Next-generation yeast: Renaissance BioScience partners with Mitacs


17 Apr 2018 --- Leading global yeast technology company, Renaissance BioScience Corporation, has announced a Cdn$1.44 million multi-year research and development project with Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research and training organization. Mitacs will provide matching funding to the RBSC project to support the development of next-generation, systematic tools and methods for expanding, screening and selecting biodiversity in non-GMO industrial yeast strains.

In addition to the work done directly by RBSC, the project will be facilitated by collaboration with: University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers in the fields of yeast genetics and biochemistry: Dr. Corey Nislow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Thibault Mayor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and Dr. Chris Loewen of the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences. Over the four-year duration of the project, it is expected that up to 20 post-doctoral and graduate research scientist positions (equivalent to an estimated eight full-time employees) will be created in RBSC and at UBC to conduct this leading-edge research. Recruitment for these research positions is ongoing.

“We are pleased to have Mitacs’ support as a funding partner in the development of tools for our next-generation non-GMO yeast platform,” said Dr. Matthew Dahabieh, RBSC’s Chief Science Officer. “Mitacs’ commitment combined with UBC’s world-leading research capabilities will allow us to accelerate our strain development technology capabilities, and deliver innovative next-generation yeast technology, products and services to the marketplace.”

Alejandro Adem, Mitacs’ CEO and Scientific Director, concurred, saying, “We’re proud to partner with Renaissance BioScience Corp. to support the development of their next-generation non-GMO yeast platform, while also providing UBC researchers with the knowledge and skills they will need to successfully transition to the job market.”

Speaking from the academic perspective, Dr. Corey Nislow of UBC commented, “Having spent a decade in biotech and two decades as an academic researcher, I am incredibly excited to be part of this project which blends basic research with real-world applications. The combination of next-generation genomics, automation and bioinformatics provide our scientists at UBC with a chance to explore the full range of career opportunities. Yeast was the first domesticated microbe and the work of Renaissance continues to push the envelope.”

The ProjectClick to Enlarge
As a leader in non-GMO yeast strain development, Renaissance BioScience is committed to continually advancing its technical and commercial capabilities through investment in platform research and development. In this project, RBSC will invest in the R&D of next-generation yeast-strain development tools that will facilitate the high-throughput robust optimization and specialization of yeast for the food, beverage, and feed industries. This project will enable RBSC to accelerate the development of novel yeast strains that address industrial process and product challenges, offer efficiency gains and process optimization opportunities, and introduce the potential for new product flavors, aromas and functions, all while also meeting end-user demand for non-GMO ingredients.

Given the growth in the use of yeast and cutting-edge genetic tools to build the synthetic biology industry, it is perfect timing to be building next-generation tools to facilitate the development of non-GMO yeast. The industry is beginning to recognize that there are important benefits to combining GMO and non-GMO yeast in certain specific industrial situations to optimize end-use products. The Mitacs funding will ensure that RBSC continues to be the leading developer of non-GMO industrial innovations for existing and new yeast-based products.

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 18 years. Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and governments at both the federal and provincial levels, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. Open to all disciplines and industry sectors, Mitacs’ projects span a wide range of areas, including manufacturing, business processes, IT, social sciences, design and more. Mitacs is funded by the federal and provincial governments, as well as by university and industry partners.

Renaissance BioScience Corp., based in Vancouver, Canada, is a privately held applied life sciences company that develops novel, yeast-based, patent-protected technologies for the global food, beverage, nutrition, biofuel and pharmaceutical industries. The wholly owned commercial subsidiaries of Renaissance BioScience Corp. include Renaissance Yeast Inc., which commercializes hydrogen sulfide-preventing wine yeast; Renaissance Ingredients Inc., which commercializes acrylamide-reducing yeast; and Bright Brewers Yeast Inc., which commercializes beer yeast technologies.

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Kröner-Stärke targets health and costs in starches and flours, amid widespread industry challenges

04 Oct 2018 --- European natural starch specialist, Kröner-Stärke has developed a new range of clean label, native, pre-gelatinized, starches and flours to boost the health credentials of many food products. All of the new range offers a cost-effective solution for the food industry at a time when many raw materials have increased in price and profit margins are being squeezed.

Food Ingredients News

Biofuel collaboration: Mascoma and NextFerm Technologies enter partnership on yeast-based innovation

24 Sep 2018 --- Mascoma LLC, a subsidiary of Canadian business Lallemand Inc., and NextFerm Technologies have signed a new commercial joint development agreement that will expand their collaboration into the biofuels category. NextFerm is an Israeli biotech start-up that is developing and producing high-end, science-based, fermentation-derived ingredients for the global food and feed industries.

Food Ingredients News

Weekly Roundup: Nestlé sells Gerber Life Insurance, Givaudan completes Naturex acquisition

21 Sep 2018 --- In business news this week, Nestlé announced plans to sell Gerber Life Insurance Company, to Western & Southern Financial Group for US$1.55 billion in cash. Bösch Boden Spies launched a sustainability initiative and Givaudan completed the acquisition of Naturex, following the implementation of the squeeze-out procedure and the delisting of Naturex shares from the Euronext Paris stock exchange. Firmenich appointed Emmanuel Butstraen as president of its Flavors Business Unit and member of the company’s executive committee and Tyson Foods’ CEO Tom Hayes is stepping down.

Food Ingredients News

Peeling back the label: UK study explores the “real” ingredients in popular processed foods

19 Sep 2018 --- A study examining the lack of meat in some processed foods and what UK consumers think is classified as “ultra-processed products” reveals a widespread lack of understanding. Less than half of those surveyed feel confident in pointing out which foods fall into the “processed” and “ultra-processed” categories. The study also revealed that many didn’t know the difference between processed foods like frozen vegetables or dried fruit which are not considered unhealthy and ultra-processed foods which contain additives and ingredients (often salt, fat and sugar) to enhance their flavor, texture, or longevity.

Food Ingredients News

Biorigin to invest US$3.5m in expansions at US plant

31 Aug 2018 --- Biorigin, a Brazilian multinational company that operates in the production of natural ingredients for human and animal nutrition, will start the expansion plan of its unit located in Louisville, US. The move will allow it to more than double its production capacity of the Bioenhance line, from natural flavors. With investments of US$3.5 million, the project will comprise, among other things, the purchase of a new fermenter that will start operating in the first semester of 2019.

More Articles