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SBIR Phase I: Engineering bacteria for low cost renewable biochemical production

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1248229
Agency Tracking Number: 1248229
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2013-12-31
Small Business Information
790 Memorial Drive Suite 102
Cambridge, MA 02139-4768
United States
DUNS: 968671797
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ajikumar Parayil Kumaran
 (617) 299-8466
Business Contact
 Ajikumar Parayil Kumaran
Phone: (617) 299-8466
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a custom-designed microbial biocatalyst for the renewable production of high value terpenoid biochemicals. Terpenoid biochemicals derived from essential oils are used in numerous consumer products and as food additives. Many of them accumulate in nature in various stereo-isomeric forms, each of which possesses unique properties and applications. These molecules are believed to function principally in ecological roles, serving as herbivore-feeding deterrents, antifungal defenses, and pollinator attractants. The research objective is to develop a fermentation process for biosynthetic production allowing increased adoption of such natural alternatives to synthetic chemicals. Multivariate-Modular Metabolic engineering (MMME) approaches will be used to transfer the natural biosynthetic pathway from the plant to a bacterial host and to optimize the metabolic flux for the overproduction at a commercially viable level. A high-productivity strain is anticipated, suitable for continued commercialization efforts. Overall, this project, if successful, will provide a new sustainable production route for these natural chemicals. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the development of a microbial process for the economic and sustainable production of high value terpenoid biochemicals. These terpenoid biochemicals have applications in a variety of industries ranging from agro-chemicals, petro-chemicals and flavor and fragrance (F & F) chemicals; specifically they are commonly used as flavor agents, bio- herbicides, sprout inhibitors and as bio-pest repellents. In all, the total potential addressable markets exceed $3 Billion. Microbial production will benefit society by improving the renewability of the production process and by relocating production from overseas to the US. In summary, the development of microbes capable of producing the target will enable sustainable production of the target as well as create jobs in the US. This research will develop generalizable microbial strain engineering techniques for the high-volume production of natural products through a sustainable manufacturing process.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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