Project Title
Modular cell factories for the production of 100 compounds from the shikimate pathway
Project Type
Internacional / Public
Funding Body
Funding Program
BIOTEC-03-2018 Synthetic biology to expand diversity of nature's chemical production (RIA) (H2020-NMBPBIO-2018-two-stage)
  • CEB: 351 123,00
  • Total: 7 995 344,00
SILICOLIFE Lda. (PT); EPFL (CH); DTU (DK); EMBL (DE); DSM Food Specialties BV (NL); Univ of Manchester (UK); Univ of Minho (PT); UNL (PT); C-Lecta GMBH (DE); Galchimia SA (ES); The National Non-Food Crops Centre (UK)
External link

Principal Investigator

Team Members - CEB

Fellowship Members - CEB


Chemical synthesis is often difficult and may be subject to unclear mechanisms, frequently producing undesired byproducts, while the complexity of some compounds may rendered them virtually unattainable. Nature can provide a wealth of products, however typically at very low concentrations, which makes their extraction process expensive. Conversely, microbial production is a well-established process for compounds naturally produced by the hosts or for which there are fully characterised biosynthetic pathways. However, relying on nature’s diversity as a provider for industrial applications typically requires major screenings for pathways, genes and optimisation of cell factories for the efficient production of the target compounds. SHIKIFACTORY100 project aims towards the production of a universe of more than 100 high-added value compounds from the shikimate pathway, a hub in cell metabolism, through the development of an optimised shikimate chassis) and the proposal and implementation of novel biosynthetic routes exploring enzyme promiscuity to propose new pathways for the production of known and newly designed compounds. To champion SHIKIFACTORY100 project a consortium with some of the most relevant players in Europe has been assembled, covering research leading institutions in computational design, rapid prototyping and in vivo implementation of pathways and cell factories. As such, six world-leading research partners, four biotechnology SMEs with complementary focus areas and one large industrial company have been integrated. The research partners will be responsible for novel methods for pathway discovery and compound design, collaborating with the SMEs in the implementation and optimisation of the chassis, while SMEs and industrial partners will lead the assessment of the products and the exploitation of the results for different application areas. The industrial partner will be responsible for the validation of the production.


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 814408.