October 27, 2015

MBI Heads to San Francisco for #ABLCNXT. Check Out #TeamMBI’s #Hot40 Photo Votes.

The MBI team is gearing up for one of the biggest conferences in the advanced bioeconomy: ABLC Next 2015. Starting Monday, November 2nd, 2015, our Chief Business Officer, Allen Julian; Director of Biobased Derisking, Jim Wynn; and Business Development Manager, Chad Pastor, will be in San Francisco to network, learn more about what other developers are bringing to the table . . . and of course to celebrate MBI’s place in the Biofuels Digest #Hot40 competition.

Each year, Biofuels Digest announces the opening for nominations for the 40 Hottest Small Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy. Here at MBI, we take this list seriously—and we also get to have some fun with it. Voting is done by official ballot, as well as by photo vote. Take a moment to see what MBI’s team has created for their photo vote submissions, below!

Want to follow key insights from ABLC Next? Follow us on ! You can also follow Chad Pastor (@cpasztor) and Jim Wynn (@jimwynn2002)!


 

MBI Derisking SFWMBI with BannerMASHMBI Photo Vote Hot40 AP-01Chad Birthday Hot 40MBI Photo Vote - Campbells Soup TinHot-2015-16-091115-29hot-100415-MBI-Apple-Riffhot-100415-MBI-Ultra-runners-v2.0PVs-091915-MBI-2

September 14, 2015

MBI issued game-changing patent for AFEX technology

Chandra Nielson and Josh Videto treat corn stover biomass in MBI’s AFEX pilot plant, using the patented process.

Biotech firm achieves 500-batch AFEX production milestone

Lansing, Mich. — Sept. 14, 2015: MBI today announced its innovative biomass pretreatment patent (patent no. 9,102,964) has been issued by the USPTO. The granting of this patent represents a major milestone in the development and commercialization of its AFEX technology.

For every ton of corn, wheat, and rice harvested today, an equal amount of biomass is left behind on the fields. Within this biomass — of which nearly 2 billion tons are produced each year around the world — nature locks away huge stores of inaccessible sugars. AFEX technology partners with nature, unlocking these sugars and upgrading the biomass into a sustainable source of both cattle feed or a feedstock for cellulosic biofuels and chemicals.

The AFEX technology is a game-changing agricultural innovation, sustainably expanding our capacity to supply both cattle feed and transportation fuels, while reducing our environmental footprint.

Conceived at MBI in 2010, this latest innovation represents a major breakthrough in the cost, scalability, and commercial viability of the technology.

“What is exciting about this patented breakthrough is that it enables a low-cost production of AFEX pretreated biomass, while cost-effectively recycling and reusing the catalyst used during the process,” said Tim Campbell, MBI’s Project Manager and AFEX Process Engineer — also the lead inventor on the patent. “This innovation makes the AFEX process highly robust as well as simple to reproduce and operate. If not for the design breakthrough covered by this patent, the enormous potential global impact of AFEX technology could not be economically realized.”

The genius of the AFEX technology is that it enables sustainable, decentralized production of both cattle feed or a feedstock for biofuels and chemicals. AFEX technology readily addresses the logistical challenges inherent in transporting bulky and unwieldy biomass across long distances while creating value across the supply chain.
The genius of the AFEX technology is that it enables sustainable, decentralized production of both cattle feed or a feedstock for biofuels and chemicals. AFEX technology readily addresses the logistical challenges inherent in transporting bulky and unwieldy biomass across long distances while creating value across the supply chain.

The newly issued patent expands the AFEX technology intellectual property portfolio, which Michigan State University (MSU) — and later MBI — have been developing since MSU Distinguished Professor Bruce Dale invented the technology. This patented technology has been successfully scaled 100-fold, leading to the current one-ton-per-day AFEX pilot plant, at MBI’s Lansing, Michigan facility.

In addition to celebrating the issuance of its key patent, MBI recently achieved another milestone: the production of over 500 batches (15 tons) of AFEX pretreated biomass. Taken together, the patent and production milestones demonstrate the technology’s innovativeness, as well as its robust, consistent performance.

“Currently, we are focused on advancing AFEX technology from pilot to demonstration scale in order to showcase its viability and efficacy for both cattle feed and fuels applications,” said Bobby Bringi, MBI’s CEO. “MBI is commercializing this technology on behalf of MSU. Ultimately, our vision is to broadly share this technology to maximize its global societal benefits.”

