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According to a 2020 paper from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (, the direct economic impact inputs from the U.S. bioeconomy was approximately $402 billion in 2016. When you include estimates for indirect economic inputs and induced effects, the economic impact is over $950 billion. The McKinsey Institute ( estimates that by as early as 2030, the direct economic impact of the global bioeconomy could reach $4 trillion. In the words of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (, “we are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution – a revolution emerging from astounding advancements in biotechnology.”

One significant part of the biotechnology landscape, in terms of dollars and technological advancement, is industrial fermentation. The intersection of business and technology in this field presents both challenges and opportunities, driving rapid evolution and shaping the future of biomanufacturing. Fermentation has the potential to positively impact the world in a number of ways. AMG is excited to be part of this future, combining our decades of agricultural processing expertise, real world facility design and construction experience, patented innovations in agricultural processing, and proven track record of scaling production from lab to industrial levels.

Industrial fermentation is a process used in biotechnology and bioengineering industries to produce a wide range of products through the controlled growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast, or fungi, in large-scale fermentation vessels or bioreactors. These microorganisms metabolize specific substrates, such as sugars or organic compounds, to produce desired bioproducts. This process has diverse applications, including the production of pharmaceuticals, enzymes, biofuels, organic acids, vitamins, flavors, fragrances, and other bioproducts used in various industries such as healthcare, food and beverage, agriculture, energy, and environmental remediation.

Precision fermentation is an emerging approach in industrial biotechnology that involves the precise manipulation of microorganisms to produce target compounds with high specificity and efficiency. Unlike traditional fermentation, which relies on the natural metabolism of microorganisms, precision fermentation employs genetic engineering and synthetic biology techniques to engineer microbes for optimized production of desired molecules. Precision fermentation can produce complex and valuable compounds that are otherwise difficult or impossible to obtain through conventional methods. By precisely engineering the metabolic pathways of microorganisms, scientists can tailor their biochemical processes to produce specific target molecules with high purity and yield.

Industrial fermentation has witnessed remarkable advancements in recent years, propelled by breakthroughs in biotechnology, automation, and data analytics. Businesses operating in this space are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance process efficiency, product quality, and sustainability. From precision fermentation to metabolic engineering, novel approaches are revolutionizing how bio-based products are manufactured, opening doors to new markets and applications.

The pace of innovation in industrial fermentation is accelerating, driven by a convergence of factors such as increased demand for sustainable solutions, advances in synthetic biology, and growing interest from a wider range of industries. For example, according to the Good Food Institute’s State of the Industry Report (, companies focused on fermentation for alternative proteins raised $842 million in funding in 2022, with all-time investment now over $4 billion. Other key trends shaping the industry include the quest for biobased chemicals and materials, and the emergence of fermentation platforms for personalized medicine and therapeutics. As technology continues to evolve, companies must adapt quickly to stay competitive and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

While the industrial fermentation industry holds immense promise, it also faces significant challenges on the path to growth. Regulatory hurdles, supply chain disruptions, and fluctuating market dynamics can pose obstacles to businesses operating in this space. Additionally, scaling up fermentation processes from lab-scale to commercial production presents technical and logistical challenges, requiring substantial investments in infrastructure, expertise, and resources. One of the effects of these challenges is the gap between demand and capacity. According to the November 2023 State of Global Fermentation report from Synonym (, capacity for fermentation would need to grow by more than 10x to meet current demand. Overcoming these challenges will require collaboration, innovation, and strategic partnerships across the value chain. AMG is uniquely positioned to help overcome some of these challenges. We have been deeply involved in the bioprocessing industry for almost half a century.

Despite the challenges, the future of industrial fermentation is brimming with potential and is poised to be one of the technologies that has one of the most dramatic impacts on the future of the daily lives of individuals and the trajectory of the planet. From sustainable biofuels to biodegradable plastics, the applications of fermentation technology are virtually limitless. Advancements in genetic engineering, automation, and bioprocess optimization are paving the way for more efficient and cost-effective production of bio-based products. Moreover, the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly and ethically sourced goods is driving market opportunities for companies that can deliver innovative, sustainable solutions.

Currently, human health and performance applications have the clearest pipeline from research to commercialization, but more than half of future direct impact is expected to come from primarily agriculture, consumer products, and materials and energy production.

The industrial fermentation industry is at a pivotal moment in its evolution. Businesses that embrace the technology, navigate market trends, and overcome challenges will thrive in this dynamic landscape. Fermentation will be one of the keys to solving many of the world’s biggest challenges related to energy, healthcare, food security, environmental protection, and resource management. As we look to the future, the potential of industrial fermentation to address global challenges, drive economic growth, and create a more sustainable world is truly exciting. By staying agile, collaborative, and forward-thinking, AMG can help unlock new possibilities and shape the future of biomanufacturing for generations to come.

Topics: Process Engineering