SilicoLife is part of new marine biotechnology initiative for the development of thermophile cell factories exploiting brown algae biomass as a feedstock for the production of specialty chemicals. The ThermoFactories project will be developed by top notch entities from Portugal, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway and is co-funded by ERA-MarineBiotech program.

Brown algae biomass is a promising and challenging resource for industrial bioconversions, but there is a need to develop efficient cell factories to convert the constituent carbohydrates into high-value added products. In this proposal, four metabolically different environmental bacteria, inherently suitable to harsh process conditions, will be engineered for production of a number of industrially important platform and specialty chemicals. The project will implement and integrate systems biology and metabolic engineering, including rounds of model-driven metabolic optimization. Feedstock development and process engineering are important parts, to optimize fermentability of the algal hydrolysates, and ensure integration with downstream processing and product recovery. At the end of the project, use of all major carbohydrate fractions from brown algae through integrated processing will be demonstrated at small pilot scale.

ThermoFactories is coordinated by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology from Norway (Dr Trygve Brautaset) and the consortium also includes SINTEF Materials and Chemistry (Norway), University of Iceland (Iceland), Lund University (Sweden), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark) , Matis Ohf (Iceland), Biotrend SA (Portugal) and SilicoLife Lda (Portugal).

More info: ERA-MB ThermoFactories abstract