 

 

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CONTACT:
Allen Julian | 517.336.4613
Aaryn Richard | 517.336.4638

 

About MBI

MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) is both a premier multi-disciplinary center sought out by industry partners for unique derisking capabilities — and a mission-inspired 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that collaboratively accelerates the commercialization of biobased, sustainability-minded technologies. MBI is known for pioneering derisking, a process that quickly and cost-effectively weeds out flawed technologies while accelerating viable ones through a stage-gated innovation process. Lansing, Michigan-based MBI engages with universities, research institutions, and corporations to develop sustainable fuels, chemicals, food, and feed. Collaborators have included Bolt Threads, DuPont, Genomatica, and Novozymes. MBI has also worked with Michigan State University and Cargill to develop PLA, the first biodegradable polymer in global use. Technologies developed at MBI are recognized and trusted worldwide. Learn more at www.mbi.org. A video about AFEX technology and its potential impact can be found here.

 

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(Photo of the Chandra Nielson and Josh Videto taken by Trumpie Photography. Illustration by Jennifer Weaver of Weaver Design.)

July 28, 2015

Local Michigan Biotech Firm Helps Take Engineered Silk to the Next, Wearable Level

Bolt Threads to begin commercial production of Engineered Silk to create wearable textiles developed in collaboration with MBI, a not-for-profit hub affiliated with Michigan State University

 

LANSING, Mich. — On the south side of Michigan State University’s campus, tucked amidst lush green foliage, stands MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute). Established in 1981, this biotechnology accelerator has quietly wrestled with some of the globe’s most pressing sustainability challenges. A mission-inspired, market-driven 501(c)(3) focused on biobased innovations, MBI engages with universities, research institutions, start-up companies, and corporations to develop sustainable fuels, chemicals, food, feed—and, now, spider silk.

Bolt Threads, an innovator based in Emeryville, California, is revolutionizing the way we look at this elusive material—and it will be the first to take biobased Engineered Silk technology to commercial scale. Bolt Threads’ leap forward with this proprietary technology to create Engineered Silk fibers is an epiphany for the textile and garment industries. The company’s goal is to design processes that minimize the environmental footprint while creating a superior product.

MBI’s team couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Bolt Threads on this revolutionary technology,” said Dr. James Wynn, MBI’s director of biobased technology derisking. “At MBI, our mission is to help promising technologies, such as Bolt Threads’ Engineered Silk, make the most efficient transition from the lab to commercial production.”

Until today, commercial silk production has been limited to either silk worms or extremely small scale engineered silk production, where the painstaking efforts taken to amass any amount of silk were far too labor intensive with little pay-off. Bolt Threads is the first company to produce Engineered Silk fibers made from proteins found in nature with the ability to scale commercially. Additionally, Bolt Threads’ fibers can be programmed to be as soft, durable and malleable as needed.

“By accessing MBI’s expertise in process control and scale-up, Bolt Threads was able to develop a more robust and scalable production process capable of supplying large quantities of Engineered Silk,” said Wynn.

 

“The work that we are doing with MBI is key to the development, scale-up and demonstration-scale production of our Engineered Silk for use in fibers and textiles,” said Jason Ryder, Bolt Threads vice president of manufacturing. “Our collaboration with MBI validates the robustness and transferability of our process, which paves the way for transferring and developing in future commercial-scale facilities.”

At the time of this release, Bolt Threads is planning to have products in the market by 2016.

 

About MBI and Bolt Threads

 

MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) is both a premier multidisciplinary center sought out by industry partners for unique derisking capabilities—and a mission-inspired 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that collaboratively accelerates the commercialization of biobased technologies. MBI is known for pioneering derisking, a process that quickly and cost-effectively fails flawed technologies while accelerating viable ones through a stage-gated innovation process. Lansing, Michigan-based MBI engages with universities, research institutions and corporations to develop sustainable fuels, chemicals, food and feed. Collaborators have included DuPont, Genomatica and Novozymes. MBI has also worked with Michigan State University and Cargill to develop PLA, the first biodegradable polymer in global use. Technologies developed at MBI are recognized and trusted worldwide. Learn more at www.www.mbi.org.

Bolt Threads The material world is about to get a whole new material. Bolt Threads is creating the next generation of performance fibers and fabrics using proprietary breakthroughs in industrial biotechnology. Working at the molecular level, Bolt Threads will transform the textiles market, turning renewable raw materials into products with outstanding properties that meet specific consumer needs. Bolt Threads is backed by Foundation Capital, Formation 8, and Founders Fund, and is based in Emeryville, California.

