In a significant move towards revolutionizing the alternative dairy protein market, cell programming and biosecurity platform Ginkgo Bioworks has joined forces with Vivici BV, an innovative business-to-business (B2B) ingredients startup. This collaboration is set to usher in a new era of sustainable and nutritious protein production, leveraging Ginkgo Bioworks’ expertise in cell programming and biosecurity.
At the core of this partnership is Vivici’s mission to meet the growing global demand for sustainable, nutritious and delicious proteins. Vivici, established by DSM Venturing (now part of dsm-firmenich) and Fonterra, employs precision fermentation to produce animal-free dairy proteins.
This groundbreaking technique uses microorganisms to replicate dairy proteins, bypassing the need for traditional animal agriculture. This approach is not only a supplementary source of animal protein but is also a step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system.
Ginkgo Bioworks’ Role
Ginkgo Bioworks stands as a leader in cell programming, offering comprehensive services that address various challenges across multiple markets, including food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. Its biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is dedicated to building a global biosecurity infrastructure. This unit aims to empower governments, communities and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a broad spectrum of biological threats.
For this collaboration, Ginkgo Bioworks plans to elevate Vivici’s production capabilities by optimizing strains for dairy protein production through precision fermentation. Ginkgo’s strategy involves designing and constructing an integrated strain library, screening for the most efficient protein expression and cultivating the most promising strains. The ultimate goal is to transfer these high-performing strains to Vivici for further development and commercialization. This process ensures optimal protein expression and functionality at a commercial scale.
Ginkgo Bioworks has vast experience partnering with food tech firms. Just last month, QL AG, a Swiss food tech company, entered into a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks. This collaboration focused on developing dairy proteins through fermentation methods, highlighting the increasing trend in utilizing precision fermentation to overcome obstacles in conventional dairy protein production.
Leaders’ Perspectives on the Partnership
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Ginkgo,” said Stephan van Sint Fiet, CEO at Vivici, in a press release. “Ginkgo’s scale and AI-driven approach to designing strains for protein expression is a differentiated offering. We are confident in Ginkgo’s capabilities to provide efficient, scalable strains that can support Vivici’s speed to market.”
Kevin Madden, senior vice president of Commercialization at Ginkgo Bioworks, shared his enthusiasm about supporting Vivici’s vision. Madden emphasized Ginkgo’s commitment to helping Vivici meet the increasing demand for animal-free protein alternatives. He pointed out that Ginkgo’s expertise in dairy protein development, screening and fermentation scale-up would enable Vivici to expand its protein portfolio and introduce new, sustainable solutions to the market.
The partnership between Ginkgo Bioworks and Vivici BV represents a significant step forward in the alternative dairy protein market. By combining Vivici’s innovative approach with Ginkgo’s technological prowess, this collaboration is poised to create more sustainable, efficient and scalable solutions in the production of animal-free dairy proteins. It holds the promise of transforming the food industry and making a positive impact on the environment and public health.