About


GlobalYeast is a Belgian-Brazilian biotechnology startup focused on developing and deploying products and solutions for the fermentation industry. Base operations are strategically placed in both countries to better serve our clients globally. Our unique insight into fermentation processes is based on our strong knowledge of yeast metabolism and genetics and on applied research at the frontier of these sciences. Combined with our industrial know-how from years of experience in the Brazilian ethanol industry and multiple collaborations with yeast and fermentation industries world-wide, we are well equipped to understand our client’s needs and to deliver tangible results

GlobalYeast provides unique products and services to key markets of the bio-based economy. We develop and supply superior industrial yeast strains and advanced industrial fermentation services for three main markets:

First Generation Bioethanol
Second Generation Bioethanol
  Bio-Based Chemicals From Renewable Resources

GlobalYeast’s science and technology platform was developed by Prof. Johan Thevelein (scientific founder, VIB/KUL). Its proprietary strain Excellulor™ is suitable for second generation ethanol plants and ferments C5 sugars in concentrated and undetoxified lignocellulose hydrolysates. Platform technology of polygenic analysis allows rapid and complex gene identification and is based on strong IP and existing patent applications.

Background


GlobalYeast  was formed by an investment consortium of Brazilian and Belgian shareholders.

Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB):
VIB is an excellence-based entrepreneurial institute that focuses on translating basic scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications. VIB works in close partnership with four universities in Belgium and is funded by the Flemish government.
Fundo Performa Investimentos:
Private Equity and Venture Capital Company focusing investments in the Seed Capital and Growth Capital industries in Brazil. The Company focuses minority investments in the Innovation (Seed Capital) and Middle-Market (Growth Capital) segments of the Brazilian market. Brazilian Sustainable Technology Fund: The Fund is an initiative of the Innovation and Environment Fund Program of BNDES. Investors include: BNDES (Brazilian National Development Bank), SFPI – FPIM (The Federal Holding and Investment Company of Belgium), AgeRio (Rio de Janeiro Estate Development Agency) and 3 family offices.
Gemma Frisius Fund – KU Leuven (GFF):
GFF is a seed capital fund, established in 1997 as a joint venture between KU Leuven, the KBC Group and the BNP Paribas Group. The objective of the fund is to stimulate the creation and growth of KU Leuven related spin-off companies.
Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV):
PMV NV is an independent investment company. PMV collaborates with private partners via funds and public-private partnerships. Particular emphasis is placed on sustainable energy, biotech, cleantech, life sciences and infrastructure for the future. SOFI-fund: PMV is investing in incubation projects and spin-off companies from the four strategic research centers in Flanders.

Management Team


Marcelo do Amaral
As the Chief Executive Officer of GlobalYeast Marcelo is responsible for the implementation of the company business plan, the coordination of the Business Development and Research & Development, and also the Administration and Finance activities.
Chemical engineer and European Doctor cum magna laude from the University of the Basque Country, he has experience in the sugar-ethanol and chemical industry, academia, and management consulting. A plenary speaker and chairman in the Gordon Research Conference, Marcelo has published in several peer review magazines, is the inventor of 5 patents, acts as reviewer, and combines scientific and technological knowledge with business acumen.
Prior to joining GlobalYeast, Marcelo held the position of Technology and Innovation manager at Raizen.
Johan Thevelein
Johan is the Chief Scientific Officer of GlobalYeast, being responsible for designing and implementing the strategic research program of GlobalYeast, managing the research team, and conceiving and managing external research programs with commercial and academic partners.
Johan has a PhD in Biology from KU Leuven. He spent two years as post-doc at Yale University (New Haven, USA) and short stays abroad.
He has been visiting professor and organized practical courses in molecular microbiology at universities in Brazil and other countries. He is director of the VIB department of Molecular Microbiology and scientific founder of GlobalYeast. His research focuses on nutrient sensing mechanisms and signaling pathways that control major physiological properties of yeast, on polygenic analysis of complex traits and development of superior industrial yeast strains. He has published about 250 research papers and submitted 28 patent applications.

Collaboration Network


COPPE is a highly respected institution in Latin America, known for its important contributions to research and education in many fields of engineering. Boasting thousands of articles published and over a hundred patents filed, it is a reference not only in academia but also with the industry through research agreements and contracts with many of Brazil’s major industry players as well as multinationals. GlobalYeast counts on the expertise and knowledge of one the most academically thriving research groups of this institution for the development of its solutions for the fermentation industry.
Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a center of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium’s largest university and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. As a leading European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of international master’s programmes, all supported by high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It is strongly inter- and multidisciplinary in focus and strives for international excellence. To this end, KU Leuven works together actively with its research partners at home and abroad.

Solutions


Advanced Industrial Fermentation Service
GlobalYeast Advanced Industrial Fermentation Services are capable of describing the process behavior in real-time based on the thorough understanding of cell metabolism and polygenic behavior combined with the evaluation of process inputs. Our services are able to follow-up in real time fermentation performance enhancing operational decision making and leveraging yield and productivity. Our solution BioCal® provides monitoring of sugar conversion to ethanol and employs this information to design knowledge-based decision strategies for process optimization.
Superior Industrial Yeast Strain
A robust and knowledge-based methodology allows the design of Superior Industrial Yeast Strains based on existing industrial strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The GlobalYeast science and technology platform has been developed by Prof. Johan Thevelein (scientific founder, VIB/KUL). GlobalYeast provides tailored yeast strains designed for optimization of E1G production or designed for the E2G challenge: converting C5 sugar streams in the most economical way with high yield and productivity in undetoxified lignocellulose hydrolysates. Polygenic Analysis, a core technology developed in the lab is used to identify causative alleles defining superior traits of industrial importance. The causative alleles are used to enhance in a highly specific and predictable manner the performance of industrial yeast strains. In our innovation pipeline, we develop superior industrial yeast strains for multiple stress tolerance characteristics, high ethanol titers, multiple substrate utilization, reduced by-product formation and other traits of industrial importance. Our polygenic analysis platform and know-how in metabolic engineering and other technologies for yeast strain development are also used for the generation of superior cell factory yeasts for the production of bio-based chemicals with various renewable resources and waste streams.

Resources


Leuven Lab
GlobalYeast has state-of-the-art facilities for R&D on industrial yeast strain development, including high-throughput small-scale fermentation systems; advanced analytical equipment for determination of feedstock components, side-products, volatiles and main fermentation products; extensive know-how for polygenic analysis of commercially-important traits of yeast using pooled-segregant whole-genome sequence analysis, reciprocal hemizygosity analysis and precision allele exchange; metabolic engineering, evolutionary adaptation, population mutagenesis, whole-genome transformation, site-directed mutagenesis, genome editing and other technologies for development of superior industrial yeast strains; confocal fluorescence microscopy; isolation, purification and biochemical analysis of proteins and small molecule cellular components; extraction and analysis of activity and kinetic parameters of enzymes; advanced facilities and know-how for recombinant DNA technology; inducible, secreted and cell wall attached expression of enzymes; extensive know-how on genetic experiments with yeast; chemostats for continuous cultivation; radioactive tracer facilities for substrate uptake and metabolomic experiments; facilities and know-how for bioinformatics analysis, like whole genome sequence analysis.
Microorganisms database
GlobalYeast has access to a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain collection of more than 3300 natural and industrial strains for screening purposes and determination of the polygenic basis of industrially relevant polygenic traits. In addition, it has access to extensive collections of gene deletion, overexpression, inducible expression and tagged allele yeast strains.

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