Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-3-2-03 | Award Amount: 7.44M | Year: 2008
Enzymes are extremely powerful natural catalysts able to perform almost any type of chemical reaction while being mild by nature and highly specific. In fact, the delicate functioning of enzymes forms the basis of every living creature. The catalytic potential of enzymes is more and more appreciated by the industry as many industrial processes rely on these sophisticated catalysts. However, the number of reactions catalyzed by enzymes is restricted as enzymes only have evolved to catalyze reactions that are physiologically relevant. Furthermore, enzymes have adapted to the direct (cellular) environment in which they have to function (e.g. operative at ambient temperature, resilient towards proteolysis, catalytic turnover rate should fit with metabolic enzyme partners). This excludes the existence of enzymes that do not fit within boundaries set by nature. It is a great challenge to go beyond these natural boundaries and develop methodologies to design unnatural tailor-made enzymes. Ideally it should become possible to (re)design enzymes to convert pre-defined substrates. Such designer enzymes could theoretically exhibit unsurpassed catalytic properties and, obviously, will be of significant interest for industrial biotechnology. The OXYGREEN project aims at the design and construction of novel oxygenating enzymes (designer oxygenases) for the production of compounds that can be used in medicine, food and agriculture and the development of novel powerful and generic enzyme redesign tools for this purpose. The enzymes and whole-cell biocatalysts that will be developed should catalyze the specific incorporation of oxygen to afford synthesis of bioactive compounds in a selective and clean way, with minimal side products and with no use of toxic materials. For this, generic platform technologies (novel high-throughput methodology and methods for engineering dedicated host cells) will be developed that allow effective structure-inspired directed evolution of enzyme.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.3-03 | Award Amount: 7.40M | Year: 2012
BIOINTENSE is directed at addressing the challenges of low productivity and process intensity frequently hampering the implementation of bioprocesses in industry. For the future of the next generation of chemical processes in Europe it provides the opportunity not only to address intensification but also to enable this in a rapid manner. BIOINTENSE will make use of -technology to develop economically feasible intensified processes by integration of separation and process control, and to create tools to speed up the characterization and assessment of different process options and technologies and biocatalysts for increased process intensity. A strong focus lies in increasing the scale of biocatalytic and cascade reactions and to improve the fundamental factors that affect the economic feasibility. Both numbering up and scale-up methodologies will be tested. The BIOINTENSE consortium is ideally suited to address the challenges in KBBE.2012.3.3-03 and to meet the objectives, as it spans across disciplines, academia and industry: SMEs with a strong technology base in the areas of integrating separation in bioprocessing, biocatalyst development, immobilization, -reactor fabrication, and on-line monitoring will ensure top of the line industry focused research with a strong focus on scale-up and implementation. There is an urgent need for these challenges to be overcome to move towards a European Knowledge Based BioEconomy to exploit the environmental savings and economic potential if such bioprocesses were in place. Building on the recent advances in molecular biology, the time is now right to develop the necessary process engineering methodologies and implementation strategies to unlock the full potential of bioprocesses.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.68M | Year: 2013
The SusPhos training network will bring about a paradigm shift in the teaching of sustainable phosphorus chemistry, in the training of multidisciplinary-competent scientists, and in the publics view on chemistry to preserve the essential element phosphorus from depletion. SusPhos represents the first systematic investigation of the eco-friendly production, smart use, recycling and commercial exploitation of phosphorus-based processes and materials that use the precious element phosphorus in a sustainable manner. This approach should lead to fundamental insights into sustainable technologies and create an ideal platform for the training of young, ambitious researchers in a superb collaborative European setting. SusPhos will educate 14 broadly-oriented researchers at the interface of synthetic chemistry, catalysis, materials science, process chemistry, industrial phosphorus chemistry, and technology transfer. SusPhos intense training module combines the complementary strengths of nine academic and three industrial teams to promote intersectoral mobility of top-class multi-skilled researchers to enforce cross-fertilization of enhanced research synergies between the public and private European chemical sector. In its dual-mentor programme each of the ESRs and ERs will be supervised by one mentor from academia and one from industry to ensure an outstanding training in both sectors. The training programme uses highly innovative and timely methodologies to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary training of a new generation of young researchers capable of understanding and applying green chemistry to the conservation of phosphorus by environmentally benign conversions. Our SME Magpie Polymers and leading chemical companies Thermphos, Arkema and DSM will ensure rapid and effective technology transfer. As such the network will facilitate Europes continued global leadership on the sustainable use of phosphorus in an increasingly fierce competition for resources.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 487.77K | Year: 2012
A number of methods exist for the production of enantiopure pharma intermediates. Among them, classical resolution by crystallization is the least efficient and most used one, while asymmetric catalysis, arguably the most efficient, is much less used. This paradox is due to a number of factors, such as: 1. High cost of the catalyst. 2. Lack of scope. 3. Time-to-market pressure. In this project we will investigate solutions to problems 1 and 2. We will develop new chiral catalysts for asymmetric double bond reduction that contain first-row base metals (e.g. Fe, Cu, Co, Ni). These metals are remarkably cheaper than their second and third-row noble metal counterparts (e.g. Ru, Rh, Ir, Pd, Pt). The chiral ligands should form strong bonds with these base metals in order to prevent the disabling metathesis of the complexes. In these complexes, we will also explore the use of non-innocent ligands which can participate in the transfer of electrons. The chiral ligands should be ideally produced in a few steps at low cost. According to a combinatorial approach, we will use libraries of ligands and of metal sources, so that the best hit can be rapidly identified. The second problem we want to address is the enantioselective reduction of pyridines, that so far have defied attempts at their asymmetric reduction to 2- or 3-substituted piperidines, which are important pharma intermediates. Disturbing the aromaticity of the pyridines via quaternization, or via binding to a metal surface or via eta6-binding to another metal complex will activate them for asymmetric reduction via catalytic hydrogenation or transfer hydrogenation. Our aim is to train two PhD researchers aware of the importance of sustainability issues (use of readily available metals, study of life cycle analysis assessment, carbon footprint evaluation) as well as expert in the use and combination of different catalytic methodologies as important tools for the responsible production of commodity and fine chemicals.