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21st.BIO at Folkemødet

By Events, Public affairs

Biosolutions are moving center stage.


Our CEO Thomas Schmidt was attending Folkemødet, Denmark’s “People’s Meeting” in Bornholm this week with our colleague Barbara Taudorf, Director of Commercial Development and Strategic Partnerships, to discuss how to produce enough protein to feed the growing world population in the coming decades. Representative of the Danish democratic ambitions, Folkemødet is a unique festival where citizens, decision-makers, NGOs and businesses gather to discuss, debate, share ideas and promote cooperation.

This 2024 edition of Folkemødet was a true demonstration of the increasing level of understanding around the potential of biology to solve some of the most pressing issues around food security and climate transition.

21st.BIO was there to showcase how we use an industrial biological platform to develop production technologies for food and materials – and to share ideas and perspectives on how we accelerate the impact of precision fermentation globally.

The debates showed that:

  • Both the current and the next generations of politicians understand that we need biosolutions to deliver food security and climate targets.
  • Decision-makers are ready to move when it comes to supporting biosolutions as the driver for the green transition and growth for Denmark and beyond.
  • We need to establish a production footprint (aka a large production facility) in Denmark to truly exploit the potential of our world leading technology and know-how, as well as our strong ecosystem.
  • We still have some way to go to truly convince the consumers of using proteins produced with biotechnology – of course – the products are not approved for consumption in Europe.

We are ready for the 2025 edition and will happily contribute to discussions with all the stakeholders who can and will be part of making the biorevolution happen.


Did you know that the demand for food, and especially proteins, will double by 2050? To feed a growing population, biosolutions are highly needed. For this, we have to:

  • Select the proteins that the world needs most – for example, high-quality milk proteins.
  • Develop the best technologies to produce proteins via fermentation on an industrial scale – guess who’s on it…
  • Produce feedstock for fermentation. The microbes eat various forms of carbon in the fermentation tanks to make protein.
  • Secure political support to establish the first factories in Europe, so businesses can take part in this adventure. Otherwise, the first factories will be established in the US, the Middle East and Asia, using technologies developed in Europe.
  • Get the EU and European States to ensure that proteins produced with fermentation technology will be approved for food in Europe – quickly.

At 21st.BIO, we have developed and keep optimizing the best performing strains and precision fermentation processes. Check out our work and message us for any question or inquiry.

21st.BIO’s pilot plant inauguration

By Events, Public affairs

Last Friday, we were lucky to welcome over a hundred guests to the grand opening of our pilot plant facility.

We started with an exclusive roundtable, gathering twenty executives and visionaries from the most prominent financial, industrial, and political institutions in Denmark and Europe. Together, we discussed the technological leadership of Europe in biosolutions, how to maintain it and the importance of establishing large scale biomanufacturing facilities in the coming years, so that the innovation born in European countries can grow, scale and reach market here.

We inaugurated our pilot plant facility: Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission cut the ribbon alongside our two co-founders, Thomas Schmidt, CEO and Per Falholt, CSO.

The party started as the larger crowd arrived and we heard speeches from our CEO, Thomas Schmidt, Margrethe Vestager, as well as Peder Lundquist, CEO at EIFO.

It was amazing to showcase our partnership with AMSilk, with both Gudrun Vogtentanz, CSO, and Isabel Rosenberger, Senior Manager Marketing & Communication, onsite to educate our guests about the incredible wonders of spider silk, and display some of their products.

Our 21st.BIO colleagues took turns taking all guests on a guided tour presenting our technology, strain engineering capabilities, and of course the shiny new pilot facility.

It was an incredible day for all of us. Thank you all for coming and making Friday a great success.

21st.BIO unveils a new pilot plant facility to accelerate impact of biotech innovations globally

By Biomaterials, Dairy proteins, Events, Partnerships, Press releases, Public affairs

As featured in

  • Combining world-class industrially proven technology with fermentation capacity, 21st.BIO helps customers get to scale faster, in a risk-mitigated and cost-effective way.
  • Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, was onsite to inaugurate the pilot facility, along a hundred other guests from the financial, political, and bio industrial sectors.


