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Time-to Market und Nearshoring – welche Vorteile machenIT-Nearshoring so beliebt?

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Immer mehr Unternehmen setzen heute auf Nearshore Strategien. In diesem Artikel erklären wir, warum IT-Manager sich genau für IT Nearshoring entscheiden und welche Vorteile auch  im Vergleich zu Offshoring dafür sprechen.

In Bezug auf die Budgetrestriktionen ist Outsourcing sicherlich eine naheliegende Lösung. Die hohen Tagessätzen für IT-Fachkräfte in der DACH-Region sind dabei nur ein Aspekt dieser Problematik. Zuerst müssen diese am Arbeitsmarkt gesucht werden, was in Hinsicht auf den Digitalisierungsdruck und den Fachkräftemangel viel  Zeit und Ressourcen erfordert. In vielen Fällen bedarf es weiterer Ausbildung oder mehr Zeit, bevor die Entwickler wirklich produktiv werden. Outsourcing könnte da nicht nur günstige Konditionen, sondern auch qualifizierte Ressourcen bieten, die schnell eingesetzt werden können. Dennoch birgt Outsourcing auch Risiken und Herausforderungen, die IT-Leiter bei ihrer Entscheidung verunsichern können. Da bietet Nearshoring Vorteile, mit denen sich die Unsicherheiten weitgehend ausräumen lassen.

Nearshoring wird heute nicht nur als ein Weg zur Reduzierung der IT-Investitionen gesehen. Viele Unternehmen sehen darin die Möglichkeit, ihre Produkte schneller auf den Markt zu bringen und neue Technologien zu integrieren. Die Nearshore Ressourcen haben die Vorteile einer überdurchschnittlich guten Ausbildung und Sprachkenntnissen, sind schnell und zu preiswerten Konditionen verfügbar. Die Preise sind nicht signifikant höher als beim Offshoring bei einem Qualität, die sich mit der Leistung lokaler Teams vergleichen lässt.

Dabei wird Offshore meistens von Großorganisationen genutzt, die einen großen Bedarf und die nötigen Ressourcen haben, um eine entsprechende Infrastruktur langfristig zu organisieren. Nearshoring hat den Vorteil, dass es für Unternehmen aller Größen geeignet ist, schnell zugänglich ist und ohne viel Vorbereitung eingesetzt werden kann, da die Infrastruktur bereits vorhanden ist. Flexible Nearshoring-Modelle wie Projektoutsourcing oder Client Owned Nearshore, bei dem dedizierte Mitarbeiter direkt der fachlichen Führung der Stakeholder überlassen werden, sorgen nicht nur für die Implementierung sowohl kurz- als auch langfristigen Projekten, sondern auch für höhere Transparenz und Kontrolle. Bei einem größeren Bedarf bleibt die Option für eine langfristige und komplette Auslagerung der IT.

Nearshore-Anbieter sind auch in den meisten Fällen agilen Arbeitsweisen bestens vorbereitet. Dies sichert einen Plus an Effektivität in Hinsicht auf die Time-to-Market-Anforderungen. Die Nearshore Zentren als Niederlassungen sind meistens von Gründern geführt, die bereits eine langjährige Expertise im IT-Bereich in der DACH-Region vorweisen können und dadurch ihre Nearshore Zentren souverän und zuverlässig managen können und ihre Mitarbeiter erfolgreich organisieren und bei Bedarf weiterbilden können.

Für IT-Entscheider ist Transparenz häufig ein entscheidender Faktor. Nearshoring erlaubt einen eine direkte Führung der Teams ohne Zwischenstufen, wodurch weitgehende Einflussmöglichkeiten gewährleistet werden. Zudem sind die Distanzen zu den Nearshore Standorten kurz – vor Ort Termine beim Stakeholder oder beim Team können schnell organisiert werden. Das Onboarding wird dadurch auch wesentlich erleichtert und erfolgt nahtlos im Unterschied zum Offshore, bei dem eine längere Planung im Voraus erforderlich ist. Die Nearshore Standorten haben auch eine bereits vorhandene globale aufgestellte  Arbeitskultur, die durch die andauernde Präsenz ausländischer Unternehen gewährleistet ist. Die Mitgliedschaft in der EU in machen Zentren erleichtert zusätzlich die Geschäftsbeziehungen. Nearshoring ist zudem ein kluger Weg aus den verschärften AÜG-Anforderungen an deutsche Unternehmen.

source link: https://blubito.de/nearshoring-vorteile/

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Energy

Sunrise brief: GOP bill aims to ban federal funds to buy solar equipment made in China

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Also on the rise: Concentric Power builds a microgrid, research pegs smoke’s impact on 2020 solar output, SolRiver buys a Carolinas development portfolio, jobs growth could signal good times for solar installations, and Plug Power plans another green hydrogen plant.

Eight Republican Senators introduced a bill that would ban using federal funds to buy solar panels or related equipment from China.

A statement issued by the office of Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said that the “Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act” would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to develop “standards and guidelines” to prohibit federal funds from being used to buy solar panels manufactured or assembled “by entities with ties to the Communist Party of China”; require the U.S. Comptroller to submit to Congress a report on the amount of solar panels procured by federal departments and agencies; and require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to study the domestic solar panel production market and the global supply chain and workforce involved in solar panel production.

Scott was joined in introducing the bill by Marco Rubio (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Kennedy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and John Barrasso (R-WY). The senators cited concerns over alleged human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region.

In February, House members reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region unless it is certified they are not produced with forced labor, and allow further sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for alleged abuses against Muslims. The bill last year passed the Democrat-controlled House but stalled in the Senate, which at the time was controlled by Republicans.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has set a June deadline for its member companies to shift supply chains away from the conflict region.

