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DNA Helix

Cofund on Biotechnologies

Innovation for Europe – life science meets market application


MicroalgaE as Renewable Innovative green cell facTories



Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Olaf Kruse, Bielefeld University, HES, Germany

University of Cambridge, HES, United Kingdom
Wageningen University, Bioprocess Engineering, HES, The Netherlands
Universidad Nacional del Litoral, HES, Argentina
Spicer Consulting Limited, SME, United Kingdom

Group photo MERIT

Photo: MERIT


Project Abstract

Projec MERIT will develop and apply state of the art synthetic biology techniques to engineer microalgae for the sustainable production of high-value, medically and industrially relevant novel diterpenoid products from carbon dioxide and sunlight. An international team of experts in algal synthetic biology, cultivation, and industrial process modelling, will join forces to create optimized microalgal strains and the accompanying industrial production schemes as well as extraction processes for diterpenoids generated via photosynthesis. The project will generate many new avenues for commercialization and significantly contribute to the development of a green, microalgae-based industrial biotechnology as a future pillar of the European Bioeconomy.

MERIT is funded by the ERA CoBioTech partners: SGCTelp, BMBF, NWO, UKRI-BBSRC, UKRI-InnovateUK and co-funded by European Union.

Project Start: June 2018  Duration: 36 months
Project Budget:  Total Cost: 2.128.000 Euro, Funding: 1.657.000 Euro
Project Website:

Project presentation from ACHEMA kick-off meeting

Project brochure

HES – higher education sector – university
SME – small and medium-sized enterprise