I received this press release in May but unfortunately I was not able to post it until now.
San Francisco, California-based Industrial Microbes announced that the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) of Alberta, Canada has selected the company as a Grand Challenge finalist for their proposal to develop new methods of converting two greenhouse gases into building-block chemicals.
The CCEMC Grand Challenge is an Alberta-based $35M grant program that funds important emerging technologies to capture and utilize carbon dioxide. As a Grand Challenge finalist, Industrial Microbes will receive $500K over the next two years to fund development of its fermentation technology to create products from CO2, and an opportunity to compete for $3M and $10M CCEMC grant awards in 2015 and 2017.
Using a biological fermentation process similar to brewing beer, Industrial Microbes is developing a method to manufacture malic acid from the combination of CO2 and natural gas. The process is expected to be cost-efficient and outperform traditional production methods, consuming CO2 where other methods create CO2.
Malate has many direct uses and can be used in the manufacture of materials such as biodegradable plastics, fiberglass, and fabrics.
Industrial Microbes has opened its first scientific labs in Emeryville, CA. The company was founded by Derek Greenfield, Elizabeth Clarke, and Noah Helman, who are veterans of the fields of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Working together at synthetic biology startup LS9 for more than 4 years, they were key contributors in advancing a strain development program to commercial yields and productivities.