Danone forms a quartet to create biotechnology platform

Published: 13-Jun-2024

Danone, Michelin, DMC and Crédit Agricole Centre France will aim to effectively scale up the precision fermentation process for the food industry

Danone, Michelin, the American start-up DMC Biotechnologies and Crédit Agricole Centre France, a key investor in the region, have begun collaborations to create the Biotech Open Platform to bolster the development of advanced fermentation processes.

This particularly relates to precision fermentation at a large scale, which allows the production of many bio-based materials and ingredients.

With an investment of more than EUR €16m 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.

The Biotech Open Platform is also supported by several public and private institutions, such as the University of Clermont Auvergne, the company Greentech, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Clermont Auvergne Métropole.


Precision fermentation for the food industry

As the industry looks for alternatives to fossil-based resources, sustainable solutions are becoming highly attractive, allowing businesses to meet supply needs while providing efficient materials.

According to Danone, biotechnology  — 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 the food and nutraceutical industries.


Scaling up the process

The Biotech Open Platform's ambition is to accelerate the development of precision fermentation by enabling the scale-up 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 expansion of capabilities will 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.

CEO of Danone, Antoine de Saint-Affrique commented: “We look forward to working with our partners to develop fermentation technologies which will accelerate innovation, health benefits and decarbonisation in the food industry."


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