Biométhodes, a French cleantech company located at Genopole (Evry) and specialized in bio-refinery processes for non-food biomass, is a winner of the Worldwide Innovation Challenge (Concours Mondial d’Innovation) in the category of “plant proteins and plant chemistry” for its optimized bio-refinery project.
The competition between the use of plant resources for worldwide food supply and for industrial use (food vs. fuel debate) is a major obstacle on the path towards a sustainable alternative for petrochemistry. Biométhodes’ ambitious project, honored by the Innovation 2030 Commission, tackles this problem by enabling the complete valorization of agricultural and forestry residues for use in bio-chemical and bio-technological applications. Biométhodes provides sustainable source material to the global bio-economy market which is valued at more than one trillion dollars.
Biométhodes’ bio-refinery allows for the same range of industrial applications as a petrochemical refinery, covering chemicals and fuel production. The fundamental strength of Biométhodes’ technology resides in its ability to completely valorize non-food biomass (straw, stems, wood, etc.) while fully preserving its chemical value, making it fit for a number of applications. Biométhodes’ bio-refinery can thus enable the switch of current biotechnology, bio-fuels and bio-chemistry from food-based resources to biomass not competing with human and animal food. Territories rich in agricultural and forestry production are particularly suitable for the industrial deployment of Biométhodes’ technology. It will allow farmers to generate significant additional revenues, offers a potential to reanimate industrial tools used in paper mills and in the production of bio-fuels and can help to revitalize chemical sites in decline.
“The impressive awardees of the Worldwide Innovation Challenge demonstrate how dynamic innovation and entrepreneurship are in France. We are very proud to be a part of that”, says Gilles Amsallem, CEO of Biométhodes. “We are convinced that our approach to bio-refinery can transform the industrial and agricultural landscape and we are sure that the support of the Innovation 2030 Commission will play an important role in fulfilling this ambition.”
After the success of its R&D efforts in France and the USA, Biométhodes is now preparing the deployment of its first industrial unit for the treatment of non-food biomass.
About the Worldwide Innovation Challenge
In an effort to confront the major challenges of the world of 2030, France has launched the Innovation 2030 Commission. The Commission has identified seven goals based on pressing social concerns (energy storage, recycling of metals, development of marine resources, plant proteins and plant chemistry, personalized medicine, the silver economy innovation in the service of longevity and big data) and launched the Worldwide Innovation Challenge.
The goal of the Worldwide Innovation Challenge is to foster talent and bring out future champions of the French economy. The Challenge will encourage the talents of today in order to create the collective wealth of tomorrow, whether these talents are in France or abroad. The French government thus hopes to attract the world's best talents.
As part of the Invest for the Future Programme, and with support from the Public Investment Bank, the French government will allocate €300 million to co-finance innovative projects that comply with the seven goals defined by the Commission.
Biométhodes (biomethodes.com) is one of only few companies in the world, and the only one in France, involved in the development of an exclusive technology to transform non-food biomass into basic material which is perfectly suitable for applications in plant chemistry and industrial biotechnology. With more than 15 years of experience in the engineering of enzymes, Biométhodes has been developing technologies to substitute hydrocarbon with plant based, renewable and non-food resources for seven years.
After having demonstrated the technology on a pilot-plant scale, Biométhodes now aims to consolidate its industrial model by consolidating the value chain both upstream (agro-industries, producers of biomass and forestry industries) and downstream (bio-technological and chemical industries) in order to facilitate the emergence of a sustainable industrial alternative to fossil fuels.
OptaFuel US, Inc., its US subsidiary is based in Norton (Virginia), where Biométhodes has built a pilot plant for which it received a financial support of 12.5 million dollars in 2010.
As of today, Biométhodes has 40 employees.
Biométhodes is located at Genopole.