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Synthetic Biology Technology

ADM and Spiber ally their skills to expand production of bio-based polymers.

American multinational Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) and Japanese materials pioneers Spiber have announced an agreement to expand the production of Spiber’s innovative Brewed Protein polymers for use in apparel and other consumer products. The collaboration will combine Spiber’s structural protein fermentation technology with ADM’s expertise in large-scale fermentation technologies, engineering, operations and extensive agricultural supply chain.

The Brewed Protein polymers will be produced by ADM in the USA using plant-based dextrose as a feedstock, and then shipped to Spiber downstream facilities, where they will be processed into an array of materials — primarily fibers — for use in a variety of applications such as apparel, lightweight auto parts, high-performance foams, and more. Brewed Protein polymers will play a critical role in expanding the range of plant-based, sustainable alternative materials.

“Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable innovation in the products they purchase, and we’re excited to partner with Spiber to help bring this leading-edge technology to market,” said Ian Pinner, ADM’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer and president of the company’s Health & Wellness division.

“From our partnerships with farmers and our efficient origination network, to our ability to provide sustainably sourced feedstocks from nature, to our expertise in fermentation and ability to scale technology to commercial production, our end-to-end capabilities give us a substantial leadership position in this fast-growing market,” Pinner continued. “Across ADM, we are creating value for customers and shareholders alike by finding innovative, exciting ways to use our array of plant-based products. From alternative proteins to substitutes for petroleum-based plastics, we’re excited to lead in the creation of whole new generations of in-demand, sustainable products.”

“After more than a year of working closely with ADM, we are pleased to take our partnership to the next level and expand Spiber’s production to the U.S.,” said Kazuhide Sekiyama, Spiber’s Co-founder, Director, and Representative Executive Officer. “ADM has an amazing team, providing significant value for our business not only through its fermentation expertise, but also as a provider of quality, corn-based raw materials used in our process.

“This collaboration takes us to a new phase in the commercialization of Spiber’s materials — one in which Brewed Protein will be more widely available and at costs suitable for broader markets,” Sekiyama continued. “Proteins represent the pinnacle material platform evolved and adopted by life on earth to ensure survival. Spiber remains committed to blazing a trail in providing such material alternatives for industry and playing a role in the transition to a more sustainable society. We are excited to be taking the next important steps in that process together with ADM.”

In 2019, the two companies began a long-term collaboration, in which ADM ( @ADMupdates )  provided technical, engineering and process support, along with access to production resources, to help develop and test Spiber’s process at scale. Following the successful completion of that work, the second phase announced today extends the partnership between the two companies, creating a pathway toward commercial-scale production in the coming years.

David Lips of Spiber is a confirmed speaker at SynBio Markets 2021, 29-31 March

If you like the ADM and Spiber work with bio-based polymers you may also be interested in … 

Read: 5 Minutes With…David Lips from Spiber.

Read: $5.8 billion invested by VC’s in bio-based chemicals; focus shifts to disruptive synthetic biology.

Read: AMSilk and Airbus partner to develop bio-polymers inspired by spider silk.

Attend: World Bio Markets – Amsterdam, March 2021. 

Download: Issue #18 of the Bio Market Insights Quarterly. 

Read: New material made from wood fibre and spider silk ‘could replace plastic’, scientists say.

Read: Synthetic spider silk pioneers receive $50m funding boost.

Read: Blowing the cobwebs out of harmful textile finishing chemicals.



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