Genomatica Wins EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

SAN DIEGO, June 20, 2011

Tonight, Genomatica will be awarded the top honor in green chemistry, the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.  The award, created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognizes technologies that have broad application while incorporating the principles of green chemistry. The award validates Genomatica’s impact on producing major industrial chemicals – those made and sold in billions of pounds per year—with better economics and a smaller environmental footprint, using biological organisms and renewable feedstocks.

“This award is further evidence signaling the beginning of a chemical industry transformation,” said Jeffrey Plotkin, vice president at Nexant, a leading industry consulting firm. “Genomatica’s constellation of meaningful partnerships, their demonstration-scale production and a rich pipeline of major chemicals places them among technology leaders developing monomers and intermediates from renewable resources for the chemical industry.”

Wide impact and commercial progress break into broader category

The judges broke with tradition and “promoted” Genomatica into the “Greener Synthetic Pathways” category, rather than for consideration as a “small business.” Last year’s winning entry was a technology jointly developed by BASF and Dow, which together had total corporate revenue over $100 billion dollars in 2010. Previous winners in this category have included Eastman Chemical Company, Merck, Archer Daniels Midland and Monsanto. DuPont, Bayer and Procter & Gamble have also been honored with the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in recent years.
The EPA will give Genomatica an award for “Production of High-Volume Chemicals from Renewable Feedstocks at Lower Cost.” The judges recognized the potential economic and environmental impact of Genomatica’s technology across many large, existing chemical markets. By producing the exact same chemicals made today from fossil fuels, but from renewable feedstocks, Genomatica’s technology has the potential for broad industry impact.
The award recognized both the breadth of Genomatica’s potential industry impact and the tangible commercialization milestones for its first product, Bio-BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion dollar market worldwide. The milestones include partnerships with Mitsubishi Chemical CorporationTate & LyleGruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi, and Waste Management.  Genomatica also recently announced demonstration-scale production of Bio-BDO. 

Shown here: A close-up of Genomatica’s demonstration-scale production facility in Decatur, Ill.  

“We’re working to green intermediate and basic chemicals while delivering better economics.  We believe this will help transform the supply chain and make thousands of products more sustainable,” said Genomatica CEO Christophe Schilling.  “We’re honored and humbled to receive the same award as leaders like Dow, BASF and DuPont.”

Genomatica research in peer-reviewed science journal,awarded Department of Energy grant

Genomatica’s technology was recently featured in the peer-reviewed Nature Chemical Biology, reflecting a level of broad significance and meeting the high standards for publication in scientific journals from the Nature Publishing Group. The article describes the first time that BDO, a major industrial chemical that is made and sold in billions of pounds per year, has been made directly by a biological organism from renewable carbohydrate feedstocks.
Genomatica was recently awarded a Department of Energy grant, to improve the economics and efficiency of converting non-food biomass feedstocks into high-value chemicals. The research will enhance the commercial profitability of biorefineries by producing Bio-BDO from biomass. 

About Genomatica

Genomatica is a leader in sustainable chemicals: ‘greener’ intermediate and basic chemicals made from renewable feedstocks, rather than oil and gas. The company aims to transform the chemical industry by making the exact same high-volume products at the core of the trillion-dollar industry, but with better economics and a smaller environmental footprint.  Genomatica is a 2011 winner of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, was named one of ‘10 Big Green Ideas’ by Newsweek, and has been featured on
Genomatica is in demonstration-scale production of its first product, Bio-BDO, through a strategic partnership with Tate & Lyle. BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion market worldwide, is used to make spandex, automotive plastics, running shoes and more. The company is planning significant commercial production in late 2012, with world-scale plants in the U.S., Europe and Asia starting in 2014.

Genomatica’s integrated bio-process engineering platform and extensive intellectual property allow it to rapidly develop organisms and processes to produce dozens of the highest-volume intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable feedstocks, like sugars, and later, from biomass and syngas.
Genomatica has raised $84 million from investors including Alloy Ventures, Bright Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mohr Davidow Ventures, TPG Biotech, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Waste Management. Genomatica has announced agreements with Tate & Lyle, Mitsubishi Chemical, Gruppo M&G and Waste Management. 

Back to news & events