Deep Branch Biotech-led REACT-FIRST Consortium

SBRC Nottingham to participate in the Deep Branch Biotech-led REACT-FIRST consortium.

In October 2020, Deep Branch, a carbon recycling biotech company funded by former SBRC Nottingham researchers, achieved a remarkable success by securing £3M funding from Innovate UK, with a research proposal entitled:

“REACT-FIRST: Reduced Emission Aquaculture & Chicken Trial For Integrated,
Responsible and Sustainable Transformation of CO2 into animal feed”

The aim of this project, which officially started on the 1st of October, is to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of UK’s aquaculture and poultry industries, by replacing the fishmeal/soy component of currently used feeds with Proton, a sustainable microbial protein feed obtained using CO2 as carbon source.

Dr. Marco Garavaglia of the SBRC Nottingham will be partnering with Deep Branch in the REACT-FIRST consortium, which also includes other academic collaborators such as:

as well as industrial partners such as:

As the nominated researcher on this grant, Dr Garavaglia will be taking advantage of the SBRC ‘s cutting-edge facilities, including the robotic suite and the aerobic gas fermentation unit, to identify and delete genes that are not essential for autotrophic growth in the model organism Cupriavidus necator H16 and other hydrogen-oxidising bacteria of industrial interest for Deep Branch, with the ultimate goal of improving the nutritional quality of the Proton single cell protein as well as the economics of the fermentation process. 

“I am personally very excited to be part of this project since I believe it has the potential to revolutionise the animal feed industry, leading to a more sustainable agriculture. In addition, REACT-FIRST represents a fantastic opportunity for SBRC Nottingham to showcase all the brilliant science that it has produced over the last 5 years, apply it to a “real life” problem and provide a tangible contribution towards achieving the “net zero” greenhouse gases emission target, set by the UK government for 2050” - Dr Garavaglia