Developing business models for specialty chemicals

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.


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