The main aim of SPICY (Sugar-based chemicals and Polymers through Innovative Chemocatalysis and engineered Yeast) is to provide chemical industry with new or optimized processes to convert sugars into added value compounds, i.e. both drop-ins and novel biobased chemicals.

Two complementary lines are hereto developed in parallel, one focusing on biotechnology based on improved yeast-strains and one based on chemocatalytic routes. Both will aspire to meet industrial standards of productivity, titer, yield and selectivity, to safeguard potential economic benefit and future industrial valorisation. Most of the targeted platform chemicals are (potential) monomers for biobased plastics, hence, a second aim of SPICY is to deliver proof-of-concept of their usefulness by targeting novel and functional polymeric materials, typically not found in the current oil-based value chain. VITO is involved for the development and testing of in-situ product recovery of selected target products.

The project is funded by The Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and supported by Catalisti, the spearhead cluster for chemistry and plastics.