“Mars is for Quitters” —Sara Ledterman
Joining Forces with Harvard University’s Wyss Institute to Create Better Materials for Earth.
The goal of this alliance is to invent and commercialize the next great, worldchanging material – one that’s as cheap, versatile, and high-performance as the last worldchanging discovery, plastic, but without the negative side effects. By leveraging synthetic biology, we plan to fuel sustainable options that surpass even Goretex in their efficacy and commercial success.
Developing new materials that are both better for our planet and better for consumers presents a massive economic and ecological opportunity. Yet, despite the incredible potential, there’s been surprisingly little change in materials over the past several decades. Plastic, metal, wood, glass, and synthetic fibers comprise nearly everything we consume.
The reason? Fossil fuels. All of these materials rely on hydrocarbons for production and processing, which make them terrible for the environment, but also more accessible, cost effective, and difficult to replace.
While the field is still emerging, there are a few notable companies that have been at the forefront of commercializing sustainable materials using synthetic biology:
Ginkgo Bioworks: Ginkgo Bioworks designs and manufactures a variety of products, including flavors, fragrances, and materials.
Solugen: Solugen produces sustainable chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide and solvents, from plant-based sources. The company’s technology platform uses enzymes and renewable feedstocks to create products that are more sustainable and cost-effective than their traditional petroleum-based counterparts.
Zymergen: Zymergen (acquired by Ginkgo) designs and manufactures novel materials, such as adhesives, coatings, and films, that are more sustainable and high-performing than their traditional counterparts.
These companies serve as a preview of the types of opportunities we anticipate emerging in the next decade and beyond. Synthetic biology is a rapidly emerging field that combines biology, engineering, and computer science to design and construct new biological systems. By harnessing the power of living organisms, synthetic biology has the potential to revolutionize the way we produce materials, food, and energy.
That’s why we’re teaming up with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Established in 2009, the Wyss Institute is a world class R&D center focused on ground-breaking technologies that emulate nature. Together, we’re excited to announce the launch of the Laboratory for Sustainable Materials Research and Innovation to create new intellectual property (IP) and bring novel sustainable materials to the market. Our joint efforts will explore the development of biomimetic materials that replicate the properties of natural substances, as well as bio-based materials derived from renewable resources.
These materials hold the promise of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and minimizing waste in production processes. Additionally, these innovations have the potential to create entirely new markets and disrupt existing ones, offering attractive financial returns for investors.
The Wyss Institute is the perfect home for such an ambitious new lab. The Wyss Institute at Harvard University is a world leader in the field of biologically inspired engineering. By emulating nature’s design principles, the Institute develops innovative solutions for a variety of industries, including healthcare, energy, and manufacturing. With its multidisciplinary approach and state-of-the-art facilities, the Wyss Institute is uniquely positioned to contribute its synthetic biology expertise to the partnership.
The consumer product goods (CPG) and heavy industries sectors are both major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions and resource depletion. By investing in and commercializing sustainable materials, our partnership with the Wyss Institute aims to drive a paradigm shift in these industries.
We can’t wait to update you on all the exciting technologies that will emerge from this pioneering alliance. Together, we believe Collab and the Wyss Institute will drive a new wave of materials innovation while establishing an exciting new model that accelerates the journey from scientific discovery to market realization by uniting academia and venture capital. This alliance aims to invest in and develop cutting-edge sustainable materials using synthetic biology, with the ultimate goal of generating outstanding financial returns and creating a far-reaching positive environmental impact in consumer product goods and heavy industries.
If you’re a visionary researcher, scientist, or entrepreneur pursuing innovative ideas in the realm of biomaterials, please reach out. We’d love to hear from you and explore opportunities to collaborate towards a sustainable future.
– Sophie and Craig
(P.S. We are excited about space and its potential, but are devoting our time and energy on solving problems for Earth)