The 50 Hottest Companies in Biodesign & Engineering

January 3, 2021 |

In Florida, the 2021 rankings for the 50 Hottest Organizations in Biodesign & Engineering was published today, as voted by invited international Selectors and subscribers of The Daily Digest, the world’s most widely-read bioeconomy daily, and part of the overall 50 Hottest Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy rankings.

The annual rankings recognize innovation and achievement in fuel, chemicals, materials, advanced foods, genetics, advanced biological and process engineering  and integrated biorefinery development, and were first awarded in 2008. The Hot 50 in Agriculture & Nutrition was announced in the Daily Digest on December 31st, and the Hot 50 in Renewable Fuels, Chemicals & Materials was announced on December 30th.

One theme that stood out was support for innovative public and privately-owned research labs, which were eligible this year for this new Hot 50 category.  Six US National Labs (and Australia’s CSIRO) made the list this year, plus four Bioenergy Research Centers, and the Agile BioFoundry and ABPDU supported by the US Department of Energy. Axens, a subsidiary iof the IFP Energies Nouvelle organization in France, made a different Hot 50 list this year (#18, Fuels & Chemicals), as well.

The US was dominant in this year’s rankings but not overwhelmingly so, despite US spending on research & development. 11 of the Hot 50 were founded or operated outside of the United States, including South Asia, Australia, and especially Europe. The voters showed different levels of support for public research institutes — placing one in the Top 10, three in the second ten, three in the  third ten, three in the fourth ten and two in the firth ten, while leaving several high-profile national labs outside the Hot 50. The voters also had relatively low interest in DNA-related services, a hot category amongst investors, preferring strain and process engineers.

“Real biodesigners ship, the voters were saying this year in this new category, the way that Steve Jobs used to say that real artists ship in the computer industry,” said Digest editor and publisher Jim Lane. “There’s a distinct preference at the top of these rankings for companies whose innovations and services are used in commercial-scale operations and products. And, they like established players doing innovative work — 42 of the Hot 50 are more than five years old.”

The Miami, FL-based Digest  serves more than 4.5 million readers, viewers and followers via the web, newsletters and social media.

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