Current projects, led by PEP:


  • NMBU Sustainability Arena: Solving the plastic problem. Project leader: Vincent Eijsink. This project is a part of NMBUs Sustainability Arenas 2021- 2024. Plastic is derived from fossil fuels, is difficult to recycle (even in a society with effective waste collection systems), degrades slowly in nature (if at all), and has a tendency to convert to increasingly smaller particles (microplastics) that cause problems for living systems. Solving the “plastic problem” is a huge task that requires a wide multi-disciplinary action that a University such as NMBU alone cannot muster. Still, NMBU can contribute by building on recent developments in the field and in its own competence. Besides, NMBU already has ongoing activities that touch upon the plastic problem but that, so far, have remained invisible in a “plastic context”. Runs from 2021-2024
  • PRODIGIO: Developing early-warning systems for improved microalgae PROduction an anarobic DIGestIOn. Project leader: Magnus Øverlie Arntzen.  PRODIGIO will boost the efficiency of solar energy conversion into biogas by increasing the performance of:

1. Microalgae production systems

2. Anaerobic digestion systems

thanks to the development of early-warning signals for improved systems monitoring and control.

Runs from 2021-2023 

  • CUBE – “Unravelling the secrets of Cu-based catalysts for C-H activation”. In this ERC-Synergy project PEP will collaborate with experts in synthetic catalysts (zeolites, metal-organic-frameworks), spectroscopy, computational & theoretical chemistry and a wide variety of biophysical methods. The aim is to develop novel enzyme-inspired synthetic catalysts and novel synthetic catalyst-inspired enzymes. The catalytic power of LPMOs is a major inspiration for this work. Next to PEP, the team comprises groups headed by Prof Unni Olsbye (Oslo; project coordinator), Prof. Silvia Bordiga (Turin) and Prof. Serena DeBeer (Muelheim and der Ruhr). Read more here (scroll down on the page to “Cleaner chemical conversions”). Runs 2020-2026.


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  • FunEnzFibres - “From fundamentals to valorization: Enzymatic oxidation of cellulosic fibres and underlying mechanisms”. Local project leader: Aniko Varnai and Vincent Eijsink. In this ERA-Net project we will explore novel mechano-enzymatic modifications on cellulose and cellulosic fibres using LPMOs and selected hydrolases for development of high-value products in the forest industry. Partners: VTT, Finland (Kaisa Marjamaa & Kristiina Kruus; project coordinator); BOKU Austria (Antje Potthast); Various companies. Read more here. Runs 2019 – 2022.
  • Modularity as a tool to harness the power of redox enzyme systems in polysaccharide conversion"; personal post-doc fellowship from the Novo Nordisk Foundation to Zarah Forsberg. Key topic: structure function studies of multi-modular LPMOs. Runs 2019 – 2022.
  • SeaCow – “Promoting efficient, low emitting cows through manipulation of the rumen microbiome". Young Research Talent grant from NFR to Live Heldal Hagen. In this project, Live will explore how seaweed-based nutritional manipulation strategies affect enteric methane production, microbiome-host interactions and microbiome metabolism. By decrypting relationships between diets, animal performance and microbiome metabolism, it should eventually become possible to improve animal performance and reduce methane emission by rational nutritional manipulation. Runs 2020 – 2024.
  • OXYMOD - "Optimized oxidative enzyme systems for efficient conversion of lignocellulose to valuable products”; led by Vincent Eijsink. In this project, which is part of the Center for Digital Life Norway funded by NFR-BIOTEK, we will use a transdisciplinary approach to study redox enzyme systems involved in biomass processing, with the eventual goal of developing better enzymes and enzyme systems and better bioprocessing strategies; read more here. Runs 2017-2022.

