ADM expands microbial science, technology innovation capabilities

Partnership will help build on ADM’s world-class R&D capabilities and broad portfolio.

ADM, a global leader in nutrition and agricultural origination and processing, recently announced that it is making a leading equity investment in Acies Bio, a Slovenia-based biotechnology company specializing in R&D and manufacturing services for developing and scaling synthetic biology and precision fermentation technologies for food, agriculture and industrial applications.

This investment will help ADM more quickly advance projects in the field of precision microbial fermentation by leveraging Acies Bio’s extensive microbial capabilities and contract manufacturing services.

“Microbial technology is unlocking disruptive opportunities in sustainable agriculture, sustainable materials and fuels, and alternative proteins,” said Ian Pinner, ADM chief strategy and innovation officer. “We’re propelling growth opportunities by working with innovators who appreciate our unique combination of expertise, capacity and access to feedstocks. Now, by investing to become a minority owner in Acies Bio, we’re opening up the door to new collaboration with an innovative, complementary business to meet the growing demand for products developed via microbial fermentation.”

Founded in 2006, Acies Bio develops innovative, proprietary microbial and synthetic biology-based platforms and technologies and also offers contract R&D services in microbial strain engineering and fermentation for customers in key growth segments, including sustainable agriculture, functional foods and bio-based industrial chemicals.

“Acies Bio’s core mission is to use the nearly unlimited power of microbial diversity to drive disruptive innovation and help create a more sustainable bio-based future,” said Enej Kuščer, Acies Bio's co-founder and director. “This strategic partnership with ADM will allow Acies Bio to expand and accelerate the development of our platform technologies, which aim to replace synthetic chemicals and the often carbon-intensive production currently used in food and agriculture with microbial, bio-based products.”

Štefan Fujs, Acies Bio's co-founder and director, said the investment from ADM will also allow Acies Bio to expand its infrastructure and increase the high-throughput capabilities of the SmartRoute platform, which will allow faster development of new technologies and products. “This will speed-up the internal pipeline and also help us deliver more quality services to our partners and collaborators.”

ADM’s investment in Acies Bio is being made through ADM Ventures, the company’s corporate venture capital arm. ADM Ventures invests in cutting-edge start-ups with disruptive technologies across three key areas: human nutrition, animal nutrition and sustainability. ADM Ventures also seeks startups that utilize ADM’s assets and feedstocks to produce sustainable materials, in addition to technologies that enhance the effectiveness or efficiency of ADM’s operations.

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