NNFCC has been a part of the EU
Horizon2020 project SHIKIFACTORY100 since its onset in 2019. Using microbial metabolic engineering tools, the
project set out to develop production pathways for more than 100 high-added
value compounds, by taking advantage of the naturally occurring shikimate
pathway. Such technology has the potential to provide a low cost and
sustainable production capability to industrial stakeholders in the specialty
chemical, food, cosmetics, and pharma sectors. Almost 4 years on, and with
numerous exciting milestones having been reached, a shortlist of 15 compounds
was established, taking into consideration the compounds’ individual market
attractiveness, sustainability gain potential and production scalability.
From there, NNFCC was tasked with
outlining business models for each of these 15 compounds to establish pathways
to commercialisation. Each compound was thoroughly evaluated to ascertain its
current – and potential future – applications. Sectors of interest, along with
unique selling points, were identified for each compound from the respective market
analyses. Regulatory requirements were also touched upon to gain a better
understanding of any potential hurdles for commercialisation. NNFCC’s process
also involved stakeholder interviews with key players in the market to gain
further understanding of the market and of the process of bringing new
technologies and specialty chemicals to market.
From these business models, NNFCC
will produce business plans for the most relevant compounds, in view of
contacting industrial stakeholders to explore commercial partnerships.