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News - Launch of Toulouse White Biotechnology: a pre-industrial demonstrator to develop renewable carbon applications

With biotechnology, the bio-based economy will drive expansion of the global economy. The uses of biomass should increase wealth while reducing humankind's environmental footprint. White biotechnology takes advantage of high potential of microorganisms and enzymes in an extremely wide range of industrial applications, from chemistry to food, fibres and fuels. White biotechnology is consensually considered as essential for helping fossil energy-dependent economies to build sustainable biomass-based value chains and generate high-value products with respect to environmental constraints.

A centre of excellence for white biotechnology

TWB is an infrastructure project for demonstrating the technical maturity and socio-economic feasibility of industrial (or “white”) biotechnology products and processes. The concept of TWB is to gather and develop a critical mass of scientific excellence and state-of-the-art methodologies. It will cover from lab to preindustrial pilot scale, to accelerate the transfer of innovation to industry. TWB has to implement two types of collaborative research and development projects, jointly specified, designed and put into operation with industrial partners: (i) Pre-industrial R&D projects for creating tools and methods, (ii) Industrial R&D projects for developing new products and processes in confidential collaboration with companies, which will finance the projects and own the resulting intellectual property rights.
In line with the INRA’s research priorities for the decade 2010-2020, this project is a contribution to the economic competitiveness of France by focusing on biotechnology and the life sciences.

A public-private consortium

TWB is based on a close partnership between the Joint Research Unit on BioSystem and Chemical Engineering, INRA, CNRS INSA-Toulouse and INRA Transfert, the INRA subsidiary dedicated to technology transfer and project management, and the Institut catholique de Toulouse. The consortium also receives support from the University of Toulouse. 
The TWB consortium is composed of public research institutes involved in the project, local authorities, a large range of industrial companies (feedstock suppliers, technology providers, and end-product manufacturers), and early-stage investors. Two competitiveness clusters, Industry Agro Resources and Agrimip Innovation and the local authorities, will also be partners in the project.


Written by :  INRA press service, phone: +33 (0)1 42 75 91 69

Contacts :  

TWB Project coordinator 
BioSystems and Chemical Engineering – INRA – CNRS – INSA, Toulouse
+33 (0) 5 61 55 94 15

Media Contacts:

David Charamel +33 (0)5 61 28 52 32 presse@toulouse.inra.fr
Sophie Allard +33 (0)5 61 55 92 40 sophie.allard@insa-toulouse.fr



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