Futurity Bio-Ventures is a New Zealand biotech start-up looking to establish New Zealand’s first advanced biorefinery, using our abundant forestry assets and converting wood into high value chemicals. We are developing cost competitive, advanced lignin products which have been validated to outperform the oil incumbents in chemical and material manufacturing.
Established in 2018, FBV has validated world leading Biorefining technology with New Zealand P. radiata (pinus radiata/pine). The lignin produced have proven performance and cost benefits for significant customer offtake markets. In our formative years we conducted an extensive world search for licensable, proven commercial technologies which we could bring to New Zealand. We identified two core technologies from Sweetwater Energy (U.S.A.) & MetGen Oy (Finland). These technologies allow wood chip to be effectively and efficiently broken down into their core building blocks, which we then convert into refined products for our customers. This approach has enabled us to fast-track our ability to add value to New Zealand’s abundant forestry and aligns with current Government industry transformation plans to create high value products that help industry reduce their impact. We have validated that these technologies both work with New Zealand P. radiata with 4T of wood chip being sent for processing, successfully producing our targeted sugar streams, nanocellulose and lignin products.
Since then, we have been focusing on securing offtake from future customers to justify investment in a commercial plant here in New Zealand. We have established significant demand in the lignin market and have implemented a strategy to expedite the development of a lignin-only biorefinery. This will significantly reduce the capital requirements and timeline for commercialisation, while retaining a compelling investment case. After successfully deploying our lignin-only biorefinery and establishing high volume biomaterial supply chains for lignin initially, we will continue to advance to whole log biorefinery processing, as markets mature. This enables further value generation in the forestry industry by adding value to all parts of a tree. We estimate this to be a NZ$14bln opportunity to add value alongside the existing pulp and paper and wood products industry already established.
FBV source lignin from a pulp and paper mill by-product to produce our high value LIGNO™ products to develop the market. Our lignin products can service many different industries including resins and adhesives, wood products, chemical additives and foam manufacturing, reducing the reliance of oil in our customers products.
We currently run a small and nimble team in New Zealand, with Dr. Gaetano Dedual CTO, Rupert Paterson Exec. Chair, Jacob Kohn CEO (all co-founders) as well as an advisory board of Sean Simpson (LanzaTech), Matanuku Mahuika (Kahui Legal) and Richard Mehrtens (GlobalEagle). We operate effectively with a small team during the early stages as we are able to leverage the prior investment and expertise of our licenced technology partners, pilot plant facility and personnel to prove the technology's commercial viability for New Zealand. Through this we can produce meaningful quantities of samples and expedite the deployment of a biorefinery here in New Zealand.
To date, Futurity Bio-ventures has been strongly supported by private equity, providing pre-seed and seed capital alongside government, regional investment groups and industry. We are expecting to formally enter into capital raising early next year to begin our next stage of development.