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The bioeconomy: a growing source of innovations for the environment

Genopole is an important element of the bioeconomy in France. Thriving on progress in knowledge and technologies and addressing the imperative for industrial transformation, the bioeconomy sector is growing at Genopole, where it increasingly generates research projects and business creations in a nurturing environment of effective accompaniment and pertinent shared-use technologies (fermentors, mass spectrometry, and much more). Genopole's commitment to the sector was visible in 2022 via its active involvement in a number of bioeconomy events.

Sponsoring of Bioket

In March, Genopole became a sponsoring partner of Bioket, France's main bioeconomy event organized in 2022 by Bioeconomy For Change in Lille. Genopole Research & Platforms Director Christophe Lanneau spoke there on the theme of "Digital Biofoundries, a game-changer for the Industry." He evoked the campus's biofoundry project, this latter positioned to respond to preindustrialization questions and integrated in the future regional biofoundry network within Île-de-France's DIM (domain of major interest) BioConvergence program.

Front and center at the iGEM competition

Genopole mobilized strongly for the yearly international synthetic biology competition iGEM, born in 2005 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, USA) and held in 2022 in Paris for the first time. At its 90m² pavilion shared with the University of Évry-Paris Saclay and the Grand Paris Sud Urban Area, Genopole highlighted its contributions to the emergence of synthetic biology, including the first-ever higher-education training program for the field, the biocluster's numerous academic teams and companies in it, and Genopole's now decade-long support for Évry's iGEM teams, the 2022 version of which presented a cancer biosensor project.

At the international food exhibition SIAL

Genopole participated in SIAL, the world's largest food innovation event, held in 2022 in October at the exhibition center Paris Nord Villepinte. There, Genopole promoted its commitment to a future of more environmentally sound nutrition. Choose Paris Region organized several roundtables at which Abolis CEO Cyrille Pauthenier, Genopole Enterprises Director Olivier Tomat and Genopole Prospection & Partnerships Director Laurent Pépin emphasized the domiciliation and growth opportunities offered by the biocluster to food biotechs, and announced its Foodtech Lab project, a prototyping space for the development of alternative proteins at Genopole.


"The 21st century's industrial revolution will be born of green chemistry biotechnologies. We support the development of the bioeconomy and industrial biotechnologies because they drive the innovations that will enable more localized manufacturing methods consuming less fossil fuels and lowering environmental impacts." GILLES TRYSTRAM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF GENOPOLE

A constellation of planktonic life revealed


In a pioneering study, Genoscope used its massively parallel DNA sequencing capacities and bioinformatics tools to reconstitute the nearly complete genomes of 700 planktonic eukaryotes contained in samples of marine water gathered from across the globe. That work represents a tour de force for the large and complex genomes of these species, furthermore impossible to isolate and cultivate in the laboratory. Planktonic eukaryotes contribute largely to the movement of matter, energy and oxygen in the oceans, and thus to the equilibrium of the planet.

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Vie planctonique révélé

Galaxy-SynBioCAD : accelerating green chemistry

Presented on 27 October at the International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (IWBDA), the informatics platform Galaxy-SynBioCAD is an unprecedented toolshed for the in-silico construction of metabolic pathways in microorganisms. It covers all steps, from conception through to scripts to pilot genetic assembly and production robots.

It seeks to extend the range of compounds produced by biological pathways instead of by chemical synthesis. Created by Genoscope's Genomics Metabolics Unit and the Micalis Institute, the open-source web portal is available to the synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology communities.

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A Genoscope researcher provides expertise at OPECST

On 17 February, Teaching Professor Pierre-Loïc Saaidi of the Genomics Metabolics Unit presented his team's research on chlordecone pollution in the West Indies to OPECST, the French parliamentary office for the evaluation of scientific and technological choices. That team's ten years of work supplied the first laboratory demonstration of the possible bacteria-based degradation of chlordecone, a now-forbidden pesticide thereto considered non-biodegradable. After that demonstration, the team showed the phenomenon in natural conditions by discovering the same degradation products in Martinican soils. This research has changed the paradigm on the soil pollution in the West Indies resulting from the massive use of chlordecone in the past and created new perspectives for remediation.

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Un chercheur de Genoscope intervient à l’OPECST en tant qu’expert

When genomics tells the story of the donkey

Genoscope was part of an international genomics study, published in Science, on the history of the domestication of the donkey, very different from that of the horse. Indeed, donkeys were domesticated about 7,000 years ago in a single region of the Horn of Africa and shown their worth in agricultural tasks and transportation in rugged, arid areas. Via their role in human society and breeding practices, donkeys have since differentiated into regional subpopulations with distinct traits. A better understanding of the genetic basis of its resilience in rough desert environments will prove useful for breeding practices in the era of environmental change.