 Current projects, led by others:

  • Bio4Fuels, a Norwegian Centre of excellence for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) aiming to develop viable technologies that are relevant for the sustainable commercial conversion of biomass feedstocks to biofuels and other products. Svein Horn of the BioRef group is the deputy Center leader; PEP member Aniko Varnai leads one of the four Sub-projects called “Primary Biomass Conversion”. Runs 2016 – 2024.
  • FOODS of Norway, a Norwegian Centre for Research-based Innovation aiming to increase value creation in the Norwegian aquaculture, meat and dairy industries by developing novel feed ingredients from natural bioresources and by improving feed utilization through industrial exploitation of cutting-edge research on bioprocessing and biotechnology, nutrition, health, genetics and food quality. Vincent Eijsink has been leading WP1, entitled Development of novel feeds and processing technology; this role will be taken over by Svein Horn (Bioref group) as of January 2020. Runs 2015 – 2023.

Recently concluded larger projects:

  • “Discovering new functions of carbohydrate-active enzymes to unravel novel mechanisms of bacterial virulence”, NFR-FRIBIOMED, (2016-2020); led by Gustav Vaaje-Kolstad. Key research topic: unravelling the roles of chitinases and LPMOs in bacterial virulence, with focus on fish pathogens (Vibrio species); read more here
  • ”Back to basics: simplifying microbial communities to decrypt complex interactions”, NFR-FRIBIOMED (2016-2020); led by Phil Pope. Key research topic: unravelling the basis of conversion of organic matter (biomass) by microbial consortia, using multi-omics tools; read more here.
  • Enzymes4Fuels, Innovative enzyme technology for sustainable biofuels, NFR Energix (2017-2021); led by Vincent Eijsink. Key research topic: Optimizing the enzymatic saccharification of woody biomass, with special focus on optimizing the contributions of LPMOs and hemicellulases and on the value of the remaining lignin fractions.
  • OxyTrain – “Harnessing the power of enzymatic oxygen activation”; Horizon 2020, Marie-Curie ITN, (2017-2021); led by Morten Sørlie & Vincent Eijsink. Key research topic: understanding how LPMOs work; read more here. Look at the OXYtrain video;
  • “Enzymatic modification and upgrading of marine polysaccharides” (MARPOL), NFR-BIOTEK2021 (2012-2017); led by NTNU (Gudmund Skjåk-Bræk; Vincent Eijsink was PI).
  • “Enzyme development for Norwegian biomass - mining Norwegian biodiversity for seizing Norwegian opportunities in the bio-based economy (NorZymeD)”, NFR-BIOTEK2021, (2012-2018); led by Vincent Eijsink, PEP
  • “Novel salmon feed by integrated bioprocessing of non-food biomass”. NFR – “BioFeed” (Havbruk + BIOTEK2021), (2014-2019); led by NMBU-Biovit (Margareth Øverland).
  • “Food-grade bacterial vectors as novel tuberculosis vaccines. NFR-GlobVac, (2014 – 2019); led by Vincent Eijsink, PEP
  • ChitoTex - Development and production of new insect chitosan and chitosan based functional coatings for yarns and textile fabrics”, ERA-IB, (2015 – 2018); led by Fraunhofer, Germany.
  • “Advancing biomass technology – a biomimetic approach (BioMim)”, NFR-Bionær, (2015 – 2018); led by NIBIO (Gry Alfredsen; Vincent Eijsink and Aniko Varnai were PIs)
  • "Value-added sugar platform", (VASP), (2017-2019); led by Borregaard.























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FunEnzFibres - From fundamentals to valorization: Enzymatic oxidation of cellulosic fibres and underlying mechanisms

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Industrien bruker store ressursar på å omdanna enkle molekyl med hydrogen og karbon til viktige råvarer for nyttige produkt, som plast og tekstilar. Klarer det internasjonale forskarteamet CUBE (Unravelling the secrets of Cu-based catalysts for C-H activation) å finna katalysatorar som gjer prosessen enklare, kan det spara miljø og ressursbruk globalt svært mykje.

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Plastic is an extremely valuable and massively used material that unfortunately creates many subsidiary problems.

Published 19. December 2014 - 15:59 - Updated 19. October 2021 - 12:59