 

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February 11, 2015

Collaboration between AlgiSys, MBI focuses on EPA-rich oil, with potential human health benefits

Cleveland, Ohio-based Algisys, a biotech company producing omega-3 fatty acids from micro-algae for heart and joint health, has announced raising over $6M for the commercial scale up of its algal technology. The company has been developing its technology and scale-up work through collaborations with several partners including MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) and European-based research facilities. “By using the company’s core expertise, these collaborators are helping to accelerate efforts necessary for commercialization of the company’s technology,” said Michael LoPresti, Algisys CEO and Co-Founder.

“Using a non-GMO fermentation-based approach to producing EPA-rich oil has enormous potential human health benefits,” said MBI’s Dr. James Wynn, who is leading the commercial development work. “AlgiSys provides high levels of sterility and process control, which will produce a purer and more consistent algae product. It is MBI’s mission to help nascent technologies such as this to make the successful transition from promising laboratory finding to a world-changing commercial technology.”

>>Read more

 

October 15, 2014

French cellulosic technology company DEINOVE teams up with MBI

Oct. 15, 2014 — DEINOVE (Alternext Paris: ALDEI) and MBI have announced the formation of a technological partnership designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the DEINOL technology for producing biofuels based on lignocellulosic biomass (2G biofuels).

Read the press reports:

MBI is both a premier multidisciplinary center sought out by industry partners for its unique derisking capabilities and a not-for-profit inspired by a mission to enhance quality of life. MBI applies its derisking approach to the development of biofuels, chemicals, food, and feed from renewable, rather than fossil, raw materials and is known for its exceptional record of successful university and corporate collaborations, including major industrial groups such as DuPont, Cargill (NatureWorks), Novozymes; and multiple start-ups such as Genomatica, OPX Biotechnologies, and Verdezyne.

MBI, in close collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), has developed a transformational technology, called AFEX. This technology has the potential to double worldwide output from existing grain-crop production while providing a sustainable, affordable source of food, feed, fuels, and chemicals. AFEX has advanced from the laboratory to a one-ton-per-day pilot scale. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack gave recognition to the enormous global potential of this technology with a visit to MBI.

EARLY TEST RESULTS

After testing its process on simple sugars such as glucose and xylose, DEINOVE contacted MBI to test the DEINOL technology on AFEX pretreated corn stover.

Indeed, DEINOVE’s commercial acceleration is relying on an increased focus: working on customizing Deinococcus strains for industrial biomass.

Preliminary tests produced remarkable results with the assimilation of more than 95% of all the sugars available in the biomass and the production of ethanol, a process called “Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation.” These results demonstrate the effectiveness of AFEX technology in releasing the cellulose and hemicellulose found in the biomass, and the effectiveness of Deinococcus in assimilating and metabolizing the material obtained.

“The preliminary results obtained by combining AFEX and Deinococcus not only confirmed the performance of each one of our technologies,” said Allen Julian, MBI’s Chief Business Officer, “but also demonstrated a compelling synergy between both.” The results obtained so far confirm the extraordinary fermenting capabilities of Deinococcus bacteria, as well as their significant potential for product cost reduction. This combination is highly promising, and it could provide an answer for an industry that is seeking a technologically and economically competitive solution to the challenge of producing sustainable, low-cost biofuels.”

“The outlook for demonstrating the viability of our process with MBI is very exciting,” said Emmanuel Petiot, CEO of DEINOVE. “MBI is an expert in the development, optimization, and scale-up of biobased technologies, and it has provided support for the industrialization of many production technologies in the fields of green chemistry and biofuels. Once this test campaign is finished, we will have everything we need to move on to industrial production application with our partners.”

(Image credit: Deinove, photo courtesy of Michael Daly, USIHS, NY)

January 14, 2013

$2.3 Million DOE Grant Will Support MBI, Novozymes Partnership

MBI International, the Lansing, MI-based subsidiary of Michigan State University that helps companies scale up bio-based tech endeavors, has partnered with Novozymes to win a $2.3 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. The grant will support the development of new enzyme-based methods to convert corn stover into sugars, which can then be turned into biofuels, plastics, or polymers, says Allen Julian, MBI’s chief business officer.