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Ÿnsect and Genoscope: innovators in insect farming selection

Ÿnsect, the world leader in mealworm production and transformation, and Genoscope, a national sequencing center, have merged their competencies for a disruptive objective: the genomic selection of farmed insects. Called Ÿnfabre, the program for the selection of Tenebrio molitor beetles is unprecedented. Ÿnsect will pilot this project aimed at selecting reproduction insect lines for the large-scale production of mealworms (the larval form of Tenebrio molitor), which are a source of proteins and other nutriments (oils, vitamins, etc.). Furthermore, the company is currently building the largest-ever insect farm for animal nutrition today and human nutrition tomorrow.

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Standing Ovation raises €12 million for its vegan cheese

Standing Ovation gathered €12 million in series A funding for the development of the company's cheese substitutes, the fabrication of which involves non-animal caseins (a milk protein) obtained via microbial precision fermentation. The group Bel has taken a stake in Standing Ovation's capital to accelerate the development of its alternative proteins and ultimately the production of novel food products marrying nutritional quality and responsibility.

Standing Ovation

Anova-Plus teams with Corteva for integrated farming

Anova-Plus, one of Genopole's first companies, has partnered with the international company Corteva. With the goal of empowering the agroecology transition, Anova-Plus's genomics diagnostic kits for plant diseases and parasites (in grapes, potatoes, wheat, olives, corn) will be integrated and commercialized within Corteva's Plant Health Products portfolio. By genetically identifying "plant enemies," Anova-Plus enables the targeting of treatments and by extension guides the choice of plants.

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Abolis, wins national INPI trophy

The biocluster company Abolis was selected by the INPI Trophies' jury for its "Responsible Innovation" prize. Across five categories (export, industry, responsible innovation, partnership research and start-up), the INPI (national institute for intellectual property) Trophies recognize five innovative French companies who stand out for their industrial property strategies, a vital aspect for business valorization and growth.

Intellectual property at the heart of the company

Abolis thus finds itself on the top of the INPI Trophies' podium in its category thanks to its proactive and coherent intellectual property policy. The Genopole company has developed a platform to create "custom-tailored" microorganisms able to sustainably produce compounds of industrial interest via fermentation. Cyrille Pauthenier founded Abolis at the age of 26 and won the Technological Potential Prize in the 2013 edition of the Genopole Young Biotech Award. Since then, his company has grown significantly and now employs more than 50 people. Abolis works with several major names in cosmetics, pharmacy and nutrition, all on the lookout for biosourced products.


Abolis serves its clients from the study of the project to the start of the industrialization phase. It respects best practices in computer and data security and places intellectual property at the center of its activities.

"The INPI Trophy recognizes how we practice industrial property every day. For us, it is primordial to exercise our intellectual property strategy in concert with our scientific breakthroughs: patents, markings and confidentiality are present at the very conception of our solutions!" VALÉRIE BRUNEL, GENERAL MANAGER OF ABOLIS BIOTECHNOLOGIES
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Europe selects Synovance for its biomanufactured colorants

Synovance has joined Altar and Glowee as a laureate for funding by the European Innovation Council's EIC Accelerator program. Its sustainable colorants, produced via genetically modified bacteria, represent a solution for textile manufacturers committed to reducing their environmental impact. Notably, jean makers have shown interest in Synovance's bio-indigo. The EIC Accelerator grant will enable the commercialization of its first products in 2023 and capital support will contribute to industrial upscaling.


Global Bioenergies synthesizes an additional compound for greener industry

Global Bioenergies has developed a biosourced process for the production of a compound of industrial interest: prenic acid. This latter is a five-carbon intermediary in the synthesis of isobutylene, a historically petroleum-based compound that Global Bioenergies biomanufactures for the cosmetics, biofuels, fine chemicals and other industries.

The new process for the biological production of prenic acid represents new opportunities for portfolio products, "perhaps aromas, perfumes, glues, paints; prenic acid plays a part in numerous compounds that, today, are derived from petroleum," explains Global Bioenergies CEO Marc Delcourt.

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Global Bioenergies

Altar joins the American group Ginkgo

Altar has taken on a new dimension by joining the American group Ginkgo Bioworks, the world leader in cell programming. Altar will pursue its growth at Genopole while furnishing Ginkgo with its propriety technology for the uninterrupted, algorithmic culturing of microbial suspensions to accelerate the development of microorganisms able to respond to bioindustrial needs.

Altar rejoint le groupe américain Ginkgo