BioFactory built for the circular economy of organic products

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Food, agricultural and marine waste will be transformed into nutritional ingredients and protein-rich foods in a BioFactory being built in Geelong by Deakin University.

The $16.4 million Circular Economy Accelerator-Organics (CEA-O) project is a collaboration between Deakin and Monash universities, RMIT, the Government of Victoria and 20 industry partners. The state government contributed $10 million.

The project aims to reduce organic waste going to landfill, but also to establish long-term collaborative partnerships with agriculture, food, water and other adjacent industries to help transform industries and chains supply for Victoria and Australia.

The Deakin BioFactory will pilot and test new processes for using food waste, agricultural waste and marine by-products to develop new products such as high-protein foods, nutritional ingredients, fertilizers, cosmetic ingredients and biomaterials for medical and textile applications.

The BioFactory will focus on:

  • reduce organic waste going to landfill;
  • develop new approaches to transform and treat organic waste;
  • testing and innovating new processing techniques at a pilot manufacturing scale, enabling industry to de-risk future investments in biomanufacturing;
  • transform biomass and biosolid waste into valuable products, including animal feed, nutrition, fertilizers and biomaterials, contributing to a circular economy minimizing waste;
  • create new products and alternatives to products derived from petrochemicals;
  • transform underutilized marine biomass into a bioproduct; and
  • establish long-term collaborative partnerships with agriculture, food, water and other adjacent industries.

Deakin will provide advanced biomanufacturing capability to convert organic waste, which will be connected to RMIT’s expanded facilities for processing food, water and biosolids. Monash University will then provide product, process quality and analysis.

Deakin’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the university was proud to play a key role in positioning Victoria as an innovation leader in industry-driven solutions for waste treatment organic.

“This is an important partnership between three universities working closely with industry partners to provide new waste and recycling solutions – an important step towards establishing a multi-billion bioeconomy. dollars for Victoria,” Martin said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Alfred Deakin Professor Julie Owens said the project confirmed the university’s commitment to building Victoria’s circular economy by piloting recycling solutions and helping the industry to create new business models that successfully address and unlock the full product lifecycle.

“Deakin is a leader in this field. We have a proven track record of engaging with industry and bringing together leading researchers across different disciplines to generate sustainable waste management processes, products and solutions for our industry partners and communities,” said Owens. .

More than 15 industry partners have already expressed interest in using the new capability.

To learn more about the Circular Economy Accelerator or discuss partnership opportunities, click here.

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