Equipment/Technology, North America, Sustainability, Trends

Bayer, Ginkgo Bioworks biologicals venture aims to reduce chemical fertilizer use by farmers

Joyn BioThe joint venture (JV) between Bayer Crop Science and Boston startup Ginkgo Bioworks has a name: Joyn BioBayer and Ginkgo, a startup genetically engineering microbes for the flavor, fragrance, and food industries with $429 million in funding, announced the partnership in September 2017. The partners, along with hedge fund Viking Global Investors, are collectively investing $100 million in the venture, making it the second largest deal from an ag biotechnology startup in 2017. The new company will manufacture microbial products using synthetic biology, to reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers that farmers need to apply to crops. CEO Mike Miille says that Bayer’s know-how combined with Ginkgo’s manufacturing capabilities will allow the company to produce biologicals at 50- to 100-times the strength of products currently available on the market. “We can create microbes that are going to have unprecedented levels of performance relative to the natural approach that folks have been going about for ten years.” More

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