Sign In

Development of production organisms

Choose VTT as your key partner in taking your favourite production host to the top!

VTT has world-class expertise and excellent facilities to develop microbial and plant cells for the production of chemicals, fuels and proteins in various bioprocesses. Our customers benefit from the high efficiency and robustness of the production hosts we develop. High product yields, fast processes and durability of the production organisms are key factors ensuring the competitiveness of modern bioproduction.

VTT has developed a production strain for a consolidated bioethanol process for the Mascoma corporation. The developed yeast strain is capable of producing hydrolytic enzymes and simultaneous fermentation of sugars to ethanol. With this strain, hydrolysis and fermentation can be performed in the same reactor, reducing the need for external enzymes.

Experts in molecular and synthetic biology

We use state of the art molecular and synthetic biology tools, high throughput screening and in vivo evolution to enhance the properties of bacterial, yeast, fungal and plant cells in bioproduction. We engineer microbes for the production of biofuels (alcohols, biodiesel, jet fuel) as well as platform chemicals including acids (lactic, mucic, xylonic, sugar acids) and lipid derivatives. We develop hosts to capture carbon from C1 compounds (methanol, CH4, CO2) to products. We also use contained plant cell cultures for biomass and fine chemical production. We have strong expertise in construction and the improvement of production hosts for industrial enzymes, therapeutic proteins and other recombinant proteins of interest in filamentous fungi, plants, yeasts and bacteria.

Multidisciplinary co-operation

Our most precious resource is our competent and enthusiastic personnel allowing multidisciplinary cooperation. We have excellent genetic toolboxes, systems biology and modelling competence and fermentation facilities up to pilot scale (1200 l). Currently we are applying synthetic biology principles in our strain construction. The in-house accredited Culture collection is crucial for exploiting a wide biodiversity and accessing VTT proprietary strains (VTT´s Culture Collection).

We are active in customer sectors including energy, pulp and paper, chemical, pharmaceutical, industrial enzyme, cosmetic, food, beverage and feed, malting and brewing, flavour and fragrance industries.

​Partners: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University, University of Turku

Coordinator: Research Professor Merja Penttilä, VTT

Tekes funding: € 3 955 000 (2014 - 2016)

The goal of Living Factories programme is to realise the full potential of Synthetic Biology in Finland. Synthetic Biology is considered one of the key breakthrough technologies that will have a major impact on our future. It is based on the design and engineering of new-to-nature biological systems. It has a great potential to generate novel industrial processes and products.

In Living Factories programme, we will create an academia-education-industry environment that builds on forward-looking know-how and exploits the unique functionalities that biology - combined with engineering sciences - can offer, and which will be highly competitive internationally. This will serve as an inspiration for novel and visionary solutions for a sustainable biobased society.

The key focus of the programme is to develop Synthetic Biology solutions that enable industrial processes that are energy and carbon efficient.


Contact us

Merja Penttilä

Programme coordinator, Research Professor

Anu Koivula

Project Manager, Principal Investigator