Project granted: German-Norwegian project “LIGNOLIPP: From LIGNOcellulose sugars to high-value LIPids and bioPolymers in a single fermentation process” will be financially supported by BMBF
Today, we finally received the official approval letter from BMBF, indicating that our German-Norwegian research project LIGNOLIPP on the co-production of valuable lipids and chitosans in Zygomycetes fungi growing on lignocellulose residues from the forestry industry has been granted in the framework of the European research program Bioeconomy in the North. This project as well as its small Norwegian sister project BYPROVALUE, to which we are also associated, will be supported by the binational researcher exchange program CoFun supported by DAAD and NCR. It’s like a small family of related projects, the proposals for which have all been coordinated by our Norwegian partner Dr. Volha Shapaval, supported by our postdoc Dr. Jasper Wattjes who will also be in charge of performing and managing our parts of the projects. While the projects all aim to use oleagineous Zygomycete fungi for the biotechnological production of lipids and chitosans, the feed stocks on which the fungi will grow differ, and so do the end user applications we are targeting. In the LIGNOLIPP project, we aim to develop plant biostimulants based on the chitosan-containing fungal cell wall. To this end, we will collaborate with Bex-Biotec, the start-up company founded by our alumna Dr. Rebecca Melcher, who also is a LIGNOLIPP partner. In her company, she is developing screening methods for the identification of plant strengthening compounds and offering these to companies or projects targeting such agro-biologics. Hopefully, our projects will yield another small contribution to the transition from a petrol-based to a sustainable bio-based economy.