Governor JB Pritzker of llinois

Governor JB Pritzker ©

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

$51 Million Federal Grant for Precision Fermentation Hub to Drive Innovation, Growth, and Job Creation in Illinois

The Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Tech Hub has secured approximately $51 million in federal funding from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Tech Hubs Program. The grant, which will support significant infrastructure expansions, aims to position Central Illinois as a global leader in biomanufacturing, promoting economic growth, job creation, and national security. The iFAB is supported by Innovate Illinois, a strategic initiative by Governor JB Pritzker and co-chaired by the University of Illinois Chancellor Robert J. Jones. Led by the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, it has secured over $680 million in cash match and strategic investments, demonstrating robust backing from multiple stakeholders. Governor JB Pritzker said, “Thanks to this $51 …


Vivici fermentation unit

© Vivici

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Global Biomanufacturing Capacity Must Grow 20X to Reach Industry Growth of $200 Billion by 2040, Says New Report

A recent report, co-authored by the New York-based biotech firm Synonym and Boston Consulting Group, has outlined a roadmap for the biomanufacturing industry, predicting a potential explosion to a $200 billion market in specialty sectors over the next ten years. The report Breaking the Cost Barrier on Biomanufacturing encourages the transition to biomanufacturing to address issues of sustainability and cost-efficiency in current industrial production methods. However, the report’s estimated $200 billion market value is focused on precision fermentation to produce food ingredients, chemicals, and chemical precursors. According to the authors, the figure is considered conservative and reflects only a fraction of the potential for growth within the industry. “The big problem—and the reason that precision fermentation remains an underused technology despite continuing advances in genome engineering and …


United States Department of Defense logo

© United States Department of Defense

Investments & Finance

US Department of Defense Investment Program Opens Opportunities for Food Tech Innovation

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has unveiled the Distributed Bioindustrial Manufacturing Investment Program (DBMIP), offering a new funding avenue for food technology companies, including those in the alternative protein sector. This initiative is part of the country’s effort to support the advancement of biotechnology and bolster the nation’s defense capabilities. The DBMIP is set to distribute Defense Production Act funding to fortify domestic supply chains, specifically targeting the biomanufacturing industry. Under the program, the DoD is calling for proposals from businesses capable of developing bioindustrial manufacturing facilities. These proposals are required to outline both business and technical plans, with a submission deadline set for March 6, 2024. The department expects to grant awards to approximately 30 proposals in May, with each selected project …


Swiss firm planetary SA has partnered with the Japanese giant in imaging technology, Konica Minolta Inc., to optimize and reduce the production costs of its fermentation technologies.

© Image courtesy of Planetary


Swiss Biotech Planetary and Japan’s Konica Minolta Partner to Cut Costs of Fermented Proteins

Swiss firm planetary SA (Planetary), the world’s first integrated biomass and precision fermentation CDMO, has partnered with the Japanese giant in imaging technology, Konica Minolta Inc. to optimize and reduce the production costs of its fermentation technologies. The ultimate aim is to accelerate the production of fermented proteins, including dairy, egg, fats, and mycoproteins, that can compete with the prices of similar commodity products in the market. The newly announced collaboration, following the signing of an MoU, involves using Konica Minolta’s advanced image-sensing tech and data-driven bioprocess to develop and implement new real-time monitoring and control operations. In addition, by leveraging the collected data and AI, the technologies can be further optimized. As a result, the companies expect to decrease the number of lost batches and achieve a further reduction …


3D rendering of facility Liberation Labs

3D rendering of facility © Liberation Labs

Manufacturing & Technology

Liberation Labs to Launch Biomanufacturing Workforce Program with Ivy Tech Community College in Richmond, Indiana

Liberation Labs, a large-scale precision fermentation contract manufacturer, and Ivy Tech Community College-Richmond have joined forces to create a novel biomanufacturing workforce training program.  The initiative aims to equip approximately 30 employees with the necessary expertise in precision fermentation to work at Liberation Labs’ plant in Richmond, Indiana, USA, which is set to commence operations later this year. The recruitment will begin in Spring 2024, with training starting in late Summer before employees join the facility. Liberation Labs’ technical team will work with Ivy Tech curriculum designers and instructors to create a program that combines specific skills with the educational expertise in education of Ivy Tech Community College: training in biotechnology and fermentation, covering key principles, manufacturing practices, and safety protocols.  “Best of all, we will …


From L to R: Andrew Gray, Director at Co-Labs; Paul Bevan, founder and CEO of Magic Valley; and Samuel Wines, co-founder at Co-Labs

From L to R: Andrew Gray, Director at Co-Labs; Paul Bevan, founder and CEO of Magic Valley; and Samuel Wines, co-founder at Co-Labs © Magic Valley

Cultivated Meat

Magic Valley Partners with Co-Labs to Increase Production Capacity for Cultivated Meat

Australian cultivated meat company Magic Valley has announced that it will amplify its production by expanding its operations to an advanced pilot facility at Co-Labs, an innovation hub and co-working laboratory based in Melbourne. With this strategic decision, the company aims to increase its production capacity to 3,000-litre bioreactors, aiming to reach 150,000 kg of product annually. Additionally, according to the company, the new pilot facility will reinforce its dedication to sustainability by enhancing product innovation and efficiency. The news follows a collaboration with Biocellion SPC, a US software developer and computer modeling company, to drive advancements in bioreactor technology and scale the production of cultivated meat at lower costs. At the forefront of sustainability Magic Valley claims it has developed a scalable platform to grow any type of meat, including cultivated …