The Emerging Bioeconomy Ecosystems

December 7, 2016 |

bd-ts-120816-novozymes-cover-smIn political circles, the theme of “Better Together” has been under siege of late — barely winning (for now) in the Sctoland independence, debate, and losing unexpectedly in the Brexit vote — but it remains a theme for surviving and thriving in the advanced bioeconomy.

We tipped it a few months ago, in “The Rise of Organic Manufacturing.” The signs are getting more and more obvious:  ecosystems are forming in the advanced bioeconomy and everyone better get on the bandwagon. Or one bandwagon. (For example, consider The emerging synthetic biology ecosystem: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Gingko BioWorks.)

So, it’s not a shocker but certainly fascinating to see high activity on two partnerships from Planet Novozymes this week. One where Novozymes is the giant, the other where it has junior partner status in balance sheet terms.

Leaf Resources, Novozymes launch biomass-to-sugars collaboration

Today, Leaf Resources and Novozymes unveiled a collaboration to further increase the yields and efficiency associated with Leaf Resources’ innovative biomass conversion technology.

The Gycell technology operates at low temperature and pressure, and uses crude glycerin as a low cost, recyclable reagent. The process efficiently deconstructs plant biomass and produces a high-yield of high-quality, concentrated cellulose and hemicellulose sugars, which in turn enables cost competitive production of renewable chemicals.

As part of the collaboration, Novozymes will use its expertise in biotechnology to customize its broad portfolio of robust, high-yielding enzymes to the Gycell process. The goal of the collaboration is to design a highly tailored enzyme package that allows the Gycell process to achieve superior performance, quality, and reliability for the production of high-value renewable chemicals. Leaf and its development partner, Claeris, LLC, will then incorporate Novozymes’ tailored enzyme package into the biomass pretreatment section of integrated biorefineries.

“The combined scientific expertise of our companies makes it possible to enhance the conversion of biomass to sugars which, when combined with the development expertise of Claeris, will help accelerate the development of renewable chemicals,” says Michael Burns, Head of Biorefining Business Development for North America at Novozymes. “There is a clear move towards sustainable chemical production and we believe the combination of Claeris and the Gycell process will help further enable the industry.”

The Leaf Resources backstory

Technology overview: Cellulosic sugars heading for scale: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Leaf Resources

Financial latest: Leaf Resources raises $2.35M in placement

Project development latest: Leaf Resources advances towards commercial-scale biochemical project in Malaysia 

The Claeris JV latest: Leaf Resources, Claeris form JV to pursue Americas, Asia opportunities

Novozymes, Monsanto see 90M acre deployment of new corn innoculant

Meanwhile, The BioAg Alliance (Novozymes and Monsanto) shared details of their newest product, the corn inoculant Acceleron B-300 SAT. Derived from a fungus found in soil, Acceleron B-300 SAT showed a two-year average yield advantage of more than 3 bushels per acre. The Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant will be applied to all of Monsanto’s new 2017 corn hybrids sold in the United States.

We tipped the deployment earlier this year, here, after the positive results from the 2015 field trials.

And, Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen tipped that BioAg and next-gen fuels would be major growth drivers from Novozymes by mid-decade in our interview, here.

“Harnessing the power of nature’s microbes, farmers will be able to produce more crops while using fertilizer more efficiently and producing less CO2. This will benefit agriculture, consumers and the environment,” said Colin Bletsky, Novozymes’ Vice President for BioAg. “This is the first product jointly developed by Monsanto and Novozymes, and it shows the kind of innovation we can achieve in The BioAg Alliance. We believe it could be applied to more than 90 million acres by 2025 and become one of the biggest biological products in the ag industry.”

What this invention does

Farmers use seed coatings to protect their crops from yield-robbing threats, to improve plant health, and to increase nutrient availability. Acceleron B-300 SAT increases plants’ ability to take up nutrients and is an improved formulation of the JumpStart inoculant (Penicillium bilaiae), a product that existed in Novozymes’ pipeline before the formation of The BioAg Alliance.

The spores in previous versions of JumpStart last about 120 days on the seed after application. This means that farmers using JumpStart inoculants must treat their seeds within a short time before planting.  With Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant, scientists from Monsanto and Novozymes have developed a formulation that, when seed is stored in proper conditions, is viable for at least two years on the seed and is generally compatible with other seed coating chemistries. This allows Monsanto to coat the seeds with the microbial product before the seeds are shipped to retailers and farmers.

The Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant will be added to Monsanto’s Seed Applied Solutions portfolio. In addition to applying the product to its DEKALB, Channel and regional brands’ new 2017 corn hybrids, Monsanto said it will offer the product to its licensees and distributors.

The BioAg Alliance Backstory

More about the Alliance in our Digest note here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.