The Inscripta team is very proud to announce that we are part of a large network selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to establish a new institute fueling innovation in bioindustrial manufacturing. The network of more than 90 universities, research institutes, companies, and nonprofits will be led by the Engineering Biology Research Consortium and funded with a seven-year, $87.5 million DOD grant as well as non-federal matching funds worth more than $180 million.
This effort is part of a DOD mandate to sponsor innovative manufacturing models. The grant will allow us to create the Bioindustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem, or BioMADE, and to establish the Bioindustrial Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The network will be based at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.
If you’ve been reading the Inscripta blog, you already know that we are committed to building much more than an automated system for genome engineering. We aim to help build a bio-based economy that will lift up regions of our country and the world that were left behind by the tech revolution. As we see it, bioindustrial manufacturing — such as using engineered yeast strains to produce key therapeutic and industrial components for a more sustainable and reliable pipeline — will serve as the foundation for the nascent bioeconomy.
That’s why we’re so excited about contributing to the BioMADE project, which will establish key infrastructure to help drive scale up of efficient, cost-effective bio-based manufacturing processes. The initiative will also include a focus on education, workforce development, and relevant ethical, legal, and social implications.
In a statement announcing the news, BioMADE CEO Douglas Friedman said, “Bridging the gap between lab-scale research and at-scale manufacturing, BioMADE builds an on-ramp to accelerate commercialization of biotechnology inventions originating from American R&D in universities, start-ups, and National Labs. … We look forward to an inclusive and comprehensive ecosystem of institutions across the country, unified with the goal of advancing US biomanufacturing capabilities, creating products that are as high performing as they are environmentally sustainable.”
We couldn’t agree more!