Plant biotechnology

Plant biotechnology holds the key to disrupt current, non-sustainable production of food, materials and chemicals. Take full advantage of VTT’s novel, sustainably produced plant biotechnology products such as functional plant-based biomass, extracts and molecules for your applications.

Key facts about plant biotechnology

Crucial anticancer drugs, vaccines and antibodies are nowadays supplied by plant cell cultures.

Cultured plant cells are already important ingredients in modern cosmetics and personal care.

Plant cell cultures contain superior nutritional composition for future food applications.

VTT develops plants, plant cells, microalgae and other plant-based raw materials for the sustainable production of biomass, ingredients, high-value chemicals and proteins. The benefits of our approaches are a stable supply in combination with safe and contained production processes resulting in economical and clean products.

Our tailor-made R&D solutions range from efficient utilisation of industrial side streams to cell-based production of high value molecules. They offer our customers a competitive edge and protectable innovations enabling new businesses and value chains.

Comprehensive expertise from idea to industrial scale

Our unique expertise supports the whole innovation chain from the idea to the final product.  

We offer plant cell and tissue culture technology from initiation up to industrial scale. Product development can be facilitated by metabolic engineering including synthetic biology. We valorise industrial plant-based side streams by fractionation, bioprocessing and extraction. For all these options, we can conduct comprehensive chemical characterisation, bioactivity assessment and safety evaluation.

Plant biotechnology holds the key to disrupt current, non-sustainable production of food, materials and chemicals.

Plant natural compounds and proteins as well as exploitation of Nordic biodiversity, for instance berries, are our main research areas.

Additional core areas of competence are plant metabolism, biotransformation, genetic engineering and cryopreservation of plant cells. Our valuable plant cell culture lines can be accessed through the internationally recognised VTT culture collection.

Unique plant biotechnology R&D infrastructure

Our most important resources are: plant cell culture collection, aseptic working areas, modular molecular biology tools, cell models for bioactivities,  bioreactors for screening and up to pilot scale (steel tank, glass, disposable), growth rooms, greenhouse and incubators,  long-term cryostorage of plant cell lines, analytical infrastructure (including UPLC-MS, GC-MS, GCxGC-ToF, NMR).

We are well networked within European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO), European Technology Platform (ETP), Plants for the Future, the International Society for Plant Molecular Farming and EU COST Actions. Furthermore, we are coordinating and active partners in the EU, ERAnet and EIT Food consortia as well as in nationally funded projects.  

Close academic collaboration with leading international universities and research institutes ensures scientific excellence at the forefront of plant biotechnology. Hosting researchers and students is actively promoted e.g. in the frame of Erasmus program and within the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Plant Sciences.  

Our customers include the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, personal care, food and feed, beverage, flavour and fragrance industries.  

One example of our customer cooperation is the Finnish cosmetics company Lumene:
“Cooperation with VTT has been extremely productive.” says Tiina Isohanni, Lumene’s Vice President, Innovation & Development. “Achieving international growth in the cosmetics industry requires not only solid innovative product development, but also good, world class partners. VTT is a natural and preferred partner for us because they have innovative expertise and dedication to succeed with the latest technology.”

Jari Rautio
Jari Rautio
Solution Sales Lead

Demand for food is growing at the same rate as the world population. Food production needs to be both sufficiently efficient and less harmful for the environment than before. The challenge is massive, but big steps have already been taken in the right direction.