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  • w_mastr w_mastr Jul 1, 2013 9:39 AM Flag

    research agreement with Synthetic Genomics

    Oil’s #1 and Craig Venter re-up on algae fuels R&D effort

    In California, Synthetic Genomics announced a new co-funded research agreement with ExxonMobil to develop algae biofuels. The new agreement is a basic science research program that focuses on developing algal strains with significantly improved production characteristics by employing synthetic genomic science and technology. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

    “We look forward to working with ExxonMobil to undertake this in-depth focus on the basic science research to better understand and enhance algae.” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., SGI’s founder and chief executive officer. “The new agreement gives us an opportunity to really focus on improving algal strains using our core synthetic biology technologies to develop biofuels.”
    The 25-year March

    In June 2009, SGI and ExxonMobil announced a research and development alliance focused on naturally occurring and conventionally modified algae strains. Over the nearly four years working together the companies gained considerable knowledge about the challenges in developing economical and scalable algae biofuels. SGI also made significant strides in understanding algae genetics, growth characteristics, and enhancements to algae to improve algal biomass and lipid productivities.

    Earlier this year, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson told PBS, “We’ve come to understand some limits of that technology, or limits as we understand it today, which doesn’t mean it’s limited forever. The venture is “probably further” than 25 years away from successfully developing fuels

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