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Planetary collaborates with Konica Minolta to enhance microbial fermentation

January 18, 2024

Industrial-scale fermentation specialist, Planetary, has announced a strategic partnership (MOU) with Konica Minolta, Inc, a leader in imaging technology

Geneva-based Planetary and Konica Minolta are aiming to optimize fermentation control in real-time, leveraging Konica Minolta’s 150-year expertise in optics and imaging, combined with Planetary’s innovative bioprocesses. The joint-venture will focus on implementing advanced sensing solutions and AI to monitor and control fermentation processes, aiming to enhance productivity and reduce production costs.

Ryutaro Mori, Corporate VP & Chief Innovation Officer at Konica Minolta, Inc., highlighted the synergies between the two companies. “Konica Minolta’s process monitoring technologies, based on our extensive optics expertise, complement Planetary’s cutting-edge bioprocesses and dynamic startup energy. This MOU signifies our commitment to exploring new solutions to address global biomanufacturing challenges,” said Mori.

David Brandes, Co-Founder & CEO of Planetary, emphasized the transformative potential of the partnership. “The shift in production systems towards fermentation-based biomanufacturing is disrupting traditional methods. By joining forces with Konica Minolta, we aim to harness real-time AI and data-driven sensing solutions to reduce the cost of goods sold (COGS) by an additional 20-30%.”

Founded in 2021, Planetary is at the forefront of establishing essential production infrastructure for the bio-based economy. The company’s focus on aerobic microbial fermentation technology enables the production of food ingredients and bio-based materials at industrial volumes. Planetary’s global network of production sites and intellectual property development positions it as a key player in the bioeconomy revolution.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Konica Minolta is renowned for its imaging and sensing technologies. With plans to enter the fermentation space, the company aims to disrupt traditional fermentation sensors and introduce new, innovative technologies to the market.

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates that the bioeconomy could have a direct economic impact of up to US$4 trillion annually in the coming decades. Microbial fermentation is a crucial process within this economy, offering sustainable and scalable production methods for a wide range of bio-based products.

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