NineSigma’s client relies heavily on products derived from citrus essential oils, which are constantly at the mercy of external factors that influence their supply chain. Issues such as seasonal variations in availability, external regulations, and political factors all have the potential to negatively impact the availability of source material. More recently, the global pandemic of citrus greening has acutely highlighted the need for new and reliable sources of natural citrus products.
The RFP sponsor seeks to identify potential development partners with novel approaches or technologies that can produce citrus oil(s) from cultured citrus cells. Potential solutions in the areas of advanced biotechnology and synthetic biology have been investigated, but raise concerns related to citrus source designations. However, recent advances in cell culturing technology have raised the possibility of generating a self-contained raw material stream insulated from external influences that is also “from source”. Solution providers with proposals from across the landscape of industry, academia, research and consulting are invited to respond.
NOTE: Other biotechnological approaches to achieve this objective are also of significant interest, however all such proposals should include a clear explanation of the proposed methodology and how it addresses the “from source” concerns that the client has established herein.
Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan
Phase 1 – Initial discussions under NDA to determine validity of approach
• Provide information as to the current state of the art and future outlook (5-10 year) in this area
o Types of compounds
o Production methods
o Estimates on price (particularly the minimum realistic price for these types of products)
• Provide initial feasibility, budget, and timeline assessment
Phase 2 – Proof of technical concept against RFP specifications
• Technical data or report for evaluation (also provide recommendations for next step)
• Samples or prototypes provided for client testing
• Rough estimate on costs for development, and potential production for commercialization.
Phase 3 – Commercial development
• Development pathway including plan for optimizing against key success criteria
• After successful proof of concept, discussion about commercial development is desired. At this point specific targets would need to be discussed.