DMC CTO and Co-Founder Mike Lynch has launched a web-based calculator to assess the economic feasibility of products made from fermentation. The Bioprocess Technoeconomic Analysis (TEA) tool will help users – academics, startups, funding agencies, R&D team, and investors – make commercially relevant decisions about technology development and deployment. The calculator connects key process and financial metrics to production costs and financial return.
Technoeconomic analysis (TEA) provides a quantitative method to assess the difference between something that is scientifically exciting and something that is economically attractive. By linking process parameters to financial metrics, all stakeholders can better understand the factors that will determine the success of their technologies. Historically, these types of analyses have been perceived as too complex, time-consuming, or expensive to be deployed in the earliest stages of R&D planning and evaluation. One of the objectives in publishing this tool is to remove those barriers so that every stakeholder – from researcher to investor – can make informed decisions about where they spend their resources.
TEA can be used in different ways. The R&D team can use this type of analysis to prioritize development efforts – focusing on the landscape of technical metrics that will have the greatest impact on their work. The Business Development team can use the tool to start with a market price and financial return that must be achieved and then rapidly identify projects that have the greatest probability of success.
One of the historical challenges in the field of industrial biotechnology is a lack of understanding of what is truly important from that which is scientifically exciting. This has resulted in substantial inefficiencies in the deployment of R&D capital, potentially affecting investor confidence in the sector as a whole. By demonstrating the capabilities of early-stage TEA in this new web-based tool, DMC hopes to encourage more stakeholders to prioritize this analysis from the very beginning of their development planning.
Matt Lipscomb, Ph.D., CEO & Co-Founder of DMC said, “The standards to have R&D work published in a peer-reviewed journal are very different than the requirements to create a viable business with commercial products. The development path from exciting basic science to commercial performance is often underestimated, if it’s understood at all. This calculator is a contribution to support the growth of the industrial biotech sector and is intended to provide the first steps in bridging the gap between science and commercial success.”
Bioprocess Technoeconomic Analysis tool http://www.bioprocesstea.com
Peer reviewed paper: Lynch, M.D., “The Bioprocess TEA Calculator: An online techno-economic analysis tool to evaluate the commercial competitiveness of potential bioprocesses” BioRxiv. 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymben.2021.03.004
DMC is a US biobased specialty chemical company which makes products using microbial fermentation. DMC’s metabolic engineering process simplifies biology to make fermentation more predictable, robust, and efficient. By unleashing the power of biology, DMC is on track to address two of the global challenges of our time: sustainably and affordably feeding a growing world population and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through efficient production of (bio)chemicals.
DMC, press release, 2021-03-24.