Copenhagen, Denmark, and Davis, California, 6 May 2024 – 21st.BIO unveiled a new pilot plant facility in its Danish headquarters, designed to support companies upscale their bioproduction.

21st.BIO provides services ranging from strain construction to industrial production upscaling to customers worldwide. Combining world-class industrially proven technology with fermentation capacity, the company will help customers get to scale faster, in a risk-mitigated and cost-effective way.

From left to right: Thomas Schmidt, co-founder and CEO at 21st.BIO, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, and Per Falholt, co-founder and CSO at 21st.BIO, unveiled 21st.BIO’s pilot plant facility


Why do we need pilot facilities? Upscaling mistakes cost a lot of money and time

“In this industry, upscaling mistakes cost a lot of money and time,” explains Thomas Schmidt, co-founder, and CEO at 21st.BIO. “For our customers, it’s all about getting the next step right. The ability to increase productivity when also moving up in scale is what distinguishes good from great.”

21st.BIO offers this pilot facility to the market to facilitate and accelerate the step between internal lab-scale fermentation and large-scale production. 21st.BIO’s pilot construction and deep experience are ideal to define the important parameters and equipment needed for optimal large-scale production of proteins via fermentation. This will, on top of the best fermentation protocols, for example also help customers select the best CMO for individual project needs and limit the risk of costly failures.

21st.BIO’s pilot facility is designed for industrial production upscaling

The facility and all processing equipment are state-of-the-art, with much equipment designed for 21st.BIO.

“Our goal with this pilot was to build a mini factory, to best prepare customers for large scale industrial production. We therefore wanted the process equipment to mimic what customers will find in their next step with large-scale biomanufacturing – only downsized to a pilot scale,” explains Thorvald Ullum, Chief Technology Officer at 21st.BIO. He adds “our customers work alongside our experts in the pilot plant to test various process aspects as well as build skills and confidence for their own large-scale production.”

With over 3000 liters of fermentation capacity, the facility offers a full range of capabilities, equipment, and competences to help customers optimize their own specific processes. The pilot plant is focused on scaling up the production of recombinant proteins and peptides with applications in nutrition, food and beverages, agriculture, biomaterials, and biopharma.

The pilot plant is designed to enable strong collaboration between 21st.BIO and customer teams during scaling. The facility is strategically located in the same building as the company’s strain development laboratories, allowing for joint work on further improving the customers’ production strains and fermentation processes.

21st.BIO’s pilot welcomes established industry leaders in ingredient manufacturing as well as early-stage startups.

The global race for biosolutions is on

Home to precision fermentation pioneers such as Novo Nordisk and Novonesis, Denmark is a natural leader in bioproduction. According to a McKinsey report, it is estimated that about 60% of the input to the global economy could over time be produced using biology. Because of this potential, many countries are investing massively in biomanufacturing technology to produce high quality nutrition and biomaterials locally in a time of climate and geo-political uncertainties.

Europe has an opportunity to bring this leading technology and know-how to benefit the world. Therefore, 21st.BIO’s grand opening began with an exclusive roundtable, where twenty C-level participants from the political, financial, and industrial horizons had a lunch conversation over EU countries’ leadership in the industrial scaling of biomanufacturing.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, attended the event and underlined the high potential of the biotech sector to address key challenges ranging from ensuring sustainability to stabilising global food chains. She emphasised Europe’s leadership in science, while acknowledging that taking science to markets is often hindered by lack of sufficient funding, long regulatory procedures, and a reduced talent pool. She also called for cooperation between policy makers and industry players to ensure that policies are designed while taking into account the industry’s lessons learnt.

Earlier in March, the European Commission presented its “Communication on Biotech and Biomanufacturing” and with that a series of actions to boost the sector in the EU. This includes working towards simplified regulatory framework and faster access to market, better support for scale-up, a fairer comparison with fossil-based products, and the encouragement for more investments to go into biotechnologies and biomanufacturing in the coming years.

As Margrethe Vestager said during the press conference, “Europe cannot just be the cradle for new solutions, what is born here should also grow up and stay here.”

Ambitions for enabling the building of large-scale protein facilities across the world

21st.BIO founders saw that too often; great bio innovations and molecules fail to translate into commercial success. The molecule innovation is ready and exciting, the market is there, but production costs most often have remained too high for the products to go mainstream and hence have real relevance for the world.

