Biotechnology leader Ginkgo Bioworks opens enormous new foundry

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

image of Bioworks2 courtesy of the company
image of Bioworks2 courtesy of the company

Related tags: Ginkgo bioworks, Dna, Biology

As September came to a close, Ginkgo opened a facility that changes the scale and scope of biotech ingredient and organism production exponentially. And, it’s at sites like this where tomorrow’s genetically engineered inputs for fragrance, cosmetics, and personal care will be made.

The new site automates many processes that Ginkgo Bioworks previously performed by hand. This speeds up innovation and production. “Writing DNA has become remarkably cheaper and more available in the past few years, and Ginkgo’s foundry model makes the process of designing with DNA scalable for the first time,” ​explains Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, in a press release about the new facility.

“This has massive implications with how we manufacture things and we can now bring biotech into many new markets,” ​he adds.

Number two

Ginkgo’s new foundry accommodates a new and highly efficient technique for designing and prototyping organisms. And, it’s a big step forward for the Boston, Massachusetts – based biotech company. “The opening of Bioworks2 is a huge milestone for Ginkgo, and for the organism engineering industry as a whole,” ​affirms Kelly.

The Bioworks2 foundry occupies 18,000 square feet and is equipped with robots that test numerous versions of any given organism simultaneously. The size and automated technology of the new facility increase the company’s capacity by 6 times.

Plans exist for even larger production capabilities. By 2018, Ginkgo Bioworks’ foundries will comprise over 80,000 square feet. “This scale will enable the company to continue to partner with Fortune 1000 companies on new biological products that are better for people and the planet, from flavors to fragrance to other bio-based materials,” ​according to the release.

Teamwork

Ginkgo Bioworks has been partnering with related companies to expand the reach of this technology. This year alone, the Ginkgo has teamed up with Gen9, Twist Bioscience, Amyris, and most recently Genomatica.

The collaborations with Gen9 and Twist Bioscience focus on DNA synthesis, while Amyris and Genomatica are working on fermentation and bioprocess design with Ginkgo.

Genomatica, a San Diego, California – based company, specializes in bioengineering for the chemical industry. “The potential of biology to impact our industry is substantial and rapidly evolving. Genomatica and Ginkgo now make it practical and feasible for existing and new industry participants to access, license, and deploy cost effective and innovative biotechnology,”​ says Carlos A. Cabrera, executive chairman of Genomatica in a media release announcing the new partnership.

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