top of page

Scaling Up Bio-Innovation: 21st.BIO’s New Pilot Plant Facility

Courtesy of 21st.BIO
Courtesy of 21st.BIO

21st.BIO, a Denmark-based leader in bioproduction services, recently unveiled a new pilot plant facility at its headquarters. This state-of-the-art facility is designed to bridge the gap between laboratory-scale fermentation and full-scale industrial production. By providing essential services ranging from strain construction to large-scale production upscaling, 21st.BIO aims to support companies worldwide in enhancing their bioproduction capabilities.

In the bioproduction industry, the step from lab-scale to large-scale manufacturing is fraught with challenges. "Upscaling mistakes cost a lot of money and time," states Thomas Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of 21st.BIO. A pilot facility plays a crucial role in mitigating these risks by allowing for the testing and optimization of processes on a smaller scale before full-scale implementation.

The pilot plant boasts over 3,000 liters of fermentation capacity and is equipped with advanced processing equipment tailored for 21st.BIO's specific needs. Thorvald Ullum, the Chief Technology Officer, explains that the facility is essentially a "mini factory," designed to mimic large-scale biomanufacturing environments but on a pilot scale. This setup not only helps in fine-tuning the production processes but also builds confidence and skills among customers, preparing them for eventual large-scale production.

The facility focuses on the production of recombinant proteins and peptides, serving industries like nutrition, food and beverages, agriculture, biomaterials, and biopharma. Its strategic location within the same building as the company’s strain development laboratories facilitates seamless collaboration between 21st.BIO and its customers on enhancing production strains and fermentation processes.

The Role of the Pilot Plant in the Global Biomanufacturing Landscape

Denmark, recognized as a hub for bioproduction with companies like Novo Nordisk and Novonesis, is at the forefront of the biomanufacturing sector. A McKinsey report suggests that up to 60% of the global economy’s input could eventually be produced biologically. The pilot facility by 21st.BIO is a significant step in supporting this shift, enabling companies to localize high-quality biomanufacturing in response to climate change and geopolitical uncertainties.

The importance of Europe’s role in global biomanufacturing was highlighted during the facility’s opening, which featured an exclusive roundtable with C-level leaders from various sectors. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, emphasized the potential of the biotech sector to address sustainability and global food chain stability. She noted the challenges of transferring scientific innovation to the market, which include funding shortages, lengthy regulatory processes, and talent scarcity.

Future Directions and Ambitions

21st.BIO is committed to lowering the cost of bioproducts through its pilot facility, aligning with the industry’s push towards mega-scale factories and mass market demand. The company supports the journey from lab to large-scale manufacturing and plays a crucial role in the broader initiative to establish large-scale protein facilities worldwide. This effort is vital for maintaining the competitiveness and sustainability of the global biomanufacturing sector.

The new pilot plant facility by 21st.BIO is more than just an infrastructure development; it is a strategic asset in the global race for sustainable and efficient biomanufacturing solutions. By providing a critical step-up from lab-scale to industrial-scale production, the facility not only supports bio-innovators in refining their processes but also contributes significantly to the industry’s ability to meet growing demands sustainably and cost-effectively.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page