You will work as a Postdoc in the ERA CoBioTech project: "Tobacco as sustainable production platform of the natural biopolymer cyanophycin as co-product to oil and protein". The project combines plant and industrial biotechnology to increase the value of commercially grown tobacco with products that can sustainably substitute fossil raw materials. The project aims to establish an economically feasible production system for the biopolymer cyanophycin (CGP) as a byproduct, which can be adopted by farmers and biotech companies in Argentina.
You will investigate the benefits and costs of producing CGP using tobacco plants. Three major steps should be investigated in detail: benefits and costs at farm level, at the biorefinery level, and at consumer level. For the assessment at farm level the production costs of the tobacco plant field trial farms should be verified in focus group discussions with key stakeholders in Argentina including environmental implications resulting out of changes in farm level cropping systems.
For the assessment of the benefits and costs of extracting the CGP from the tobacco plants and converting it into different commercial products the related threshold levels for a commercial viable production should be identified. A real option approach should be applied for avoiding biases in the assessment at this level. The third step includes an assessment of the demand side in quantity and value. Each step involves close collaboration with project partners.