Carbios Announces Strategic Alliance with the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Toulouse (INSA)

 Carbios and TBI (Toulouse Biotechnology Institute) set up an enzyme engineering research center of international scale on plastic recycling and biosynthesis.

Carbios, a French biotech company developing enzymes to infinitely recycle all forms of PET plastic (e.g., soda bottles, colored plastics, polyester) has just announced a new partnership with the National Institute for Applied Sciences in Toulouse, France. The collaboration results in the creation of PoPLaB (Plastic Polymers and Biotechnologies), an enzymatic engineering research center at the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute’s internationally recognized lab.

The PoPlaB is an industry-first and is dedicated to plastic applications. It will launch on January 28, 2020, at INSA Toulouse.

Carbios’ technology leverages enzymes that fully break down PET plastic waste, and successfully produces consumer-grade, 100% recycled plastic as a result. Major corporations, such as L’Oreal, Nestle, and PepsiCo, each recognize the value of Carbios’ recycling tech and have all entered into a four-year consortium with the company. The company plans to have a demonstration plant in operation by 2021.

The research center will be focused on plastic recycling and biosynthesis. The company states that it is unprecedented in the world of enzymatic engineering and dedicated to plastic applications.

“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,” states Prof. Alain Marty, Scientific Director of CARBIOS. “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.”

Bertrand Raquet, Director of INSA Toulouse adds: “This is an exemplary partnership where an innovative company accelerates its technological research by establishing itself at the heart of our campus,” adds Bertrand Raquet, Director of INSA Toulouse. “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.”

The cooperative laboratory 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% PET plastic bottles produced through Carbios’ biorecycling process.

Carbios also announced that it is becoming a member of the INSA Toulouse Foundation, an initiative that strengthens the links between the two entities. The Foundation makes a significant contribution to the training and international openness of students and scientific executives specifically with the creation of a program “Biotechnologies and Environment”.

Carbios is a green chemistry company whose innovations meet the environmental and sustainable development challenges facing manufacturers. Since its creation in 2011 by Truffle Capital, the Company has developed, through biotechnology, two industrial processes that revolutionize the biodegradation and recycling of polymers. These innovations, a world first, optimize the performance and life cycle of plastics and textiles by exploiting the properties of highly specific enzymes.