Carbios, a French green chemistry company based in Clermont-Ferrand, France, announced a strategic alliance with INSA Toulouse through the internationally recognized laboratory Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), a mixed research unit of INSA Toulouse, INRA and CNRS.
Carbios, along with TBI, is establishing a research center for enzymatic engineering, which will be focused on plastic recycling and biosynthesis. This laboratory, unprecedented in the world of enzymatic engineering and dedicated to plastic applications, will be inaugurated on January 28 at INSA Toulouse.
The cooperative laboratory, called PoPLaB (plastic polymers and biotechnologies), is the culmination of seven years of scientific collaboration. This collective work led in 2016 to the creation of Carbiolice, Carbios’ subsidiary, dedicated to PLA biodegradation and in 2019 to the first 100 percent PET plastic bottles produced through Carbios’ biorecycling process.
"The creation of this laboratory represents several years of fruitful research devoted to the discovery and optimization of enzymes for the degradation and synthesis of polymers,” said Alain Marty, scientific director of CARBIOS, in a statement. “This laboratory will benefit from state-of-the-art equipment in terms of enzyme modeling and understanding of plastic hydrolysis molecular mechanisms, high-throughput enzyme evolution platforms, all based on highly qualified researchers. This will enable us to take up new challenges by enlarging the range of polymers accessible to our enzymatic technology."
Carbios also announced that it is becoming a member of the INSA Toulouse Foundation, which makes a significant contribution to the training and international openness of students and scientific executives, specifically with the creation of a Biotechnologies and Environment program.
"Carbios wishes to actively support the INSA Foundation because more than a vision, we share a common ambition: To contribute through innovation and research to a sustainable world that is respectful of our shared environment," said Carbios CEO Jean-Claude Lumaret in a statement.
“This is an exemplary partnership where an innovative company accelerates its technological research by establishing itself at the heart of our campus,” said Bertrand Raquet, director of INSA Toulouse, in a statement. “The approach is twofold: together, we are creating a cooperative laboratory, by combining the expertise of Carbios, INSA, INRA and CNRS for a new generation of plastics, degradable and recyclable. And together, we are developing the INSA model, with the support of the foundation. Our engineering students and doctoral students, supported in their diversity, mobilize their expertise in biotechnologies and bioprocesses and engage in entrepreneurial approaches, for a sustainable world.”