News and Events

Industrial Biotechnology Innovations Progress from Lab to Pilots




IBC Finland took part in the European Biotech Week when the event Bringing industrial biotechnology innovations into pilots was organised as part of this Europe-wide series of events. Here is a short wrap-up of the event highlights.

Participants online could enjoy intriguing presentations about new innovations for chemicals and fuels, as well as food and feed industries. Industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology play a major role in the development of green chemistry and carbon neutral processes.

We heard latest news of two startup companies, Solar Foods presented by Juha-Pekka Pitkänen and eniferBio by Simo Ellilä. Both companies are VTT spin-offs.

Solar Foods’ Solein® is single-cell protein produced by fermentation process using water, CO2, NH3, minerals and electricity. Solar Foods aims to bring a sustainable solution to global food production. It has finished the A financing round and is in demo scale-up phase. eniferBio aims for the fish feed market with PEKILO®protein produced in a bioprocess tailored to ethanol industry side streams. Process is a modernized version of the one from 1970s. Company has raised significant seed financing and is in the product validation phase with aqua feed companies.

Sampo Lahtinen, IBC Finland chairperson, gave a speech on Kemira’s platform technology to engineered polysaccharides using enzymatic polymerization. Development programs’ targets are biobased chemicals with applications in board, packaging and water treatment.

Fortum’s Heli Virkki and Neste’s Juha Leppävuori presented the leading company R&D programmes (Veturi-hankkeet) which are co-funded by Business Finland.

ExpandFibre  (2020-2024) is a 50 M€ R&D collaboration and an ecosystem launched by Fortum and Metsä Group. It focuses on making sustainable textile fibres and other added value biomaterials by upgrading pulp fibre, hemicellulose and lignin from renewable and sustainable sources of straw and northern wood.

ExpandFibre has already several projects ongoing with large number of partners. Biotechnical process routes could excel the conventional chemical conversion processes in bioproducts development and biochemicals industry in what comes to sustainability and energy efficiency.

Neste Veturi is an ecosystem and partner program aiming to develop sustainable and globally scalable solutions to make transportation fuels, for road and aviation, polymers and chemicals from renewable and recycled raw materials. Synthetic biology project SynBioPro is a part of this programme. Neste aims to reach carbon neutral production by 2035 with the new solutions.

Johanna Maukonen, IFF Health, gave a keynote talk on probiotic innovations for health applications. We learned a lot of the challenging R&D pathways with clinical trials to demonstrate the health benefits and functionality of new probiotic products.

Sampo Lahtinen gave an introduction to IBC Finland. New members or partners are welcome to join the cluster for Industrial biotechnology in Finland. Cluster aims to support knowledge sharing and initiate co-operation between and within industry and research institutes.

In the IBC Finland hackathons or pitching events the aim is to scout and evaluate new biotechnology options to identify new growth opportunities and find the right partners.

Please contact Aila Maijanen (Chief Executive Officer) for further information on joining IBC Finland (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Big thanks to all the speakers and the active audience! Hope to meet you again in one of our future IBC Finland events.

IBC Finland ry
c/o Clic Innovation Ltd
Eteläranta 10, 5th floor
FI-00130 Helsinki

IBC Finland builds novel biotechnology solutions and products through project cooperation between companies and research institutes. We offer industry the opportunity to achieve sustainable processing and production of biobased products, chemicals, materials and fuels, from renewable raw materials using biotechnology.

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