platform for the development of personalized nanoparticles and CRISPR conjugates for use in future gene-editing products. The novelty and suitability of this platform relies on the combination of nanotechnology material design and gene-editing methods (biotechnology) that apply cutting edge penetration technology representing a significant advantage over existing genetic engineering schemes. Rational nanoparticle design will enable the development of nanoCRISPR conjugates that can overcome membranes and rigid cell walls surrounding plant cells and enable gene-editing in whole plants, in the field, without the aid of complicated, long and laborious genetic engineering processes. Hence, the approach is also suitable for other field applications, such as in aquaculture, pest control, and ecological conservation purposes. We focus not only on developing the novel nanoCRISPR conjugates but also on risk assessing and investigating its unintended or malicious use following a Responsible Research and Innovation umbrella approach. We will also investigate scalability and industrial production aspects of nanoCRISPR conjugates to improve underlying risk assessment and non-safety assessment frameworks pertinent to genetically modified organisms. Stakeholders from academia, industry, governmental agencies, and civil society organizations in Norway and other European countries will actively participate with us in a co-creation process that delivers high societal relevance and trust.

Nano4CRISPR will generate knowledge on nanoparticles based CRISPR delivery products that can be applied externally to crops in the open field for both agricultural and environmental purposes. The project aims to contribute to the transition towards environmentally friendly and sustainable food production following a Responsible Research and Innovation co-creation platform. NanoCRISPR conjugates have the potential to contribute to reducing the use of harmful chemistries that create persistent agrochemical pollution and to increasing resilience and suitability of our food system. The main goal of Nano4CRISPR is to develop, test and risk assess an integrated platform for the development of personalized nanoCRISPR conjugates for use in future gene-editing products directly in the field or at point of scale. Rational nanoparticle design will enable the development of nanoCRISPR conjugates that can overcome membranes and rigid cell walls surrounding plant cells and enable gene-editing in whole plants, in the field, without the aid of complicated, long and laborious genetic engineering processes. Hence, the approach is also suitable for other field applications, such as in aquaculture, pest control, and ecological conservation purposes. The integrated gene-editing platform comprehends a holistic risk assessment approach including the investigation of unintended and malicious use. Stakeholders from academia, industry, governmental agencies, and civil society organizations in Norway and other European countries will actively participate with us in a co-creation process that delivers high societal relevance and trust.

Funding scheme:

TEKNOKONVERGENS-Teknologikonvergens - grensesprengende forskning og radikal innovasjon

Funding Sources