Project: Commercial exploitation of marine collagen and chitin from marine sources

Acronym BlueCC (Reference Number: 61)
Duration 01/06/2020 - 31/05/2023
Project Topic Over the coming decades, the world will witness increased competition for limited and finite natural resources, e.g. to feed the 9 billion global population by 2050 and to handle changed demographics. An aging population requires new solutions to add life quality to those extra years, in fighting aging diseases and related processes. Bio-waste is estimated at up to 138 million tons per year in the EU. Additionally, there are large amounts of underutilised animal species, such as invasive marine species causing devastation to local ecosystems. These two issues represent not only problems, but also opportunities for innovative actions in the EU to better develop what is currently wasted or underutilised. The BlueCC project aim to take underutilised species such as invasive marine species, by-catch and cleaner fish from the aquaculture industry to develop new marine ingredients and products with significantly reduced impact on the environment. The specific focus will be on sustainable exploitation of collagen and chitin resources produced by jellyfish, starfish and cleaner fish, and invasive crabs respectively. To succeed with product development of research-intense products such as chitin and collagen, we will apply a strong emphasis on market needs and insights throughout the project. BlueCC will be carried out by an interdisciplinary team and is divided into six main work packages addressing market driven concept development, sustainable chitin, chitosan and collagen demonstrators, health effects as well as characterization of novel marine ingredients and finally, commercialisation feasibility in an RRI framework. Altogether, BlueCC will in a sustainable and efficient manner exploit underutilized marine raw materials, from laboratory to prototype demonstration, to reach collagen and chitin-based bioactive demonstrators with potential commercial uses reaching the Technology Readiness Level 7.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
BlueCC will deliver guidelines for future product development, built on existing knowledge, previous project inputs (ERA net funded BlueShell project) and tested sustainable marine product concepts in BlueCC. These guidelines will be based on statistically strong indications of consumer liking for product concepts that carry elements for future product development by companies in the market. The project will in parallel deliver high quality scientific contributions on the issue of consumer tradeoffs during decision making. BlueCC will establish a new fermentation process for chitin substrates derived from marine invasive species;. It will supply diverse fermentation products and side stream products (sugars, chitosan, oligosaccharides, GlcNac, single cell protein, enzymes or further unknown ingredients) and optimize the fermentation process for selected strains and substrates. The process will be scaled up to pilot scale and finally the process will be evaluated towards economic viability. BlueCC will demonstrate scalable reproducible isolation and processing methods for collagen derived products from low value biomasses to be developed into high value and marketable products. Hereby, it will introduce a new value chain for valorization of underutilized aquatic resources based on the market demand for novel bioactive collagen-based products. BlueCC will deliver added value by reporting important bioactivities such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-oxidant effects. Proved bioactivity prepares the demonstrators for the use in functional foods and thereby increases the market value. BlueCC will deliver a full environmental analysis of the innovative processes developed which will demonstrate their positive contribution to the sustainability of fish stocks and reduction of impact on the environment. BlueCC will develop a commercialisation plan, including identifying sources of financing, for the exploitation of the innovation post-project and identification of potential exploitation partners outside of the consortium. An intellectual property agreement among the partnership will facilitate licensing of the developed technologies to third parties. BlueCC will deliver research results in a responsible manner to the society as a whole, especially within industry, consumers, regulatory and educational.
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Network BlueBio
Call 1st BlueBio Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Nofima Coordinator Norway
2 Flemish Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Partner Belgium
3 National Research Council Partner Italy
4 Ghent University Partner Belgium
5 Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology Partner Germany
6 Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies Partner Portugal
7 Pharmatech AS Partner Norway
8 Chalmers University of Technology Partner Sweden