RAPID DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF ENZYMES FOR NOVEL AND GREENER CONSUMER PRODUCTS
The application of enzymes in industrial processes is increasingly important to achieve the EU’s sustainability goals and strengthen the bioeconomy, replacing oil-based chemistry. However, enzymes still find hurdles for their industrial application: low success rates of discovery and engineering; tedious and expensive methods to explore diversity; and limited activity/stability in the final application. RADICALZ assembles an interdisciplinary and intersectoral consortium to deliver faster, more versatile and more affordable tools for enzyme discovery and engineering, enabling the development of novel enzymes, new formulations and ingredients for more environment-friendly and healthier consumer products. This project will: i) develop new droplet microfluidic tools to find suitable enzymes for consumer products; ii) develop user-friendly software solutions based on machine learning (ML) for faster and more accurate enzyme engineering; iii) develop novel enzymes and bio-based, bio-catalytically synthesized ingredients for consumer products (glycosides, wash-enhancing enzymes, bio-based thickeners, natural antioxidants and fragrances); iv) develop bio-based, condition-responsive capsules for the protection and triggered release of enzymes and ingredients in the formulation of consumer products. RADICALZ will reduce the average time for enzyme discovery and evolution to <4 weeks, access 10 bio-based ingredients to replace oil-based chemistry, reducing the environmental impact –supported in depth in ≥3 cases– across 3 different types of consumer products. RADICALZ assembles 6 leading European companies and 6 pioneer academic teams expert in enzyme discovery and evolution, biocatalysis, chemical engineering, microbiology, soft-matter physics and microfluidics. The planned activities span 48 months and 7 work packages. The project is estimated at ca. 6 M€ (42% allocated to industrial partners and 64% of the total dedicated to creating highly-qualified jobs).