Joint Working on Biorefining and Industrial Biotechnology | Marinebiotech

Joint Working on Biorefining and Industrial Biotechnology

Published 1 December 2014

Innovation Norway and the UK’s Technology Strategy Board have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the intention of developing a partnership in the areas of industrial biotechnology and biorefining. Both countries have expertise and activities in biorefining and biotechnology and there are already extensive collaborations between the countries on which this partnership can be built. This report fulfils the first action under the MoU in identifying high level opportunities and synergies for Norway and the UK.

An assessment of the market pull for different products, the availability of raw materials, expertise and infrastructure in the UK and Norway resulted in the identification of a number of areas where the countries have mutual or synergistic interests and expertise. These areas were consolidated and refined into a series of key short term and longer term opportunities for collaboration between the countries.

The short term opportunities are:
1. Using microalgae for omega oils for the aquaculture industry and for bioactive ingredients for the consumer goods industries.
2. Using marine wastes as a source of bioactive molecules for the consumer goods industry.
3. Using wood as a feedstock for the production of bulk chemicals and fuels.

In the longer term, a number of joint projects could be envisaged. These include:
1. The utilisation of lignin from the pulping industry as a feedstock for high value chemicals production.
2. The production of chemicals and fuels from macroalgae.

These opportunities are the starting point for a more detailed investigation of innovation needs and the underpinning research required to realise these opportunities. A series of workshops and exchange visits will be required to build relationships and to develop detailed proposals for research and development projects. The approach needed in these meetings will differ depending upon the target end market.

Read more about the opportunities and the scope of this collaboration in following report