Biotech fragrance maker Ginkgo Bioworks teams with Transcriptic Robotics

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Biotech fragrance maker Ginkgo Bioworks teams with Transcriptic Robotics

Related tags Ginkgo bioworks Automation Biology

Today the companies announced a deal that will put advanced automation software to work in a new way at Gingko’s synthetic biology foundry and, in doing so, significantly scale its output capacity by 2022.

The partnership is a step into the future for both Ginkgo Bioworks and Transcriptic Robotics. In what is an unprecedented licensing agreement for Transcriptic, engineers from the robotics firm will work on site with Ginkgo pros to design and refine automation software.

Detailing the value of this latest partnership Barry Canton, co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, says in a media release, “Transcriptic's ability to translate organism designers' vision into reality via lab automation is unparalleled, and brings an unprecedented scale to our organism foundry.”


Transcriptic has been in business for some five years and made a splash in the tech world when in late 2012 the company brought in over $1m in seed round funding from the likes of Google Ventures, platforms like AngelList and SecondMarket, and private investors including Mark Cuban.

The company has been steadily advancing its tech offerings to the lab community ever since. “Transcriptic shares our vision of leveraging the power of technology to transform lab experiments for more efficiency and scale,” ​explains Canton. “Automating the right processes allows our team to spend more time on what they do best: thoughtful design, analysis and delivery, so that together we can meet the continued demand from industries rethinking manufacturing with biology.”

The partnership is projected to double the output at Ginkgo as well as to “increase scale of its synthetic biology innovation,” ​according to the media release.


Gingkgo Biotech use organisms like yeast to generate ingredients and specialty chemicals for the flavor and fragrance industry as well as for the enzyme and agricultural industry. In May, thanks to a partnership with Robertet, the company announced that it’s now possible to use biotech to make fragrance ingredients on a commercial scale​.

And this latest deal with Transcriptic will only expand the production (and innovation) possibilities at Gingko. While many functions at Gingko’s labs are already automated, Transcriptic’s engineers will be working to make improvements and to automate even more processes.

“The Transcriptic platform automates laborious lab processes to make research faster, less expensive and increasingly scalable,”​ Yvonne Linney, CEO  of Transcriptic, explains. “We look forward to bringing our technology to Ginkgo—a company at the forefront of organism design—in a completely new way, and build the future of biotech together.”

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