August Newsletter from BioMADE

Letter from the CEO

In February 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains, citing that the U.S. needs “resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure our economic prosperity and national security.” Revitalizing and rebuilding domestic manufacturing capacity is a key part of this executive order — and a prime example of how BioMADE will make a difference for the U.S.

Bioindustrial manufacturing can be an integral part of America’s supply chain renaissance. BioMADE will catalyze investment in infrastructure so products can be created in the large quantities needed to make a difference, bring products and technologies to commercialization more quickly, and invest in new research and development to create innovative products using biology.

Specifically, BioMADE will help create a robust supply chain to scale up new technologies and avoid facing shortages of important products by:

  • Identifying and mitigating gaps or vulnerabilities in the manufacturing supply chain
  • Creating and sustaining a database of expertise on regulatory, economic modeling, and available pilot facilities
  • Building scale-up production processes specifically around domestic supply chains
  • Establishing domestic supply chains for materials that support both upstream R&D and downstream formulation

A prepared and trained workforce is critical to the success of an evolving supply chain. That’s why BioMADE partners with K-12 schools, community colleges, universities, and professional development organizations to provide world-leading innovation in education and workforce development programming for bioindustrial manufacturing and meet this growing need.

BioMADE is proud to help the U.S. become more self-sufficient and sophisticated in manufacturing, while also improving performance and sustainability. As a member of the Manufacturing USA Network, BioMADE and our members will revitalize manufacturing, ensure products are made in the U.S., and invest in innovation.

We’re excited to be contributing to this goal already, through our first open Project Call process, which generated dozens of white papers. We invited nearly thirty teams of members to submit full proposals, and we’re on track to allocate approximately $12 million to these important efforts. Thanks to BioMADE members for your submissions — we can’t wait to get started!

Doug

Member Spotlight: Superbrewed Food

BioMADE member Superbrewed Food is a first-of-its-kind alternative protein and postbiotics company, developing protein that’s nutritious, affordable, and allergen-free. This versatile protein can be used to create cheeses, milks, protein bars, ice cream, and more.

Superbrewed Food uses anaerobically fermented microbes to produce a whole food ingredient that contains 85% protein. These microbes — which are commonly found in the human gut — are grown as a protein source, rather than genetically engineered. Previously, these microbes were difficult to cultivate, but Superbrewed Food’s unique high-throughput selection techniques allows them to isolate and successfully grow these microbes.

“At Superbrewed Food, we are passionate about addressing major challenges in global material and food chain sustainability by using natural microorganisms,” said Bryan Tracy, CEO. “We also want to perpetuate a better system to lead to a more sustainable future and inspire the next generation.”

Interest in and demand for animal-free nutrition is surging, with U.S. retail sales surpassing $5 billion in 2020. But, alternative products can still struggle to balance nutrition, performance, and affordability. “That’s where we come in,” said Tracy. “Our product provides high-quality protein that is efficiently sourced and versatile. We believe that everyone deserves to have excellent nutrition without compromising on flavor, price, or sustainability. We hope that the industry continues to pursue and challenge innovation to provide better solutions and quality ingredients.”

Headquartered in Delaware, Superbrewed Food also has a plant in Minnesota, only about 100 miles from BioMADE’s headquarters in St. Paul. This facility is currently developing the production capability to incorporate their protein product into 500 million pizzas or 1 billion burgers per year.

“We are excited to join BioMADE for the opportunity to collaborate with other experts in the biotechnology industry in order to support innovation and extend R&D capabilities,” added Tracy. “Even though our company’s focus is on human health, animal health, and nutrition, we have extensive knowledge and experience in strain isolation, genetic engineering, anaerobic fermentation, process development, scale-up, and commercial deployment that could be beneficial for the BioMADE community.”

Education and Workforce Development Update: HI-TEC Conference

BioMADE was proud to sponsor the 2021 High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC). Building a highly skilled workforce that is prepared to fill jobs created by advances in bioindustrial manufacturing is a critical part of BioMADE’s mission.

Supported by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program, HI-TEC is an annual national conference focused on advanced technological education where secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills.

Charged with preparing America’s skilled technical workforce, the event focused on the preparation needed by the existing and future workforce to engage with companies in the high-tech sectors that drive our nation’s economy.

The virtual conference featured keynote speakers, 50+ sessions, and panels focused on a broad array of scientific disciplines including advanced manufacturing technologies, biotechnologies, engineering, micro and nanotechnologies, workforce diversity, and more. You can watch recordings of sessions here.

As the newest member of the Manufacturing USA Network, BioMADE’s investment in education and workforce development strategically leverages the federal portfolio of programs and partnerships to advance the bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem.

Federal Funding Opportunities for Small Business Innovation

Did you know that the federal government has a program to encourage small business innovations? The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs were created by Congress to provide federal funding for the research and development efforts of small businesses. The funding is non-dilutive and supports the stimulation of technological innovation and development of products with commercial merit.

Eligibility requirements include being for-profit, owning and operating in the U.S., having under 500 employees, and performing research and development. The programs’ three-phase process is similar to the Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRLs) used by BioMADE: concept development, prototype development, and commercialization.

Learn more about the SBIR/STTR programs, including differences between the two, objectives, work requirements, and more, here.