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Genomatica named a 2015 Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum

Genomatica was recognised for its biotechnology-based manufacturing processes that enable its partners to produce the world's most widely-used chemicals a ‘better way’.

29th August 2014

Innovation in Textiles
 |  San Diego

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial, Sports/​Outdoor

Genomatica, a technology leader for the chemical industry, has been named a 2015 World Economic Forum (WEF) Technology Pioneer. The company was chosen from hundreds of applicants by an independent selection committee comprised of 82 technologists and global thought leaders.

Genomatica was recognised for its biotechnology-based manufacturing processes that enable its partners to produce the world's most widely-used chemicals a better way, with better economics and greater sustainability than petroleum-based processes, the company reports.

“Being named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer is recognition that Genomatica is an enabler of change, delivering high-impact technology that provides a way for a huge global industry to deliver the same great everyday products as today – like packaging, carpets, tires, and more – but with greater sustainability,” said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica.

“The deeper discussions with global thought leaders that comes with being a WEF Technology Pioneer can further accelerate change by making more mainstream firms aware of the compelling alternatives enabled through biotechnology.”

Driving commercialisation

Genomatica met WEF’s high standards for a Technology Pioneer, which include demonstrating visionary leadership in its industry, showing the signs of becoming a long-standing market leader and having a proven technology.

Genomatica cemented its position as a biotechnology leader for the chemical industry through a series of commercialisation and technological milestones.

It has the distinction of driving the first genuine commercialisation of a biobased process for the production of the intermediate chemical BDO, used in everyday products including athletic apparel, running shoes, electronics and automobiles, according to the company.

Story of success

Its GENO BDO, licensed by BASF and Novamont, is used to produce thousands of tons of product and it has been validated by numerous major firms including Invista, DSM, Lanxess, Toray and Far Eastern New Century.

Following the success of the GENO BDO process, Genomatica gained $100 million in industry support to develop processes for butadiene, a basic chemical used in tires, carpeting and latex products, with Braskem and Versalis as anchor partners. Genomatica also recently announced that major nylon intermediates are the focus of its third publicly-disclosed development programme.


This selection as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, a leading organisation for the global economy, adds to continuous recognition by leaders across many fields of expertise, the company reports.

These include the most notable awards in chemical engineering (Kirkpatrick Award); green chemistry (EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award); energy/cleantech (Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer); mainstream technology (Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award) and the biobased products sector (voted #1 Hottest three years in a row in Biofuels Digest’s annual rankings).

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