Bioenergy

Altira Invests in Genomics

Altira Group LLC has announced an investment in Evolutionary Genomics (EG). EG applies patented genetic technology toward developing strains of biofuel feedstocks with improved yields.

Altira’s investment in EG was made out of the recently closed Altira Technology Fund V — a US $176-million fund focused on venture capital for energy technologies.

EG uses a gene discovery technology platform, the Adapted Traits Platform. This platform is being used to screen gene adaptations in biofuel feedstocks such as corn, switchgrass, sugar cane, algae and soybeans to improve yield-related traits, such as grains per plant, grain weight, yield per acre, biomass, drought resistance and disease resistance.

“As global energy demand continues to climb, it is critical that we find solutions to meet that demand in a sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally neutral way,” said Peter Edwards, partner at Altira and a board member of Evolutionary Genomics. “Biofuel production is moving toward long-term commercial viability, and we feel Evolutionary Genomics will support and accelerate that movement. New biofuels technologies will come from all corners of science, including the biological sciences, and EG’s technology is among the most promising bioscience we’ve seen in this area.”