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New research project RadicalZ receives 6 million euros to boost greener consumer products in Europe using innovative biotechnology

Jun 09. 2021 15:20 GTM
  • The scientific project will design bioinformatic tools to facilitate the shift from a fossil-based industry to a circular bioeconomy.  
  • The consortium comprises 12 international partners from universities and industrial sectors. 
  • RadicalZ is funded by the European Commission’s H2020 program and starts today in an online kick-off meeting. 

The European Union (EU) has granted 6 million euros to RadicalZ, a 4-year research project that has kicked off today and aims to boost greener industrial processes for more sustainable daily consumer products, like cosmetics or foods. 

One of the EU’s sustainability goals is to move away from current oil-based processes by strengthening the bioeconomy. To achieve this paradigm shift, the industry needs new and potent enzymes – natural catalysts of the reactions needed to create chemical products – but their discovery and development require time-consuming and expensive methods.

RadicalZ gathers an interdisciplinary consortium comprising 12 expert partners from all over Europe to improve the efficiency of the process by delivering faster, more versatile and more affordable tools for enzyme discovery and optimization. 

“In this project, an interdisciplinary consortium of academic and industrial partners will develop the future technologies for faster discovery and more efficient application of enzymes – natural tools used for product manufacturing. This purpose fits perfectly with Chr. Hansen's dedication to applying top-notch science for a global bio-based economy, and we are excited to contribute with the co-development of enzymes and technologies that can help improve the health benefit and carbon-footprint of dairy consumer products,” says Christian Jaeckel, principal scientist, Enzymes Development at Chr. Hansen. 

Led by Dr. Aurelio Hidalgo from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), the team will develop ultrafast screening technologies and user-friendly software based on machine learning that will help industries reduce the average time for enzyme discovery and optimization to less than four weeks. This will enable the development of new formulations and ingredients for more environmentally friendly consumer products. 

“Out of all the research projects I have taken part in, I think RadicalZ will be the closest to consumers and the one most likely to have an immediate impact and change in our lives. It represents an effort to increase the sustainability of the little things that form part of everyday routines, a cosmetic, your laundry, the food we have for breakfast,” Dr. Hidalgo says. 

“We are very concerned about the sustainability crisis that lies ahead,” he continues, “and as experts on enzyme biotechnology, we decided to focus our decades of experience and know-how together with the latest technological advances to develop ingredients for consumer products that are at least as effective and yet bio-based and more sustainable.”  

The resulting tools and technologies will be proved through three use-cases: nutraceuticals, laundry products and personal care and cosmetics.

 

About the RadicalZ project
RadicalZ is a European project formed by 12 partners: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Sveučilište u Zagrebu Fakultet kemijskog inzenjerstva i tehnologije, Sustainable Momentum SL, Scienseed SL, The University of Exeter, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse, Bio-Prodict BV, Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG, Universitaet Greifswald, AnalytiCon Discovery GmbH, Chr. Hansen A/S. 

  

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