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Biobased economy startup DAB raises € 2 million

DAB, a spin-off of TU Delft, has raised €2 million in Series A funding from FORWARD.one and InnovationQuarter to accelerate the production of bio-based chemicals and advanced fuels. DAB is developing innovative bioreactor technology that increases the productivity of fermentation processes and at the same time reduces operational costs. This allows its partners to produce cost effective biobased products that can compete with fossil based alternatives.

The reverse effects on our climate due to the use of fossil-based carbon chemicals and fuels drives the demand for bio-based alternatives higher every year. The future of these industries lies in sustainable, bio-based production routes that are efficient and cost effective at large scale. Industrial fermentation processes are promising, but are often plagued with low concentration, low productivities and high product separation costs.

DAB’s proprietary bioreactor technology was initially developed at Delft University of Technology and overcomes many of the pitfalls of industrial fermentation through the combination of fermentation and separation into a single vessel. It is a scalable device that enables in-situ product recovery without any moving parts or membranes. The key value of the DAB technology is the ability to increase fermentation productivity by more than 2 fold, while reducing operational cost by 50%. DAB’s technology can be retrofitted and is ready to be scaled in new or existing facilities.

DAB works with industry leading companies on the implementation of this technology into sectors such as flavors and fragrances, specialty and commodity chemicals, and fuels. Kirsten Steinbusch, CEO of DAB said: “The investment enables us to grow our team and expand capacity to serve our customers worldwide. We are ready to take the development to the next scale with our partners.“ Delft University of Technology also invested in DAB, through Delft Enterprises. Director Paul Althuis: “Our university is committed to a sustainable future. To achieve this, it is important that ground-breaking research from our scientists also reaches the market. That is why we invest in promising technological innovations, such as those from DAB.

Rinke Zonneveld, Director of InnovationQuarter, is excited about the prospects of DAB. “Our region has a big challenge in transitioning the fossil-based industry around the Port of Rotterdam. Biobased processes provide an alternative but need to be scaled up efficiently to become economically feasible. DAB’s unique technology enables a jump in efficiency that will accelerate the biobased revolution.“

”We are very enthusiastic about the possibilities of DAB to decrease operational expenditures for bio-producing clients aiming to be cost competitive with petrochemical substitutes. Given the simplicity of the solution and the easiness of retrofitting we see lots of potential”, said FORWARD.one partners Riemer Smink and Arjan Göbel.

DAB Business advisor and senior business developer in industrial biotech Marc Lankveld said : “This investment in DAB by FORWARD.one and Innovation Quarter is a strong encouragement for the Biotech industry in the Netherlands. It shows the willingness of financial investors to invest in new Biotechnology and thereby opening up all kind of new renewable solutions, like renewable jetfuels with a significant lower CO2 footprint.“

DAB’s customers are very positive about the technology’s potential. Andreas Worberg, Member of the Executive Board at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Copenhagen said: “If we are serious in using biomass and advanced microbes for producing bio-based products that can compete with traditional, petrochemically manufactured products, we definitely need better production processes. DAB’s FAST concept is an excellent example of such innovative technology. It might be a game changer in bioprocess engineering, because it enables cost effective production of a host of new bio-based molecules.”

DAB will present today its technology at Nederlands Biotechnologen Congress in Ede and several other international events later this year. The company is already working with some high profile customers to implement pilot projects for new biobased compounds.

Source: DAB