….KTH Royal Institute of Technology/SciLifeLab, who recently started a new research project in collaboration with the industry, what is it that you are going to do?
“Our aim is to develop new biomaterials from renewable sources using enzymes that could convert the raw material, wood, into something new. Main partners are Holmen who handles the raw material, and Perstorp who will receive and use some of the end products for manufacturing.”
Why do you want to do this?
“We really need to put effort into environmental questions. Swedish forests are a large renewable resource and we hope to explore new territory using it in a new way. Our group has a quite unique approach where we combine biotechnology with chemistry using the SciLifeLab infrastructure. Most researchers try to break the wood down to create different products but we want to build something up from it instead. I hope that we will develop several novel biomaterials that could be used in a wide range of areas, from cellular biology to packaging.”
How far have you come?
“We have just started since we recently got a grant from Formas, securing 6,8 million SEK during 5 years and our industry partners will also contribute to the funding. However, we have already sequenced 8 bacterial genomes to look for usable enzymes and actually found several previously unknown biocatalysts that seem genetically interesting. The whole genome sequencing was performed by the Genomics platform here at SciLifeLab.”