How we got here

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 (DOE) national laboratories possess state-of-the-art capabilities that can build powerful infrastructure to create bio-based products.

In 2016, we were established by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office as a consortium of national laboratories operating as a distributed biofoundry.

Biofoundries that can rapidly engineer biological systems to produce bio-based products affordably — and at scale — are an essential component in the continued growth of the U.S. bioeconomy.

Where we’re going

On average, it takes 10 years to fully scale up a bioprocess.

Our goal is to cut that time in half.

Specific outcomes include:

  • A tenfold improvement in Design-Build-Test-Learn biological engineering cycle efficiency
  • Development of new microbial host organisms — non-model organisms that can be used as industrial platforms for bioconversion
  • Market transformation through translating new intellectual property and manufacturing technologies to U.S. industry

Central to this effort is developing databases and machine learning methods that allow us to automatically design bioprocesses with predictable performance and scaling.

The Agile BioFoundry is developing industrially relevant host microbes — bacteria, fungi, and algae — for production of commodity chemicals and biofuels. Because our effort is focused on challenges in the industrial chemicals and fuels sector, we do not work with human or other mammalian cells or genomes.

We will establish a public infrastructure investment that increases U.S. industrial competitiveness and creates new opportunities for private sector growth and jobs.