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pioneering biotech facility ushers in a new era of industrial fermentation 508


Pioneering Biotech Facility Ushers in a New Era of Industrial Fermentation


Benjamin Hughes

May 6, 2024 - 07:46 am


Revolutionizing Bioindustrial Upscaling: The Launch of 21st.BIO's Pioneering Pilot Plant

Copenhagen, Denmark, and Davis, California - A game-changer in the bioindustrial landscape has just anchored itself in Denmark. 21st.BIO, a frontrunner in providing fermentation technology and support to bioindustrial companies, has made significant strides with the inauguration of its state-of-the-art pilot plant facility.

A Leap Towards Faster, Cost-Effective Bioproduction

21st.BIO's commitment to propelling its clients through the upscaling journey is evident from their exceptional fusion of top-tier, industrially-proven technology with large-scale fermentation capacity. This integration ensures that patrons can escalate operations in a way that is not only expeditious but also cuts down on risks and budget demands.

During an event graced by a multitude of figures from financial, political, and bioindustrial domains, Margrethe Vestager, the esteemed Executive Vice President of the European Commission, ceremoniously opened the facility, emphasizing the significance of the pilot plant in scaling up bioproduction.

The strategically situated new facility at the 21st.BIO headquarters in Denmark is focused on facilitating the transition from lab-scale fermentation to large-scale industrial production for companies across the globe.

The Critical Role of Pilot Facilities in Avoiding Costly Upscaling Errors

Thomas Schmidt, the visionary co-founder, and CEO of 21st.BIO shared, "In our industry, errors in upscaling can lead to hefty financial losses and significant delays." He further highlighted the paramount importance of getting the upscaling sequence right, insisting that the companies that manage to amplify productivity concurrently with scale are those that stand apart.

Offering more than just a step up from internal lab fermentation, 21st.BIO's pilot construction comes with a wealth of expertise, providing customers with necessary in-depth knowledge on optimal large-scale production parameters. Additionally, the pilot assists companies in choosing the right contract manufacturing organization (CMO) for their needs and in circumventing expensive setbacks.

A Miniature Industrial Marvel

"The pilot's objective was to reproduce a miniature version of a full-scale factory, tailored specifically to prime customers for substantial production ventures," elaborated Thorvald Ullum, Chief Technology Officer at 21st.BIO. By incorporating advanced processing equipment, some uniquely designed for 21st.BIO, the pilot plant not only offers a testbed but also imbues customers with the assurance and expertise required for future upscale production

The pilot plant, boasting over 3000 liters of fermentation capacity, provides a comprehensive suite of capabilities tailored to enhance specific customer processes. The facility is dedicated to optimizing the production of recombinant proteins and peptides with uses spanning nutrition, food and beverages, agriculture, biomaterials, and biopharma sectors.

Fostering Strong Collaboration for Biotech Breakthroughs

The unique design of 21st.BIO's pilot plant promotes an effective collaborative environment between the company's experts and customer teams, allowing for a hands-on approach to scaling up production. Located in close proximity to the company's strain development labs, the facility encourages collaborative advancements in both production strains and fermentation processes.

Welcoming Leaders and Innovators in Bioindustries

Leaders of established ingredient manufacturing firms and emerging startups alike are encouraged to leverage the offerings of the 21st.BIO pilot facility.

The Global Quest for Sustainable Biosolutions

Denmark's reputation as an origin of precision fermentation innovation is well acknowledged, thanks to pioneers like Novo Nordisk and Novonesis. A McKinsey analysis projects that biology could eventually influence up to 60% of the world's economic inputs. Consequently, nations are investing heavily in biomanufacturing technologies, intending to produce high-quality nutrients and biomaterials locally in an era marked by climatic concerns and geopolitical unpredictability.

As Europe strides ahead, it brings its technological prowess and expertise to global benefit, as per the discussions during 21st.BIO's opening event. A select roundtable was organized for discussions about the European Union's key role in scaling biomanufacturing, bringing together top-tier leaders from political, financial, and industrial sectors.

