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Arthur Ram receives NWO grant to improve enzyme factory

This year, microbiologist Arthur Ram will start new research on producing useful enzymes in bulk. Ram receives an NWO grant for this project that will find its applications in the industrial biotechnology and food industry.

Arthur Ram

Associate professor Arthur Ram of the Institute of Biology Leiden, in collaboration with WeissBioTech, receives a grant from the Dutch Research Council of 300,000 euros. The project has been approved within the Science Public-Private Partnership Fund, in line with the top sector Chemistry. Ram leads the consortium where he collaborates with WeissBioTech; a German company that develops, produces and supplies enzymes for applications in the industrial biotechnology and food industry.

The chemical industry becomes increasingly dependent on biomass as a source for the production of bio-based molecules. There is a great need for enzymes - so-called biocatalysts - to make production processes more efficient and sustainable. With the NWO grant, Ram will develop an improved strain of the soil fungus Aspergillus niger. The newly designed strain will be able to yield large quantities of useful enzymes and can be produced in bulk. This way, the improved fungus can find applications in the industry.

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