A recent report by Boston Consulting Group highlighted that three parameters were key to get down the cost of bioproducts: Production strains designed for scale, mega scale factories of over two million liters capacity, and mass market demand. This is what 21st.BIO is all about.

21st.BIO is now making the most advanced and most productive production technology and know-how available to innovators in industrial biotech as well as global food majors for bulk products to be produced via fermentation. The pilot facility will support customers’ journey from the lab to large scale manufacturing, but the journey towards industrial biomanufacturing does not stop there. During the inauguration, senior leaders from key players of the financial, political, and industrial sectors participated in a roundtable discussion on what it will take to start building the first large-scale protein factories with all the benefits of industrial manufacturing to cost and efficiency.

About 21st.BIO

Founded in 2020, 21st.BIO is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has a world-class R&D team as well as laboratories in both Copenhagen, Denmark and Davis, California. On a mission to support bio industrial companies globally in upscaling from molecule innovation to large-scale production, 21st.BIO enables its customers to meet market demands, and thereby advance the green transition globally. 21st.BIO focuses on developing industrial production technology for proteins and other molecules of interest for food, materials, and agricultural industries. Established as a fully integrated end-to-end partner, 21st.BIO supports its customers from technical assessment, strain development and optimization, production processes and upscaling, tech transfer to large scale manufacturing and regulatory services.

21st.BIO was founded with one simple mission: to make industrial scale precision fermentation technology accessible to as many as possible, so companies can successfully take their biotech innovations to market at a competitive price.

21st.BIO’s fermentation technology is in part licensed from Novonesis, who has developed their platform over several decades. Novonesis is a global leader in enzymes and proteins for high value products in food, household care, and agriculture, with a market value of approximately 6 billion USD.

For more information and pictures of the day, please contact:

Mathilde Pinon
Marketing & Business Development Manager

EU Commission takes action to boost biotechnology and biomanufacturing

By Public affairs

Today, the EU Commission unveiled a set of initiatives outlined in its “Communication on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing,” aimed at boosting biotech & biomanufacturing within the EU.


One of the key messages was that biotechnology can help feed the world. At 21st.BIO we could not agree more. Biosolutions hold tremendous potential to feed the world and produce sustainable materials. Now it is time to unleash it, also in Europe. And we are ready to support this with a mature, world-class industrial technology platform, capable of producing proteins at scale.

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition and Executive Vice President of the European Commission, stated: “Everywhere across Europe, we are faced with the same challenges: Climate change affects us all. Resource scarcity affects us all. Biotechnology can contribute to solving these challenges. Biotech also largely supports Europe’s economy and contribute to our competitiveness, with high growth potential and labour productivity. And by reducing the Europe’s dependency on fossil-based input and other sources of raw materials biotech also increase circularity and strengthen our path towards independence of fossil fuels. With today’s proposal we want to create the right environment for this sector to grow and deliver global solutions to societal and environmental problems.”

Among the Commission’s set of actions are:

  • Simplified regulatory framework and faster access to market, including launching a study that could lay the foundations for a possible EU Biotech Act.
  • Better support for scale-up and ease of navigating regulations.
  • Foster a larger market for biotechnology and biomanufacturing.
  • Enable fair comparison with fossil-based products.
  • Encourage more investments.

We applaud this initiative, which shows the EU is moving in the right direction. And together with our partners at EuropaBio (the European Association for Bioindustries) and the European Biosolutions Coalition, we call for ambition and urgency. Europe should not be left behind in a space where we have world-leading capabilities and technology.

Danish Ministers and industry organizations visit 21st.BIO

By Events, Partnerships, Public affairs

Last week was another great event for us at 21st.BIO: we had the pleasure of opening our doors to a delegation of ministers and interest organizations leading the important green three-way negotiations.

We discussed how we in Denmark can be a driver of the next revolution in nutrition and materials via our leadership in the precision fermentation of proteins.

We had the opportunity to show the group around our soon-to-be-ready pilot factory and share our vision and ideas for how Denmark leads the way for Europe in the quest to produce the protein that the world needs in the future, sustainably.

