France-based Danone and Michelin, the American start-up DMC Biotechnologies and Crédit Agricole Centre France have partnered to create a new advanced biotechnology platform, Biotech Open Platform.

The new platform will help advance the development of advanced fermentation processes, particularly precision fermentation, on a larger scale.

The collaborative initiative will use precision fermentation as a biotechnological approach to produce bio-based materials and ingredients.

With an initial investment exceeding €16m, the industrial and technological platform will be situated in Clermont-Ferrand within the Parc Cataroux Center for Sustainable Materials, an innovation hub supported by Michelin.

The Biotech Open Platform garners support from various public and private entities, including the University of Clermont Auvergne, Greentech, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and Clermont Auvergne Métropole.

Danone CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said: “At Danone, we have always been focused on investing in the future of food, and this partnership is the next step in this journey.

“We look forward to working with our partners to develop cutting-edge fermentation technologies which will accelerate innovation, health benefits and decarbonisation in the food industry.”

Precision fermentation uses microorganisms like bacteria, yeast, or fungi, facilitates the production of proteins, enzymes, and other molecules crucial for industrial applications.

Additionally, the technology can support innovation in the agri-food and materials sectors, Danone said.

The Biotech Open Platform will expedite the advancement of precision fermentation by facilitating the scale-up of products and processes already proven in laboratory settings.

By 2025, the project aims to establish an initial demonstration-scale production line, incorporating fermenters and purification equipment.

Subsequent years will see the installation of additional equipment, including a secondary production line.

The expansion will enable the platform to serve the scale-up requirements of its founding members and gradually add other companies seeking to advance in the industrial biomanufacturing sector.

DMC CEO Kenny Erdoes said: “For us, as an American start-up, the development of the new Biotech Open Platform will enable us to accelerate the scale-up and commercialisation of new products leveraging our transformative fermentation technology.”