The kick-off meeting of the European project ROBUSTOO "Robust industrial biocatalysts with peroxygenase, phenol-oxidase or furfuryl-oxidase activities from bacterial and fungal hosts" coordinated by Dr. Susana Camarero, leader of the Biotechnology for Lignocellulosic Biomass group, was held at the CIB Margarita Salas on January 17th and 18th.
The meeting was attended by 32 representatives of the 10 partners that make up the project consortium: four biotechnology companies (MetGen, Finland; bisy, Austria; and InnoSyn and Gecco, both from the Netherlands), the consulting firm Consorzio Italbiotec (Italy), the technology center FCBA (France), and four Spanish research groups belonging to the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and two CSIC institutes, IRNAS and CIB Margarita Salas.
ROBUSTOO aims to capitalize on the results of previous EU-funded projects that demonstrated the applicability of three oxidative enzymes, non-specific peroxygenases (UPO), laccases, and hydroxymethylfurfural oxidases (HMFO), to provide novel and more environmentally friendly production of bio-based chemicals and materials.
To exploit their full industrial potential, the development of new robust enzymes adapted to demanding industrial application conditions, as well as their large-scale production, will be carried out at ROBUSTOO.
The new biotransformations to be demonstrated in the project represent cutting-edge biotechnological solutions for (i) the conversion of industrial lignins into bio-based material components using laccases, increasing the commercial value of existing lignin products; (ii) the production of intermediate and fine chemicals, difficult to achieve by chemical synthesis, through regio/stereoselective oxygenations of lipophilic substrates with UPOs; and (iii) the synthesis of plastic polymer components using HMFOs, as a sustainable alternative to chemical catalytic processes.
ROBUSTOO, HORIZON-CL6-2023-CIRCBIO-01-101135119, is funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme.