France-based Danone and Michelin, DMC Biotechnologies in the U.S., and Crédit Agricole Centre France, agreed to create the “Biotech Open Platform” to advance the development of advanced fermentation processes, particularly precision fermentation, on a larger scale. Precision fermentation is a biotech process to make bio-based materials and ingredients.

With an investment of over 16 million euro in the first phase, the industrial and technological platform will be located in Clermont-Ferrand within the Parc Cataroux Center for Sustainable Materials, an innovation accelerator supported by Michelin.

As industry looks for alternatives to fossil-based resources, it is turning to innovative and sustainable solutions to meet its supply needs while providing more efficient materials. Experts agree that biotech, and particularly precision fermentation, is one of the most promising ways to meet this challenge. Precision fermentation uses microorganisms like bacteria, yeast or fungi to produce proteins, enzymes, and other molecules that are used in industry, particularly in the agri-food and materials sectors.

Large-scale biomanufacturing

Although fundamental research has made considerable progress, biotechnologies must now be developed on a larger scale, according to officials involved in the Biotech Open Platform project, which is focused on accelerating the development of precision fermentation by enabling the scaleup of innovative products and processes already tested in the laboratory.

By 2025, the project plans to install an initial demo-scale production line, including a fermenter and purification equipment. Additional equipment will be installed in the following years, including a second production line. This ramp-up is designed to enable the platform to meet the scale-up needs of its founders and to gradually open it up to other companies facing the challenge of scaling up in the industrial biomanufacturing sector.

“The Michelin group is pleased to announce the creation, with its partners, of the Biotech Open Platform, a unique tool that will enhance the development of bio-sourced materials, a key challenge for the industry of tomorrow,” said Florent Menegaux, president of the Michelin group.

“At Danone, we have always been focused on investing in the future of food, and this partnership is the next step in this journey,” added Antoine de Saint Affrique, CEO of Danone.

“For us, as an American startup, the development of the new Biotech Open Platform will enable us to accelerate the scaleup and commercialization of new products leveraging our transformative fermentation technology,” said Kenny Erdoes, CEO of DMC.

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