Wageningen Plant Research (Consortium Coordinator) - BU Bioscience (NL)
Partner representative: Dirk Bosch

The Applied Metabolic Systems group of Wageningen Plant Research (WPR), with Prof. Dr. Dirk Bosch, Dr. Jules Beekwilder, and Dr. Katarina Cankar, is specialised in molecular biology and biochemistry of plant metabolism. The expertise of WPR lies in prospecting of novel enzymes in the plant kingdom, metabolic pathway discovery and metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites. The group has a widely recognized expertise in genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics technologies, and the informatics connected to these omics technologies. A diversity of combinatorial synthetic biology tools (GoldenGate, Gibson, CRISPR/CAS) is deployed for engineering of microbial metabolism. WPR has more than 10 years' experience in microbial production of plant-derived compounds that are important for human health (e.g. flavonoids, carotenoids) and flavour and fragrance applications (e.g. valencene, nootkatone). It has an extensive track-record of peer reviewed publications on this topic, and maintains a large network of academic and industrial partners in this field. The researchers are inventor on multiple patents and patent applications in this area. WPR is the project coordinator of INDIE and will take the lead in project management.

National Institute of Biology – Biotechnology and Systems Biology (SI)
Partner representative: Kristina Gruden

Prof. Dr. Kristina Gruden, Dr. Spela Baebler and Maja Zagorscak are experts in bioinformatics, data integration and systems biology. NIB has established bioinformatics pipelines for efficient analysis of omics data using both biostatistics and machine learning approaches. They are experts in the construction of signaling and transcriptional regulation models based on prior knowledge and experimental datasets. They have an extensive publication record in studying plant responses to the environment using a systems biology approach and implementation of systems biology approach in industrial applications and standardization. They are associated partners of the FAIRDOM initiative, participating in European infrastructure for bioinformatics Elixir and heading the Slovenian node of European infrastructure for systems biology ISBE.


Bielefeld University – Biology and Center for Biotechnology (DE)
Partner representative: Volker F. Wendisch

Prof. Volker Wendisch and Dr. Petra Peters-Wendisch at CeBiTec, Bielefeld University (UNIBI) are experts in metabolic engineering with twenty years of experience with the chosen production host C. glutamicum. UNIBI is characterizing global gene regulation in C. glutamicum, with a particular focus on amino acid biosynthesis. Regulatory mechanisms governing the adaptation of bacteria to large scale compound production are unraveled using RNA sequencing technology. An additional focus is on the genetic and biochemical characterization of the involved enzymes and metabolic pathways. Research at UNIBI aims at rational strain development in the form of a genome-based biotechnology, for example high-performance strains for the production of diamines and amino acids. Basic research work centres around the identification of the components and the logic of the gene regulatory network of C. glutamicum, which appears to have a modular and hierarchical structure.

Wageningen University – Systems and Synthetic Biology (NL)
Partner representative: Vitor Martins dos Santos

The Systems and Synthetic Biology group of Wageningen University & Research (SSB), with Prof. Dr. ir. Vitor Martins dos Santos, Dr. Peter Schaap and Dr. Maria Suarez Diez, has extensive experience in the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying basic cellular processes. SBB develops theoretical frameworks supporting experimental research towards the systems understanding of the hierarchies and dynamics of cellular networks. These frameworks are used for directed cellular reprogramming, with applications to health and industry. The lab has made acknowledged contributions to large-scale genome engineering of designer microbes. The expertise underpinning the activities in the proposed project range from models of metabolism and regulation (dynamic modelling), analysis of RNA-seq and metabolomics data and integration of heterogeneous data sets and models and the use of semantic web technologies for data integration and data sharing in the life sciences.

Axxence GmbH – Axxence Aromatic GmbH (DE)
Partner representative: Peter van der Schaft

Dr. Peter van der Schaft (biochemist) has been working in the international flavour industry for more than 30 years and is an expert in natural aroma ingredients and their regulation. He is the research director and CEO at Axxence GmbH. Axxence has its business in the development, production and sales of natural aroma chemicals. Axxence Aromatic was founded in 1986 and is a privately held company. Over the years it has maintained its focus: entire dedication to be one of the most reliable and innovative sources within our prime field of expertise: NATURAL AROMA INGREDIENTS for the flavour & fragrance compounding industry worldwide. By strategic investments in R&D of both novel natural ingredients and new manufacturing processes, we constantly strive to expand the use of our products in existing and new applications as well as markets. Sales offices and warehousing are in Germany, France, USA and Japan. In China we operate a technical support facility.