Japan’s Kao Corporation has joined the $120 million venture previously announced by Genomatica and Unilever to scale and commercialise plant-based alternatives to palm kernel oil. The firm described this is as a key move towards meeting goals of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040 carbon-negative by 2050, by making responsibly sourced palm oil and derivatives a critical feedstock.
Unilever and Genomatica have launched a $120 million venture to scale up and commercialise plant-based alternatives to palm oil and fossil fuel-derived cleansing ingredients, particularly for use in personal care products. This will use Genomatica’s established biotechnology platform that makes materials from plant- or waste-based product.
Agribusiness giant Cargill and German chemical marketing and distribution firm Helm have formed a joint venture called Qore and will invest $300 million to build the first commercial-scale, renewable 1,4-butanediol (BDO) facility in the US. This will be located at Cargill’s biotechnology campus and corn refining operation in Eddyville, Iowa, and should be in operation in 2024.
Three major US synthetic biology companies - Antheia, Genomatica and Ginkgo Bioworks – have launched the Synthetic Biology (SynBio) Coalition. Its stated aim is to promote investment in and support for the industry in the US, in partnership with the federal government.
“The coalition believes that continued investment in synthetic biology, research infrastructure and manufacturing capacity is critical to realising the full potential of this industry and maintaining American global leadership,” the firms stated.