San Diego-based Genomatica, a technology leader for bio-based chemicals, has acquired certain assets of the REG Life Sciences division (REG LS) of Renewable Energy Group, Inc., the largest supplier of advanced biofuels in North America. Genomatica intends to use these assets to develop a wider range of sustainable chemicals which in turn are used to make numerous everyday materials and products.
Christophe Schilling founded Genomatica in 1998. Since being named CEO in May 2009, he has led Genomatica to widespread recognition as a leader in industrial biotech, with a commercialized first process and plant and multiple leading partners. The company has earned awards for industry impact (recognized in ICIS Top40 Power Players five years in a row), engineering (Kirkpatrick), science (EPA Presidential Green Chemistry), industry leadership (voted #1 Hottest four years in a row by Biofuels Digest), and company culture (The Scientist as a Best Place to Work). Christophe is Chairman of Biocom, the largest advocate organization for California’s life sciences sector; serves on BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section Governing Board; serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biotechnology; and is a member of YPO, an international leadership organization for chief executives. In this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista, he talks about the recent agreement with Covestro and the Genomatica’s way towards the bioeconomy.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
German materials manufacturer Covestro and California-based biotechnology company Genomatica joined forces to research and develop high-performance materials based on renewable feedstocks. With their collaboration announced on March 27, both partners are aiming to reduce the use of fossil-based resources such as crude oil. These are today still the most common carbon and raw material sources of the chemical and plastics industries. Using carbon from plants instead would help reduce CO2 emissions and close the carbon loop in another move towards a circular economy.
Bio-Botanica Inc., a family-owned and operated company, specializing in botanicals for over 45 years and headquartered in Hauppage (New York), has partnered with U.S. biotech company Genomatica to create a new line of botanical extracts using a naturally sourced, sustainably produced butylene glycol. These products, manufactured by Bio- Botanica Inc., feature Genomatica’s proprietary ingredient, Brontide.
Italy-based Aquafil and Californian biotech company Genomatica join forces to create sustainable caprolactam, a key ingredient to producing 100% sustainable nylon. The collaboration between the two companies aims to develop a commercially-advantageous bioprocess (Genomatica’s GENO CPL process) to make caprolactam using plant-based renewable ingredients, rather than the crude oil-derived materials traditionally used by the nylon industry.
Genomatica has strong results for its GENO BDO biobased process technology regarding overall process performance and production volume to date for bio-based 1,4-butanediol (BDO). Novamont, Genomatica’s first GENO BDO licensee, has officially confirmed that its new industrial plant in Bottrighe, Italy has met all performance guarantees committed to by Genomatica. The guarantees include technical and economic parameters, such as efficiency of converting feedstock sugars to Bio- BDO product and product quality. The process runs as designed, as modeled, and as represented.
The bio-butadiene (bio-BDE) technology developed by Versalis (Eni) in partnership with Genomatica has been named winner of the Environmental Achievement of the Year within the “Tire Technology International Awards for Excellence and Innovation”, the European independent award program for the tire industry.
“Biotech is becoming increasingly important to the mainstream chemical industry as the demand for more sustainable solutions intensifies. Biotech is especially well-suited to help with some of the industry’s biggest challenges”. To say it – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Christophe Schilling, founder and CEO of Genomatica, a widely-recognized bioengineering leader for the chemical industry. The San Diego-based biotechnology company develops and licenses bio-based manufacturing processes for the production of intermediate and basic chemicals.
Since being named CEO in May 2009, Christophe Schilling has led Genomatica to widespread recognition as a leader in industrial biotechnology, with a commercialized first process, top-tier licensees, strong investors and an unrivaled string of awards for engineering (Kirkpatrick), science (EPA Presidential Green Chemistry), industry leadership (voted #1 Hottest three years in a row by Biofuels Digest), and company culture (The Scientist as a Best Place to Work). Schilling frequently speaks on industry trends at major conferences and serves as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Biotechnology.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Ginkgo Bioworks and Genomatica announced an alliance to more rapidly deliver biology-based solutions for the world’s highest-volume intermediate and specialty chemicals. Mainstream chemical producers can now in-license technology to manufacture their widely-used chemicals with cost-effective and sustainable whole-process solutions that include engineered microorganisms, complete process designs and technology transfer support. The alliance is structured as a deep collaboration, with two-way sharing of technology and intellectual property, along with joint technology development, to provide a single unified offering to the market.
Mater Biotech, a 100% company owned by Novamont, today proved Genomatica’s revolutionary technology that converts renewable feedstocks into 1,4 butendiol (BDO) at the Grand Opening of its first commercial bio-BDO plant in Bottrighe di Adria (Rovigo, Italy).