The DAFIA Project

NNFCC was a project partner in DAFIA, a 4-year project that concluded in December 2020. DAFIA was a collaborative research project involving 15 institutes from across Europe, funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No 720770.

The main objective of the DAFIA project was to obtain value-added products from two unusual feedstocks: municipal solid waste (MSW) and marine rest raw materials (MRRM). Specifically, DAFIA used the organic fraction of MSW as a feedstock for fermentation (to industrial chemicals), and used residues from the fish-processing industries (including salmon skins and backbones) to extract food ingredients. The industrial chemicals produced via biotechnology in DAFIA were adipid acid, muconic acid and 1,5-pentanediamine, which were subsequently used in DAFIA to make biobased polyamide and speciality monomers. Fish residues were used as a reagent to make biobased flame retardant, which was then blended with various biobased polyamides. Food-grade fish-processing residues were used to extract gelatine, which was used to make food coatings and food packaging.

NNFCC’s main role in the DAFIA project was to produce exploitation plans for the most promising results. NNFCC maintained an overview of the key exploitable results as the project progressed, and identified the main hurdles to reaching commercial exploitation of results. Market research was caried out on the products being developed in DAFIA. NNFCC conducted in-depth market research on biobased polyamides, as well as on two biobased monomers, muconic acid and 1,5-pentanediamine. NNFCC also conducted market research on biobased flame retardants and reviewed partners business plans. NNFCC produced a business plan for a hypothetical business converting salmon-processing residues into food and personal-care products like gelatine, taste-neutral protein and fish oil. This included market and supply-chain insights into the aquaculture and fish-processing industries.

Overall, NNFCC enjoyed the opportunity to work on such a diverse range of biobased products and processes. Exploitation of DAFIA results are still ongoing, and it will be exciting to see how the results of the project are further exploited in the coming years.

For more information about the DAFIA project, visit the DAFIA project website at

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