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Toulouse White Biotechnology

Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB) is a French pre-industrial demonstrator hosted by INRA (Institut National de Recherche Agronomique) that serves as a national and European focal point for industrial biotechnology, notably by increasing collaboration between industrial companies and academic laboratories. TWB lays on a joint public-private consortium that brings together 9 public bodies, 37 industries (including 10 International companies), 7 investors & tech transfer companies (2017, January 1st). 

TWB’s objective is to accelerate development and optimization of new bio-processes by providing scientific and technical assistance to industries and promoting market pull research. TWB facilitates access of its academic partners to main stakeholders in biotechnology including industrial players involved in relevant sectors (Biomass, Energy, Biomaterial, fine chemistry, cosmetics…).

The TWB consortium is an active component within the management structure of TWB, paying entry fees which are recycled into an annual precompetitive high-risk research program (23 projects funded since 2012, €7.9M) supervised by the demonstrator. TWB provides scientific as well as industrial networking, scientific monitoring, information on local, national and international calls and funding programs as well as specific services like ethic and environmental impact assessment.

TWB covers a wide range of skills, from biological engineering (enzymatic and metabolic engineering, synthetic biology) to the development of processes at the pre-industrial pilot scale. TWB relies on 3 cutting edge technical support platforms:

-       Microbial strain engineering: Consisting of a robot fleet and high throughput equipment to automate a number of key steps, the platform is dedicated to projects involving genetic & metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology.

-       Biotransformation and culture process: With a set of bioreactors from 50mL to 300L, this platform is designed to analyze and optimize the conversion of carbon-based raw materials using enzymatic and microbial processes (pure strains or consortia).

-       Analytics: The analytical platform is used to perform most routine tests, to ensure separation and characterization of different biomolecules, and offers access to special advanced techniques (mass-spectrometry, NMR) through collaborations.

TWB also relies on bioinformatics, ethics and environmental platforms.

TWB matches perfectly the aim of the SUPERBIO project as it has experience in public/private collaborations, idea validation through running funding programs, industrial networking, aggregation and formalization of industrial expectations, value chain consolidation and ability to bringing tools to unite various stakeholder around common socio-economics goals. Its main tasks in SuperBIO as cluster organization are related to communication/dissemination and organization of workshops, idea validation and value chain development and administrative tasks related to this. It also includes monitoring of the project. As Service Provider in SuperBIO, TWB proposes 3 innovative services, delivered as “Proof of concept” (TRL3):

  • Strain engineering
  • Phenotypic screening
  • High throughput culture condition optimization

Contact

Dr. Marie Tranier – marie.tranier@inra.fr – Tel.: +33(0)5 61 28 57 18