BeStart startup EV Biotech has achieved a major breakthrough in the development of a CO2-neutral method to produce vanilla. ‘We have acquired a very important component that is needed to shorten the route of vanilla production in micro-organisms,’ says CEO Linda Dijkshoorn. ‘That was a lot of Research & Development work!’
Genetic modification based on computer models
Due to the growing market demand, most of the world’s vanilla is now made from petroleum. A polluting production process, which makes EV Biotech redundant when their CO2-neutral bacteria sees the light of day. ‘Our way of working is revolutionary, because we carry out genetic modification based on computer models,’ dijkshoorn explains. ‘We first calculate in our computer model which adaptations are needed in the bacterium to produce vanilla and then we adjust the bacteria accordingly. We can tailor chemical production exactly to the customer’s wishes.’
This breakthrough means that one of the company’s biggest technical challenges in the vanilla production process has been tackled. “The puzzle is not yet completely solved, but a big step has been taken and we now have even more confidence about how intensely capable, hard-working and inventive the EV Biotech team is. This is further proof of the power of our system’, says Linda Dijkshoorn.
Cleantech startup accelerator
EV Biotech will participate in the program of startup accelerator BeStart in 2019-2020. BeStart helps cleantech startups in the North of the Netherlands to accelerate their success. With the help of one of the startup coaches, the ambitious company received a VIA grant from the Northern Netherlands Partnership in June 2019, which has ensured that the company can do and continue this research.
‘The big change’
Whether EV Biotech is going to get rich with the revolutionary microbiological method does not matter to them. ‘We are not doing this for the big bucks, we are doing this for the big change,’ concludes the CEO. “Just like former Google boss Eric Schmidt, I firmly believe in the infinite possibilities we now have by combining biology and computing power. This is our golden age and after cleaning up the vanilla production process, there is still a whole world open to us. Think of the possibilities for smells and tastes, pharmaceutical applications and the waste industry. We are not finished yet.’
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Publication Date: 11/11/2019 Source: BeStart