News & Views
Sourcing from Waste Biomass sweetens Outlook
Mar 18 2021
Creating xylitol - a diabetic and tooth friendly natural sweeter – from cereal straw, an agricultural waste-stream, has led to the establishment of a new company, ARCITEKBio Ltd (ABL) on Aberystwyth University’s Innovation and Enterprise Campus.
The brainchild of Drs Abhishek Somani, Joe Gallagher and David Bryant, with Drs Narcis Fernandez-Fuentes and Sreenivas Rao Ravella also involved in the initial development of the technology, ABL is a spin-out from Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, (ABERS).
Dr Somani said: “ARCITEKBio is founded on the principles of sustainable growth, innovation with impact and value creation. Our breakthrough, eco-friendly technology for xylitol production combined with the ability to add value to agricultural wastes, positions us to disrupt the global sweeteners industry. With backing from the UK government and led by a talented team of industry experts, scientists and advisors, we are all working together to achieve our vision.”
Dr Somani is one of a team of scientists at IBERS that first started working on xylitol under the BEACON project funded by European Regional Development Fund ERDF and the EU EIT Climate-KIC funded BIO-SUCCINNOVATE project. The project was led by Dr Bryant, where he was primarily responsible for developing synthetic biology and fermentation strategies to produce a natural sweetener from biomass.
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “Universities make an impact on the everyday lives of people by taking their research from the academic arena to the wider world. Not only does this spin-out demonstrate the commercial potential and the real-world impact of academic research, ARCITEKBio is also the first company to evolve directly from our University and make its base on our new Innovation and Enterprise Campus.”
AberInnovation CEO Dr Rhian Hayward said: “ARCITEKBio is the realisation of the partnership between IBERS and AberInnovation, and typifies the translation of the very best agri-science developed on this site into products and services. We are pleased to host ARCITEKBio Ltd. (ABL) and look forward to their growth among our community of innovative companies.”
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