Some of our key messages were: 
▶ Denmark is world-class in agricultural production and protein understanding.
▶ Denmark is world-class in the industrial bioproduction of proteins with precision fermentation.
▶ Denmark is world-class in energy solutions.
▶ Denmark has a proven track record of scaling climate technologies with favourable schemes.

Let’s get the industrial production of proteins with precision fermentation off the ground in a partnership between the parties that have successfully built these industries – from agriculture to energy industrials. And let’s contribute with the solutions that can fill the protein gap – and build a great new business adventure for Denmark on the way.

Thank you all for visiting, listening and being open to discussion 🤝

New article in Weekendadvisen

By Public affairs

We’re happy to see our work highlighted in Weekendadvisen this week.

Our co-founder and CEO, Thomas Schmidt, discussed some key points with reporter Andreas Rygaard:

Denmark has significantly influenced the precision fermentation field, starting from the pioneering efforts at J.C. Jacobsen’s Carlsberg laboratory, leading to the establishment and growth of companies like Chr. Hansen, Novozymes (now Novonesis), and most notably, Novo Nordisk. But Denmark is not alone in the ‘fermentation kitchen’. Looking at Biden’s Inflation Act and the Chinese five-year plan, other countries are waking up to the importance of investing in biotech production. We have the experience and expertise that give us a technological edge, but we need action from the EU and European Governments to ease the regulatory hurdles before us.

“The world needs more protein.” Indeed, assessments from the UN and FAO report that protein demand will double by 2050. Starting with the cow’s milk proteins caseins and beta-lactoglobulin, we at 21st.BIO aim at supporting the innovators who create the foods of tomorrow, without animals. More than providing energy, “these proteins are very nutritious as they contain all the essential amino acids, and large amounts of branched chain amino acids, which are important for building and maintaining muscle mass throughout life.” Dairy proteins derived from precision fermentation can be used to fortify foods such as ice cream, chocolate, baked goods and protein bars, but can also make plant-based drinks more similar to cow’s milk, in both taste and nutritional value. Caseins will be used for dairy-free cheese products.

With the most advanced production strains, designed for large industrial scale, and the knowledge and expertise in developing and upscaling fermentation processes for industrial production, 21st.BIO is uniquely positioned to support its customers to get from innovation to market faster and more safely.

21st.BIO promotes biosolutions’ potential at the Danish Parliament

By Events, Public affairs

Yesterday, our CEO Thomas Schmidt was invited to speak at the Danish Parliament’s Business Committee on the potential of biosolutions.


Tons of strong data points were presented during the day on how biosolutions can contribute to producing sustainable and highly functional foods, materials, and products for agriculture, i.e. produced with dramatically smaller use of land.

▶ By producing protein in large fermentation tanks, we can convert carbon produced by farmers several times better than a cow.
▶ 70-80% of the arable land is used to feed animals.
▶ If 10% of the animal-based proteins in the world were replaced by proteins produced with biosolutions, it would be equivalent to reducing the agriculture land use in Europe by 50%.
▶ 60% of all physical input in the world can be produced with biosolutions.
It is therefore essential to get solutions to the market that can produce more nutrition with less use of land and significantly smaller climate impact.

A clear message to the committee was that Denmark can play a leading role in driving Europe and the world forward.

How? Denmark has the competencies, the technology, the solutions, the global industrial leaders, and the innovations to support this.

The panel discussions also made it clear that to make it happen, it will be essential for Denmark to:
▶ Make a national strategy for biosolutions.
▶ Launch fast track approvals to secure that we can get more products produced with biosolutions to the market in Europe.
▶ Support the building of capacity – we have the technology ready in Denmark to build industrial scale protein factories.
▶ Support the next generation products by supporting the offtake financially.
▶ Establish a world-class center of excellence in Denmark to show the way for the rest of Europe.
▶ Establish dedicated fund structures with a longer lifetime than traditional venture.

At 21st.BIO, we are proud to support the building of world-class production technology for industrial scale production of nutrition, materials, and agriculture products.

Thank you very much to the Danish Parliament, and to DI Bio for the opportunity to contribute to the political discussion on how we take the bioindustry forward.

New industry report by the Boston Consulting Group and Synonym

By Public affairs, Publications

“How to get precision fermentation biomanufacturing to cost-efficiency?”

