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GlobalYeast NLO
case 29 Nov 2018

#YoungTalent: Where are they now? GlobalYeast

Start-up businesses are often uninhibited and optimistic, receptive to new ideas and not afraid to strike out in new directions. But businesses in this phase of development are also vulnerable. Therefore, NLO is proud to play its part in helping to protect the innovative ideas that young talented people come up with. We asked Young Talent Marcelo do Amaral from GlobalYeast, reported on in a previous edition of Fortify, how the company is doing now.

Interview with Marcelo do Amaral from GlobalYeast

This start-up company from Louvain, Belgium, knows almost everything there is to know about yeast. And, more specifically, they know exactly how you modify the genetic code of industrial yeasts to optimise performance in various industrial conditions. This knowledge is essential for producing second as well as first generation fuel bioethanol profitably.

“Our yeast strains are the quickest at converting hard-to-digest sugars in the inedible parts of maize and sugarcane into ethanol. That could have meant a break-through in the second-generation bioethanol market. But that market didn’t develop the way everyone was envisaging, either in Brazil or the US, which are by far the largest markets for bioethanol. So we then had to switch our focus to other markets. And we certainly managed to do that! For example, we’re the first company in Brazil to have advanced yeast strains evaluated as safe under that country’s new, very strict biosafety regulations. Our advanced yeast strains mean we can also improve traditional bioethanol production. On top of that, we’re marketing our knowledge of yeast and industrial fermentation processes through Biocal, a digital platform we’ve developed to improve fermentation solutions for our customers. By monitoring customers’ operations more or less continuously, and then collecting and analysing the data, we gain a really in-depth understanding of industrial processes. We’ve also developed an algorithm that uses this data to automatically generate instructions for stabilising and optimising fermentation processes. And customers in both the US and Brazil are already putting these solutions into practice. Thanks to all the data we’ve collected we’ve also been able to identify some promising new ideas for yeast research. As a result, we’re really optimistic about the future. And so, too, are our investors. We also recently appointed a new R&D Director and moved to a new lab that has been equipped entirely to our specifications.”

Read the original interview from 2017 with GlobalYeast