CHIC is the Chicory Innovation Consortium.
Its objective is:
- to implement New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs) in chicory in order to establish it as a multipurpose crop for the production of health-related products with clear benefits for consumers, and
- to develop co-innovation pathways with stakeholders for game-changing technologies, such as NPBTs.
CHIC will develop four different NPBTs.
They will be used to steer bioprocesses in chicory and mobilize its under-explored potential to produce immunomodulatory prebiotics and medicinal terpenes.
The conceptually different NPBTs will be assessed with respect to technological potential, risks, regulatory framework and their socio-economic impacts. This will be done in close consultation with a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) composed of relevant stakeholders in industry and society.
Ongoing project activities and results will be discussed with stakeholders and communicated to interested public using innovative methods including cultural communication and linking art to science.
In this context, CHIC will develop two business cases in different application areas:
- inulin as healthy food ingredient and
- terpenes as medicinal lead compounds
This effort requires a highly interdisciplinary approach with expertise from molecular sciences, economy, arts, social sciences & humanities, and legislation.
The partnership includes three SMEs and a chicory end-user, and international collaboration is established via a research institute in New Zealand.
The SAG plays a crucial role in consultation in all phases and activities of the project. Via this co-innovation approach, we aim to contribute to leadership in responsible research innovation and to promote improved understanding of plant biotechnology.
Chicory will be boosted as a robust multipurpose crop, tolerant to adverse environmental conditions from which bioactive compounds can be extracted, contributing to sustainable agriculture and a biobased economy.