What we do: Ginkgo Bioworks speeds up the process of genetically engineering and growing ingredients. We’ve built the first foundry for flexible industrialized organism engineering to develop a wide range of organisms for different markets. Integrating advanced software, robots and biology allow us to rapidly design, build, and test organisms until they meet our specifications.
Why it's a big deal: Ginkgo led an $8M DOE project to engineer microbes that utilize single-carbon molecules. This technology is being used to capture natural gas being flared in North Dakota, and it could eventually lead to microbes converting these single-carbon compounds into fuel.
Clearly, genetic engineering has immense potential to shape the future of this planet. Nature's biodiversity holds answers to challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Ginkgo engineers develop new organisms that replace technology with biology, leading to 50% reductions in production costs for their clients. With contracts already signed for $10M in annual royalties, it's no wonder Ginkgo was able to pull in $9M from Series A financing. Ginkgo is expanding the role of biology in our world, uniting the creative aspects of biology and technology.
Contracts signed for $10 million in annual royalties
By taking advantage of software-directed robots, the plan is to scale up the production of engineered organisms that could eventually be used to make anything from designer fragrances to cheap biofuels.
Ginkgo is part of a field called “synthetic biology” that holds immense promise — but also freaks people out. It involves writing genetic code and inserting it into simple organisms to change their function.
If microbes could be programmed as easily as software, the varieties of molecules used in foods, fragrances and other products would multiply–a vision that Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. aims to achieve after raising $9 million in Series A venture financing.
Gingko Bioworks sounds kind of like a mad science lab of the future. The Boston-based biotech company is currently working on a project with DARPA to treat antibiotic-resistant germs, using designer microbes to convert CO2 emissions into fuel and is somehow making yeast smell like roses.
July 16, 2014
Meet the Founders
Barry has a PhD from MIT in Biological Engineering. He studied mechanical engineering at University College Dublin.
An MIT Professor, Tom has worked in computer science research for 40+ years. He has founded several computer tech companies.
Reshma was a biochemistry researcher at University of Cambridge. She has a PhD. in biological engineering from MIT after getting her B.S in Comp. Sci.
Austin studied Psychology and Computer Science at Stanford. He has a PhD. in Computer Science and Synthetic Biology from MIT.
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