Project Title: 
NewPolySea - Biovalorization of Marine Rest Raw Materials into Polyhydroxyalkanoate - Based Products
01/07/2017 - 30/06/2020
Principal Investigator: 
Maria Ascensão Reis

Plastics are a major source of environmental pollution, but are also an indispensable part of our contemporary society. Bioplastics not only offer a solution to this impasse, but it simultaneously offers an opportunity to extend the value chain of the Norwegian fishing and aquaculture industry. In this project, unutilized rest raw materials from Norway’s fishing industry (estimated at over 600,000 tons per annum) will be used as a feedstock to produce bacterial polymers, called polyhydroxyalkanoates. These polymers can be used in bioplastic production, but can also serve as a source of valuable monomers. Both of these bioproducts (i.e. polymers and monomers) are associated with high future growth projections and the potential to strongly contribute to Norway’s bioeconomy. The global bioplastics and biopolymer market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 17,5 % or more between 2016-2020, with an expected increase to USD 20 billion by 2019, and USD 324 billion by 2030. An ongoing pre-project has yielded promising results, but to evaluate the commercial potential of this idea, optimization funding is required. In this project, several fermentation strategies will be employed to convert various different types of marine raw rest materials into biopolymers, which will then be assessed for use as environmentally-friendly bioplastics and/or as a source for high-value monomers. In order to achieve this, a strong multinational and multidisciplinary team of industrial microbiologists, polymer and organic chemists, environmental scientists, as well as business developers and industrial advisors has been assembled. The project is expected to be completed within three years. At the end of this project we will have the results and partners needed for market verification (FORNY2020) and the establishment of a new production company. This project offers a clear contribution to Norway’s bioeconomy within the paradigm of sustainable and environmentally responsible development.