About Us

How we got here

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) established the Agile BioFoundry as a consortium of national laboratories. We operate as a distributed biofoundry in collaboration with industry and academia.

Today, the Agile BioFoundry comprises seven national laboratories.

Logos of seven national laboratories that make up the Agile BioFoundry: Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.

The development of bio-based fuels, materials and chemicals is crucial for creating a strong bioeconomy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories possess state-of-the-art capabilities that can build powerful infrastructure to create bio-based products.

A biofoundry engineers biological systems to perform certain functions and produce molecules at desired yields, efficiencies and costs.

Biofoundries are an essential component of the continued growth of the U.S. bioeconomy, helping organizations produce bio-based products affordably and at scale.

Our vision

On average, it takes 10 years to fully scale up a bioprocess. Our goal is to cut that time in half.

Our objective is to develop and deploy technologies that enable commercially relevant biomanufacturing of a wide range of bioproducts by both new and established industrial hosts.

We collaborate with industry and academia to accelerate innovation and adopt new biomanufacturing methods. We focus on developing industrially relevant host microbes — bacteria and fungi — for production of commodity chemicals and biofuels.

Our work supports BETO’s goals to decarbonize the transportation sector and other energy-intensive industries. Specifically, we are focused on: 

  • Optimizing routes to direct petrochemical replacements, performance-advantaged bioproducts, and CO2 utilization for chemicals 
  • Leveraging our Design-Build-Test-Learn infrastructure for research and development on sustainable aviation fuels   

The Agile BioFoundry is a public infrastructure investment that increases U.S. industrial competitiveness and creates new opportunities for private sector growth and jobs.

Our multi-disciplinary team brings together scientists, engineers, and technical staff.

Working together with industry

Graphic illustrating how Industry and Agile BioFoundry's platform overlap.

Our goal is to work with industry to identify and help remove barriers to adopting biomanufacturing technologies.

Our industry engagement and outreach team works to expand the number and diversity of our industry partnerships and track the impact of project technologies.

Feedback from our industry stakeholders supports decision-making and project-planning activities among the Agile BioFoundry and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office. We accomplish this via:

  • Industry needs assessments
  • Marketing and outreach
  • Meetings and workshops
  • Continuous dialogue with our Industry Advisory Board