From Concept to Commercial Operation

5 Lessons Learned on Controlling Fermentation Facility Capital Costs

Biotechnology funding is surging and contract fermentation options remain limited, so companies seeking to commercialize advanced biotechnologies are again evaluating options to build required production capacity.  I offer the lessons learned here

Lessons that Novel Proteins should learn from Biofuels

Can 60% of current meat consumption be replaced by novel vegan meat replacements and cultured meat in the next 20 years? That is what AT Kearney has recently projected, but the analysis does not outline a path for achieving the forecast. Is reaching the target possible?  Find out more here

Top Industrial Biotechnology Trends in the U.S. – The view from Europe

It is not just the U.S. heartland that is working to bring communities of once great manufacturing dominance back to life, the same is true in Eastern Germany.  Find out more about the view of U.S. Biotechnology from Europe here

How to Successfully Commercialize Novel Proteins

Key lessons learned in commercializing novel food proteins can be found here

Biotechnology Commercialization Roadmap

As the next wave of first-of-a-kind biorefineries ramps-up, the subject of project engineering once again comes to the forefront. A graphic at the end of this document is a concept to commercial operation roadmap and can be found here.

What A Microbe Would Say On Glassdoor

Ever wonder what a microbe post would on Glassdoor about their start-up company? Check it out here.

Scale-up From The Microbes Perspective

To get the most from the microbe during biotechnology scale-up, its needs have to be taken into account. It’s worth looking at scale-up from the perspective of the microbe for some valuable lessons here.

Bioprocess Capital Costs

Discussion of biotechnology capital costs is often a controversial topic, on par with discussing politics at the Thanksgiving dinner table; why the facilities are so expensive and a disbelief of the forecasted costs. Learn more about how capital costs are estimated here.

Bringing Innovative Foods to Market

Food is a rapidly changing landscape with many emerging technologies; meat without the cow, eggs without the chicken and sushi without the fish to name a few. The path to commercial success is complicated, but is outlined here.

Biotechnology Cost Drivers

As advanced biotechnology begins to ramp up process development efforts and deploy the next wave of first-of-a-kind biorefineries, the subject of accurately forecasting commercial facility cost drivers comes to the forefront. Lessons learn on operating costs can be found here.

Capital Light Scale-up, Utopia or Perfect Storm?

Capital light scale-up utilizes existing fermentation facilities, in lieu of purpose-built demonstration facilities, to bring advanced technologies to market faster and with less capital burn. It is a great plan if it can be executed, but risk comes in the form of limited options, making it far from a predictable pathway. Click here to learn more.

Contract Fermentation Landscape

With funding ramping up, many advanced biotechnology start-up ventures are looking to utilize contract fermentation facilities for scale-up support. This paper discusses the challenges and considerations of this approach. Click here to learn more.

Biotechnology Scale-Up Hacks

Not enough time or money to scale-up following the traditional rules of advanced biotechnology (10:1 scale-up factor, 1,000 hours of integrated pilot/demo operation, etc.)?  Welcome to the reality of the biotechnology start-up world.  Learn some risk-based approaches to streamlining scale-up efforts here.

Lessons Learned Presenting Biotechnology Scale-up during Fundraising

This white paper provides a lessons-learned based perspective on presenting scale-up plans during fundraising efforts and is based on participation in raising over $1B of funding for advanced biotechnology ventures.
Lessons Learned Presenting Biotechnology Scale-up during Fundraising

Advanced Downstream Recovery – Converting Fermentation Broth into Products

This white paper outlines perspective on scale-up of downstream recovery in fermentation based processes. Click here to learn more.

Advanced Fermentation Must-Knows

Enjoyed the opportunity to present advanced fermentation scale up with Jeff Lievense ( at Genomatica. A must see for anyone commercializing advanced biotechnology. Slide deck to my presentation is below along with a link of the complete webinar that was hosted by Biofuels Digest.
Link to the webinar: Click Here
Biofuels Digest Webinar

Scaling-up through Contract Manufacturing

This white paper provides a lessons-learned based perspective on scaling-up advanced biotechnology through contract manufacturing operations (CMOs), including benefits and common pitfalls of using CMOs.
Scaling-up through Contract Manufacturing

Strategic Approach to Scale-up

This white paper provides a lessons-learned based perspective on scale-up of advanced biotechnology, specifically focusing on how to look at process development strategically and focus on unit operations that match the economic reality of the target products.

biofuel engineer Strategic Approach To Scale-Up

Take the Test – Evaluating Commercial Readiness

This white paper provides a framework and assessment tool to allow ventures to assess their current state of process development and whether they are ready to make the next step on the commercialization path from a technology standpoint.

biofuel engineer Take the Test Evaluating Commercial Readiness

biofuel engineer DMG Scorecard Example

biofuel engineer Scorecard

Commercializing Innovative Foods

Understanding the challenge of commercializing innovative foods will separate those that change the future of food, from others that become an asterisk in a market study. The following white paper provides a self assessment for ventures looking to commercialize a novel food technology and outlines many of the key considerations to ensure success.

biofuel engineer Commercializing Innovative Foods White Paper

What Makes Scale-up Of Industrial Biotechnology So Difficult?

Two questions have dominated the responses received after my Lessons Learned series on commercializing industrial biotechnology and the deep-dive into the industrial biotechnology commercialization process, the questions are what makes scale-up of industrial biotechnology so difficult and of course how can risk be reduced in the process? Looking back at the materials, there are a few areas that need to be expanded in greater detail to answer those questions, as follow:

biofuel engineer Scale-up White Paper

Understanding Advanced Biotechnology Commercialization

In an effort to better educate the advanced biotech community on the reality of commercialization, I have developed a video series that is a “deep dive” into the entire commercialization process, from concept to commercial operation for a first-of-a-kind commercial scale biotechnology. This series is intended for anyone who is working to take a new technology from the bench/pilot stage to commercial operation. This includes engineers, scientists, management and investors, anyone who will benefit from a detailed understanding of the process before they begin the journey. This is a four part series with links as follows:

Top 10 Lessons Learned Commercializing Advanced Biotechnologies

Spending half a billion dollars placing steel in the ground to commercialize advanced biotechnologies for fuels, chemicals and food applications, is the easy part. Doing it successfully is the hard part – but I have been fortunate to lead many successful projects over the last ten years, and that is what has prompted me to share my personal experience in this three-part series of Top Ten Lessons Learned. I have done my best to include real world examples and attributes that make ventures succeed, as well as common pitfalls. My focus is on the technical perspectives of technology deployment, from early stage process development, engineering, and construction to a fully operational commercial facility. This series is for anyone who is passionate about scaling advanced biotechnology dreams.

biofuel engineer Part 1 – Development and Scale-up

biofuel engineer Part 2 – Process Design and Deployment

biofuel engineer Part 3 – Financing, Start-up and Operations

Mark Warner, P.E.

Mark Warner, P.E.


Suite 217, PMB 261,
24165 IH-10 West,
San Antonio, TX 78257

(425) 260-4203