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Biotechnology creates value from residual streams

In the biotechnology part of the Bioeconomy Arena, which brings together RISE infrastructure and capabilities in the field of bioeconomy, the entire biotechnology process is made available to businesses, entrepreneurs and academia. A food-grade infrastructure allows companies, entrepreneurs and academia to meet and work together on solutions to maximise the use of circular bio-resources and develop products of value in different industries.

In the biotechnology part of the initiative, enzymes or microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi can be used to convert so-called low-value residual streams into, for example, proteins for food and animal feed or materials that can replace fossil fuel-derived materials such as plastics.

"One of our focuses is to valorise residual streams from the forestry value chain as well as agriculture. This involves everything from sawdust to side streams from food production," says Gunnar Westin, Group Manager at RISE.

Complete offerings

The Bioeconomy Arena contains a wide range of offerings in biotechnology.

"In the organism development section, we will be able to produce new and more effective microorganisms via an automated high-capacity facility, as well as targeted gene modification. We can work with several thousand microorganisms simultaneously, which is unique," says Björn Alriksson, researcher at RISE.

The process development section includes bioreactors in a range of sizes for cultivation and fermentation, as well as separation and purification using various techniques, including filtration, centrifugation, chromatography and drying.

"We can therefore offer the entire biotechnological process with a capacity of up to 10,000 litres with subsequent separation and purification," says Björn Alriksson.

We have a well-developed infrastructure, a good team of experts, we are agile and we are located in an innovation-friendly environment.

Food-grade approval ensures a clean environment

The size stands out, and so does the fact that part of the biotechnology infrastructure in the Bioeconomy Arena is food grade approved and also certified for genetically modified microorganisms. The food grade approval is important - not only because it enables the production of products that can be used for food production, but it also ensures that the environment is clean, which is also important for the production of other products.

"The facility will also have what we call online analysis, which means that analytical instruments measure the processes in real time," says Björn Alriksson.

Gunnar Westin adds that the biotechnology infrastructure is adjacent to the development of chemical processes, which is valuable given that the techniques of biotechnology and chemistry can work together for a complete solution.

Aviation fuel – or alternatives to meat

RISE researchers have already developed several products using biotechnology. These include aviation fuel made from sawdust using first enzymes and then fermentation, and single cell protein that can be used as food and animal feed. Single cell protein has been developed by cultivating protein-rich microorganisms from forest industry residues.

"The technology can be used to produce protein-rich alternatives to meat or as a animal feed ingredient," says Björn Alriksson.

Through Bioeconomy Arena, organisations can conduct research and demonstrate that a process works on a large scale, as well as produce sufficient quantities of a substance or material to be able to verify it on the market. Bioeconomy Arena is geared towards different types of companies - such as paper pulp mills, sawmills, the forest and agricultural industries, which all rely on residual raw materials, companies interested in developing technologies involving microorganisms, industries that currently produce plastics, animal feed or food, and academia. The infrastructure is open to all interested parties.

Why should these companies choose RISE as a partner?

– “We have well-developed infrastructure, a talented team of experts, we are agile and we operate in an innovation-friendly environment,” says Björn Alriksson.

"I would also like to emphasise that the capacity at Bioeconomy Arena exists in a context that includes such things as techno-economics, process simulation and life cycle analyses. It's always possible to find an optimal collaboration within RISE," says Gunnar Westin.

Bioeconomy Arena

Bioeconomy Arena brings together RISE infrastructure for the development, scale-up, and commercialisation of new biobased products and solutions. Through close collaboration with industry, a flexible innovation environment from the lab to the pilot- and demo scale has been built, enabling development along entire value chains. Here scientific excellence, state-of-the-art technology and entrepreneurs  are brought together to increase the pace of transition towards a bioeconomy and a resilient society.

Gunnar Westin

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Gunnar Westin

Gruppchef

+46 10 516 67 57

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Björn Alriksson

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Björn Alriksson

Forsknings- och Affärsutvecklare

+46 10 516 67 53

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