FuturEnzyme: General Assembly took place in Hamburg

On July 06-07, CLIB participated in the General Assembly of the EU-funded FuturEnzyme project. It was hosted by the project partner University of Hamburg (Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology – IPM). CLIB’s role in the project is to lead a work package to realize industrial application tests and lifecycle assessments (LCAs). Halfway through the 4-year project, it is evident that the holistic approach using enzymes to produce “green” consumer products is proven and very well implemented.

The academic project partners, including the University of Düsseldorf, have isolated a large number of enzymes from the environment or identified them in databases. These enzymes could be used for three specific applications in the laundry, textile, and cosmetics sector. After an initial analysis of this enzyme collection, prioritized enzymes were passed on to SME project partners for scale-up and production. In parallel, analytical methods under real conditions were developed with the help of substrates from the later areas of application and the consideration of corresponding process requirements, so that the enzyme candidates can now be further characterized and optimized for their use in  an industrial environment in the further course of the project. AI-supported methods will also be used in this process.

The participating companies, including Evonik, Henkel and Inofea, have already received the first enzyme samples on a gram scale and are now starting to perform independent product tests. In addition to technical issues, framework conditions for successful collaboration as a consortium were also discussed, such as the transfer of materials and methods, compliance with legal formalities and the generation of IP from the project.

Overall, the annual meeting showed that the 16 partners from 7 countries cooperate very well and are in active exchange with each other. This is essential, especially in view of the complexity of the issues and core objectives of the FuturEnzyme project: Being able to produce real consumer products more sustainably and “greener” by the end of the project.

We would also like to thank CSIC and the University of Hamburg for the excellent organization and all participants for the exciting and informative exchange.

About FuturEnzyme

The consumer goods industry is aiming at making its products more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and functional. Enzymes can play a major role in innovative alternative processes to make consumer products greener and thus increase their acceptance by consumers.

FuturEnzyme brings together an international strong network of experts to identify, design, optimise, produce, and test novel enzymes in real-life consumer products. In a structured way, three exemplary processes or products from the detergent, cosmetics, and textile industry are analysed and assessed for their potential of implementing new enzymes. The resulting in silico and in vitro optimised enzyme candidates are produced at gram scale, implemented in the conventional processes or products, and tested for their benefi cial eff ect in performance and life-cycle assessment (LCA). After the end of the project, the established workflow should also help other industries and sectors to make their processes and products more sustainable.