ABPDU Announces 2023 Industry Listening Day

The Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) is excited to announce its 2023 Industry Listening Day on Tuesday, March 7 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Time. This event will provide an opportunity for ABPDU to receive feedback from current and future collaborators on how ABPDU can be a better resource for the community. 

The event will be held virtually.

ABPDU’s last Industry Listening Day was conducted in 2019 and was attended by 24 companies. As a result of the event, ABPDU leadership and the DOE Biotechnology Technologies Office responded to several important recommendations from attendees, including: 

  1. Training of affiliates: Out of house training of equipment to company affiliates before a project campaign can be very helpful. 

RESPONSE: The ABPDU generated a series of video SOPs published on our YouTube channel. Many industry collaborators are using these protocols for their in-house workforce training as well. 

  1. Case Studies: Knowing ABPDU’s capabilities ahead of time will be helpful — what kind of organisms you have worked with, what you can help us with in terms of advising, etc.

RESPONSE: We published several case studies for our future collaborators to be able to learn more about our ability to solve complex operational and scientific problems.

  1. Gas Fermentation Capabilities: Given the lack of off-the-shelf gas fermentation equipment and limited CRO/CMO capabilities, investment in gas fermentation at ABPDU could greatly benefit small companies working in this area.

RESPONSE: We have secured LBNL funding and deployed 8 x 500mL pressurizable gas fermentors including associated gas supply and safety infrastructure, with installation of a 20L reactor upcoming. This capability is currently in use by two companies, with additional projects in the pipeline.

  1. Analytical Capabilities: Mass spectrometry and advanced analytics capabilities will be helpful to understand processes at the molecular level.

RESPONSE: We are currently commissioning a GC-MS in our analytical lab that will allow us to identify volatile unknown compounds. We also installed a liquid handler to improve the throughput of sample preparation. Within Berkeley Lab, there are multiple user facilities, such as the Advanced Light Source and Molecular Foundry, that can be accessed for advanced analytics.

  1. Project Onboarding: Guidance throughout the contracting process, including finding answers to intellectual property related questions, would be beneficial.  

RESPONSE: We hired a Program Manager who works dedicatedly with our collaborators through the contracting process, including (i) initial call set up, (ii) NDA processing with Berkeley Lab’s Intellectual Property Office, (iii) statement of work (SOW) development with ABPDU PIs, (iv) budget analysis by the Office of Chief Financial Officer CFO, (v) Contract development with Berkeley Lab’s Strategic Partnerships Office, and (vi) Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) processing. This process is detailed in this video