ABI’s project - construction phase :
Local authorities (Reims Metropole, now Grand Reims, Champagne-Ardenne Région now Grand Est, Département de la Marne) decide to bring to the territory AgroParisTech, CentraleSupélec, NéomaBS, leading “Grandes Ecoles”, and build a new research center to foster innovation in biomass valorization and incubate start-ups within the Pomacle-Bazancourt biorefinery.
The project is materialized through the signature of an agreement between AgroParisTech and the local authorities to create Chaire ABI (Industrial Agro-Biotechnologies).
Florent Allais, Director of Chaire ABI and first member of Chair ABI, is hired. The research center being under construction at Pomacle-Bazancourt, Chair ABI searches for a temporary location to start its research activities.
Launch of Chaire ABI :
Chair ABI is temporarily installed at the Collège des Trois Fontaines (Middle School) in January in Reims. The laboratory is operational in February and the first members of the team are recruited during the year. The adventure can begin!
The first two PhD students arrive. Chair ABI publishes its first scientific article and its first patent.
To promote Chair ABI’s research works and expertise, the first business developer is recruited. Chair ABI launches its first website.
After 3 years of temporary housing at the Collège des Trois Fontaines, it was finally time for Chair ABI to invest its new offices and laboratories at the brand new CEBB research center at the heart of the Pomacle-Bazancourt biorefinery. This allows Chair ABI to have access to brand new labs dedicated to process engineering, biotechnology and chemistry, fully equipped with the latest technology and a 400 m² technical hall dedicated to scale-up process. Time to step-up!
Renewal of the funding - URD ABI (Research & Development Unit) :
After having been very positively assessed by an international committee chaired by Dr. John Warner (Co-creator of the 12 Green Chemistry principles), not only Chair ABI is renewed for the 2019-2026 period thanks to the continuing trust and support of Grand Reims and Grand Est Region who almost doubled Chair ABI’s budget, but Chair ABI becomes officially URD ABI (URD: Research & Development Unit) labeled by the Ministry of Agricultural. Of course, this increased budget is linked to even higher expectations from our funding partners in terms of number of publications, patents, contract and research works valorization.
To tackle this challenge, URD ABI doubles its permanent staff and hires PhD students and post-doc. Particularly, two senior scientists join URD ABI to lead the Biotechnology and Downstream process teams and strenghten URD ABI’s transdisciplinarity further. To answer to its economic objectives, URD ABI opens 4 Business Units (Building blocks, Cosmetics, Biomaterials, Health crop).