That’s precisely the question Boston Consulting Group‘s latest report, ‘Breaking the cost barrier in Biomanufacturing’, intends to answer. The report was written in collaboration with Synonym, with contributions from our co-founder and CSO, Per Falholt.


Biosolutions hold immense promise to revolutionize the food, specialty chemicals, and biomaterials industries. With increasing global demand for sustainability and emissions reduction, there is a pressing need for economically viable biomanufacturing at scale.

But how do we get there? The solutions are trifold:

▶ optimization of large-scale facilities,
▶ production technology (strains and processes) designed for industrial scale,
▶ collaborative efforts among stakeholders — from corporate customers to policymakers — to drive investment and infrastructure development.

According to the report, all these efforts would pave the way for a $200 billion market by 2040.

The report also insists on the importance of developing production strains designed for large scale.


At 21st.BIO, we are proud to say that our strains are designed for industrial scale. With our technology platform, the industry can move forward to the next stage.

Developing microbial strains designed for scale is a tremendous challenge. While many strains might do very well in lab conditions, upscaling production to industrial scale remains an obstacle for most companies.

In the report, BCG estimates that producing strains optimized for large-scale manufacturing in optimized large-scale biofoundries could bring costs down by 90%.

Our company was founded with one simple mission: to make precision fermentation technology accessible to as many companies as possible, so they can successfully take their product to market at a competitive price.

21st.BIO at the European High-Level Summit on Biosolutions

By Events, Public affairs

With world-leading biotechnology companies and ambitious emissions reduction targets, the EU holds a unique opportunity to lead the way in the sustainable production of foods, materials, or even fuels. Now is the time for the EU to reinforce its pledges with actionable regulatory frameworks and funding initiatives, so that these technologies can thrive and scale on European ground.


Our co-founder and CEO Thomas Schmidt was in Brussels this week with Barbara Taudorf, our Director of Commercial Development & Strategic Partnerships, to attend the European High-Level Summit on Biosolutions. Their presence underscored our leadership in precision fermentation, and our commitment to advancing the sustainable food and materials production with precision fermentation as part of the green transition both in Europe and globally.

The European Biosolutions Coalition had put together an impressive program reflecting the European industry’s willingness to work together across Europe, and the Commission and European MPs’ willingness to listen and act.

We heard from the stage that world-class innovations are born in Europe but grow up elsewhere. Action is therefore needed to make sure that innovations born in Europe can also be scaled here – to the benefit of everyone.


Some key takeaways:

▶ We need Europe to finance large-scale infrastructures for production. So many biosolutions’ applications are ready for industrial scaling.

▶ We need to get the products on the market. The current EU regulations hinder the development of a relevant demand for biosolutions. Regulation should be on the product or end-solution, not the process.

▶ We need fast track approval processes – not least for products that mimic existing foods or materials, such as i.e. milk proteins from precision fermentation.

▶ We need to treat biotechnology with the same priority as AI. Biotechnologies alone can be the next superpower in the green transition. The potential in combining the two technologies multiplies the potential manyfold.


We at 21st.BIO are already creating strong collaborations across Europe. Together with our partners, we lead the next generation of green technology for the production of sustainable food and materials with fermentation technology.

Recently, we announced a groundbreaking partnership with German AMSilk to produce spider silk, as well as the opening of our platform for ingredient suppliers, dairy companies as well as foodtech start-ups to produce whey proteins using our mature technology.


We would like to address special thanks to Sofie Carsten Nielsen at the European Biosolutions Coalition for her leadership in building this important industry coalition together with an incredible team.

The European Biosolutions Coalition is an initiative established by several industry organisations, representing a substantial amount of the companies working with biosolutions in Europe, to elevate the prominence of biosolutions on the European agenda. The Coalition is dedicated to advocate for the green transition, fostering more intelligent approaches within the industry, and creating enhanced prospects for companies working with biosolutions in the EU. To date, it includes national bioindustry associations from Austria (Federation of Austrian Industries), Denmark (Danish Industry), Germany (Bio Deutschland), Italy (Federchimica Assobiotec), the Netherlands (VNO-NCW), and Switzerland (Economie Suisse).