Friday, April 8, 2016

08/04/2016: Great ambitions behind new local biotech production

The biotech company Unibio, which won the Danish Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition in 2015, is to construct new production facilities in Kalundborg, Denmark. 
The facilities - which are to produce sustainable protein for animal feed - will be built in connection with Kalundborg’s former water purifying plant. The mayor of Kalundborg, Martin Damm (V), will participate in the ground-breaking ceremony on 12 April.

Securing access to healthy and affordable food for the fast-growing global population is one of the largest challenges of the future. This has made Unibio stake a lot to develop a technology that can mass produce bacterial protein – in a green and sustainable way.

Industrial production of protein using methane as the main feedstock, a greenhouse gas with a far stronger global warming potential than CO2, enables a total decoupling of protein production from farming. The technology has a huge potential as protein is used in large quantities in meat production etc. Conventional protein production also adversely impacts the environment, e.g. in terms of deforestation and the use of pesticides.

The new production facilities will be built in cooperation with Cowi and CKJ Steel, among others, and construction is expected to be finished by end-2016.

Unibio CEO Henrik Busch-Larsen
According to Unibio CEO Henrik Busch-Larsen, the company has been busy: “UniBio has been through a very exciting period. Last year we received, together with our research partners, a USD 2.2m grant from Innovation Fund Denmark for continued research. We raised a significant amount of capital, and we inaugurated a fermentation centre at the Technical University of Denmark, where we have developed our unique fermentation production technology, the U-Loop technology. We currently negotiate with several international cooperation partners, and we are in dialogue with a number of very potential investors.”

Henrik Busch-Larsen states that Unibio’s technology has great global perspectives, and that achieving the aim of becoming an established Danish top 100 company requires a large amount of capital. A major capital round is already being planned, and Unibio makes no attempt to hide that the company aims for a future IPO. Henrik Busch-Larsen goes on to tell that the entire production from the future production facilities in Kalundborg has already been sold to a Danish animal feed producer.

“We see the construction of a plant in Denmark as the final step towards the global roll-out of the technology, and we expect a lot from this project. We have potential clients on hand from several regions of the world, and their eyes are right now focused on Kalundborg in Denmark”, Henrik Busch-Larsen concludes.

Visit the Unibio site HERE.

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