“The year 2021 was very positive: we signed important industrial partnerships and contracts throughout the year while continuing to support the development of five start-ups hosted within our facilities. 2021 was also significant with our move to larger premises within the INSA campus. Last October we proudly welcomed Frédérique Vidal, the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, to whom we presented our work and ambitions.” said Olivier Rolland, Executive Director of TWB.
Strategic partnerships and contracts in the industry
In 2021 turnover reached €9.1m, of which €5.3m was new industrial contracts and €3.2m grants. These results are a notable increase on 2020, both in terms of contracts and grants, when TWB recorded a turnover of €7.3M, which included €2.9M in industrial contracts and €2.7M in grants. Amongst these new contracts are four large-scale projects in the fields of bio-production for health or cosmetics, which demonstrates the growing interest of industrial biotechnologies for these application sectors.
In 2021 TWB supported 66 projects in total, of which 46 were new; compared to 2020 with 61 projects, 30 of which were new. The nutraceutical laboratory Dynveo, which produces pure food supplements without excipients or additives, has embarked on a multi-year project with TWB. The aim is to achieve the production of bio-based food supplements on an industrial scale by 2026.
The TWB consortium also welcomed 6 new members, including 4 start-ups: Aviwell, BioEB, Dynveo and Lantana Bio; and 2 major groups: Clarins and Lesaffre.
Increased support for start-ups
The start-ups Aviwell and Lantana Bio have joined the facilities of TWB to accelerate their development by benefiting from the technological equipment, expertise and support of the on-site teams. Now up and running, the start-up, Micropep, has moved to new premises in Auzeville Tolosane to support its growth. This move illustrates the successful support of the TWB teams, who have monitored the progress of the start-up from its outset to the pre-industrial stage. In total, six start-ups were hosted by TWB in 2021: EnobraQ, Pili, iMEAN, BioC3, Aviwell, Lantana Bio.
TWB also collaborates with start-ups that develop original technologies, enabling it to extend its service offering. This is illustrated by its partnership with the start-ups:
- Altar, owner of a natural selection process for micro-organism strains;
- and iMEAN, which has a modelling programme capable of streamlining the engineering of strains in industrial biotechnologies.
Despite the pandemic, TWB was able to hold the 4th edition of its event, ‘TWB START-UP DAY’ in a digital format, which brought together 225 professionals from 15 countries. On this occasion, TWB rewarded two start-ups. Spanish start-up ZYMVOL, winner of the competition “Fast track it!”, obtained €50,000 in the form of services on the TWB technological platforms. The Swiss start-up Fluosphera won the competition "Go for it!" with as prize: 4 days of mentoring services provided by TWB and its ecosystem.
3 projects selected for the Grand Défi Biomédicaments
- BiopRNA: the objective is to optimise and robustly produce on a pre-industrial scale therapeutic RNA messengers from yeast. The project brings together five partners: CBM-CNRS (project leader), INSERM, TIBH, a SME and a pharmaceutical group.
- PHAEOmAbs: The ambition is to develop innovative approaches to increase the production yield of monoclonal antibodies in the microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The project brings together four partners: the University of Rouen Normandie (project leader), TIBH, IFREMER and CEA Cadarache.
- Magi@Line: in collaboration with the start-up MagIA Diagnostics, the project focuses on the development of a solution for real-time monitoring of bioprocesses, such as the production of therapeutic antibodies.
“Biotechnologies play a crucial role in the health sector. The accreditation of TWB, in collaboration with CRITT Bio-Industries and TBI, allows us to explore a new facet of their application: the development of low-cost alternative production processes. Thus, TWB will put its expertise at the service of the health industries and support innovative projects for the production of biomedicines (proteins, therapeutic antibodies, nucleic acids)" explains Olivier Rolland, Executive Director of TWB.
An expert in managing research and development projects (R&D), TWB* supports the industry to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the benefit of the planet and people.
TWB sets up and conducts R&D projects in collaboration with public laboratories and industrials, supports the development of start-ups by offering them accommodation on its premises in a state-of-the-art scientific and technological environment and encourages breakthrough innovation. By bringing together researchers, entrepreneurs, financiers, institutions and industry, TWB integrates and enhances all skills and expertise and creates synergies, while simplifying the contractual relationship. This unique model accelerates the innovation process necessary for the creation of an eco-responsible industry.
Since its launch in 2012 and boasting a consortium of 49 private and public members as of January 1 2022 (industrials, start-ups, investors, research organisations, etc.), TWB has contributed to the implementation of nearly 260 collaborative R&D projects, and to the growth of numerous start-ups that have raised a total of more than €250M.
* TWB is a Joint Service Unit, managed by INRAE, under the triple supervision of INRAE/INSA/CNRS.