HiPerIn - Biotechnological concepts for High Performance Ingredients

HiPerIn focuses on novel value chains accessed by novel technology developments. New small scale molecules can offer new functionalities as high-performance ingredients in pharmaceuticals, food and feed, cosmetics, adhesives, or as polymer additives. They can play an important role in generating innovation and competitiveness in the pharmaceutical, food and feed, or chemical industries.

High-performance, low volume, high margin ingredients present an interesting approach to establish biotechnology in industrial settings.

Biotechnology can, sometimes in combination with chemical conversion steps, provide access to novel molecules and novel functionalities that cannot be produced by catalytic processes or can only be synthesised in complex, multi-step reactions. This is a critical, unique selling proposition of biotechnology. Furthermore, this technology can help to broaden the raw material base of the chemical and food and feed industries. Establishing biocatalytic production systems can help to utilise alternative raw materials and, thus, save primary agricultural feedstocks. Another driver for implementing bio-based techniques is to lower the CO2 footprint through more environmentally sound production processes.

The identification, production and approval of high-performance ingredients all require significant research efforts and long development times. This poses a higher risk and effort compared to drop-in approaches. High-performance molecules are typically new to the market, with special properties and functionalities. The development and production, research approaches, biocatalysts, and manufacturing processes necessary to produce them also pose special challenges in their development, production, and approval. Against this background, an elaborate collaboration between these technology fields is key to delivering target-oriented results in a timely manner. HiPerIn will bring together experts in biotechnology, chemistry, modelling, process technology and other fields to tackle these challenges.

To support the development of high-performance ingredients, CLIB aims to build a virtual competence centre HiPerIn. The drafting of a roadmap toward this HiPerIn centre is being funded by the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Research (MIWF) of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. CLIB will also organise special forum events and adjacent roundtable discussions to support the initiation of multidisciplinary R&D consortia in this field.

The focus is currently on previously identified high-potential topics of food and feed, flavours and fragrances, cosmetics, and adhesives coatings, with further input from CLIB members welcomed.