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AIMMS researchers win €5M NWO Perspective Grant for plant-based fermentation

18 December 2023
“Hosting a hackathon demonstrates how the collaboration across disciplines allows us to more quickly tackle complex questions. It's great to see that the outcomes are recognized by strong industrial support and funding bodies”, Bas Teusink, AIMMS Director

This week The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) granted the FERMI Perspective proposal led by Herwig Bachmann from the Systems Biology Lab. The project aims to accelerate the protein transition by improving the taste of plant-based products through fermentation by microbes. With colleagues from the Wageningen University and TU Delft and 10 industrial partners, the project will combine experimental and computational methods to unravel the biochemistry of the underlying conversions: which chemistry, enzymes and pathways turn beany and grassy flavours into meaty or neutral ones? This knowledge should accelerate a shift towards a more plant-based diet and will contribute to a more sustainable food production chain.


From Hackathon to Award
As a part of the preparations for this proposal, Herwig Bachmann and Bas Teusink, director of AIMMS, organized an industry-sponsored 3-day Food Hackathon. This hackathon brought together young scientists from different disciplines within AIMMS, such as microbiology, toxicology, chemistry, bioinformatics and systems biology.