Margrethe Vestager, marking her presence at the event, emphasized the biotech sector's potential in tackling salient issues such as sustainability and global food security. She pointed out Europe's inherent strength in the realm of science but also the challenges it faces in transferring science to market owing to funding shortages, drawn-out regulatory procedures, and a limited talent pool. Vestager advocated for a collaborative input between policy formulators and industry stakeholders, utilizing the learned lessons to craft conducive policies.

The European Commission's Endorsement of Biotech and Biomanufacturing

A commitment to enhancing the biotechnology sector within the EU was demonstrated through the "Communication on Biotech and Biomanufacturing" released earlier by the European Commission. The plan includes streamlining regulatory frameworks, accelerating market entry, promoting fair treatment of bioproducts versus fossil-based counterparts, and encouraging increased investment in biotechnologies and biomanufacturing in the forthcoming years.

Vestager, during the press conference, said, "Europe cannot only be the birthplace for innovative solutions but should also nurture their growth and maturity within its own territories."

Setting the Stage for Next-Generation Protein Production Facilities

21st.BIO was established by visionaries who recognized that many bio innovations failed in translating to commercial reality due to prohibitive production expenses. The vision is clear: to pave the way for mainstream and globally relevant products by leveraging productive technology and expertise in the wake of immense market potential.

Boston Consulting Group's recent report pinpoints critical factors to reduce bioproduct costs: scalable production strains, mega-scale factories with capacities exceeding two million liters, and extensive market demand. These are the pillars of 21st.BIO's operational philosophy.

The inauguration of the pilot plant marked the continuation of the journey towards large-scale biomanufacturing, as industry, financial, and political leaders deliberated on starting construction of the first massive protein production facilities, highlighting the high-level manufacturing benefits to costs and efficiency.

Editor's Note: An Introduction to 21st.BIO

Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with extended research and development presence in Davis, California, 21st.BIO stands as a guiding force in the global transition towards eco-friendly production. Committed to helping bioindustrial organizations scale from innovative molecule creation to vast production scales, the company strives to address market demands and further the green movement globally.

21st.BIO takes pride in developing pioneering production technology for proteins and other vital molecules catered to the food, materials, and agricultural industries. It serves as an integrated partner, supporting clients from technical assessments to strain optimization, scaling production processes, tech transfers, and navigating regulatory frameworks.

The mission at 21st.BIO is resolute—to democratize industrial-scale precision fermentation technology for the masses. This ambition underpins the company's efforts in ensuring that innovations can transition seamlessly to the market while remaining economically competitive.

Leveraging Historic Expertise

21st.BIO's advanced fermentation technology has its roots in Novonesis' platforms, which have been refined over decades. As a global authority in enzymes and proteins for the nutrition, household care, and agriculture sectors, Novonesis flaunts a market valuation of around 6 billion USD.

Explore More About 21st.BIO and the Pilot Plant

For more comprehensive insights into 21st.BIO and the myriad of opportunities presented by their pilot plant, the following links are available for perusal:

To acquire images of the event or to arrange a special interview, please reach out to us.

Press Inquiry Contact Information:

Mathilde Pinon
Marketing & Business Development Manager
[email protected]

This report reaches you courtesy of Cision, your reliable source for news distribution. For further information, please visit, where additional data relating to 21st.BIO's new pilot plant launch and its global impact on biotech innovations can be found at:,c3973722.

Available for download is a press release in PDF format:

Press release (PDF)

21st.BIO stands at a juncture where it not only reflects the bold strides made in biotech innovation but pushes the envelope further in prodding sustainable, industrial-scale bioproduction. With the pilot plant's inauguration, biotech companies can look forward to a catalyst that not just tests but also tailors their path to market triumph in a mutually beneficial collaboration.

In the compelling narrative of 21st century biotech advancements, 21st.BIO's state-of-the-art pilot plant is set to be a significant chapter, facilitating a new era of bioindustrial upscaling and sustainability.