Microgrid for potato grower

Concentric Power is building a $12 million 5.0 MW microgrid for a California-based potato growing, packing, and shipping operation.

The microgrid is designed to include energy generation, distribution, and storage, and will offer islanding capability for continued operations during power outages within the broader utility grid. The project is slated to be completed in the third quarter. As designed, it will include 3.6 MW of cogenerated firm power, 120 kW of solar, and 1.25 MW/625 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage.

Smoke and solar don’t mix

Last year was the most active wildfire season in recent history in Oregon, California, and Washington as measured by acres burned and fire detections, according to analysis by SolarAnywhere researchers Patrick Keelin and Marc Perez. Smoke particles, and more generally aerosols in the atmosphere, diminish the solar radiation available for solar generation.

Smoke and ash particles impact solar production.

Image: NSF/Wikimedia Commons/Rennett Stowe

The researchers said that recent study in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) region found that solar-powered generation during the first two weeks of September 2020—a time when California was heavily impacted by wildfire smoke—was down 13.4% from the year prior despite an increase in total system capacity.

They said that analysis by Clean Power Research quantified the impact of wildfire smoke on solar-powered generation. When North American wildfires peaked in September 2020, aerosols visibly dimmed sunlight across much of the region. Total sunlight  for the month was diminished by as much as 20% in some locations. This included California’s Central Valley and parts of the Columbia River Basin (including Portland and Bend) that were hardest hit by the smoke.

Development portfolio sale

SolRiver Capital bought a 45 MW solar development portfolio in the Carolinas from Birdseye Renewable Energy, the second such deal between the two. The first project, located in North Carolina, was completed last year. With its latest purchase, SolRiver will finance, build, own and operate the portfolio of solar projects. In total, this is the fifth acquisition for SolRiver in the Carolinas.

Jobs growth

The latest Paychex | IHS Markit Business Employment Watch shows increases in jobs growth in March across all U.S. regions and nearly all states and metro areas that were analyzed. The Small Business Jobs Index rose to 94.25 in March. And while the index remains 4.03% below its March 2020 level, the measured 0.30% increase was the” most significant one-month gain since 2013.”

Jobs growth improved across all parts of the U.S., as well as in 18 of the 20 states, and 16 of the 20 metros analyzed.

Image: NREL/Dennis Schroeder

Another leading indicator of economic strength, hourly earnings, reached 2.98%, its fourth month of growth. Weekly earnings also increased, rising to 3.58%, which the report said was a result of growth in weekly hours worked.

The March report also showed jobs growth improved across all parts of the U.S., as well as in 18 of the 20 states, and 16 of the 20 metros analyzed. In particular, the South led all regions in small business job growth, and Florida remained the top state for job growth. The promising jobs report could translate into an uptick in orders for solar developers and installers.

More green hydrogen

Plug Power and Brookfield Renewable Partners said they plan to build a green hydrogen production plant in Pennsylvania that will use energy from Brookfield Renewable’s Holtwood hydroelectric facility. Green hydrogen from this facility will be used in the transportation and logistics industries in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic states. The plant is expected to be online by late 2022, with construction slated to begin by in the first quarter of 2022. Once operational, the plant is projected to produce approximately 15 metric-tons of liquid hydrogen per day.

Plug Power also recently announced construction of a green hydrogen production facility and electric substation in the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park, joining an existing plant in Tennessee as the initial links in the company’s North American green hydrogen production network.

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Source: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2021/03/31/sunrise-brief-gop-bill-aims-to-ban-federal-funds-to-buy-solar-equipment-made-in-china/

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Blockchain

Pain in the Pharma chain: is Blockchain the Remedy?

When you drop into your local pharmacy for your medication — whether it is a box of vitamins or a drug prescribed by a physician — you probably do not question the product’s quality or worry whether it will be in stock. But the fact that your medicine is waiting for you on the shelf […]

The post Pain in the Pharma chain: is Blockchain the Remedy? appeared first on Asia Crypto Today.

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When you drop into your local pharmacy for your medication — whether it is a box of vitamins or a drug prescribed by a physician — you probably do not question the product’s quality or worry whether it will be in stock. But the fact that your medicine is waiting for you on the shelf is an organisational miracle and each box has a long journey behind it. 

In most cases, this “invisible story” culminates in a happy ending: a patient who receives the right treatment. However, the journey from the manufacturing facility is long and perilous. According to the Corporate Finance Institute, a supply chain is the system used to produce and deliver a product, from sourcing the raw materials right up to to the final delivery to the end customer. 

The supply chain of medicine is especially complex, however. Drugs are not only very delicate products that require special care, but delivery involves multiple stages, stakeholders, and border-crossings in a series carefully orchestrated and regulated steps with precise timing. In such a complex endeavor, many things can go wrong and when they do, it is crucial to have a transparent record of events in order to learn from mistakes and continuously improve supply chain processes. 

This is where blockchain’s unique characteristics of offering an immutable and transparent record of transactions can show its strength.

Table of Contents

The journey begins

To illustrate some of the most daunting challenges, let’s return to the journey of our hypothetical medicine from factory to pharmacy. Logistics, which concerns the physical delivery of medicines, is only a part of the entire pharmaceutical supply chain. Nevertheless, a Novartis source asserts that it can amount to nearly 40% of total operating expenses. According to the same source, a medicine usually passes through at least “ten hands” before a doctor or patient receives it. 

According to Biopharmaceutical Reporter, a news outlet specialised in the biopharmaceutical industry, up to 10% of vaccines are lost in transit due to breakage or problems with cold chain infrastructure. 

Once they have entered the system, faulty or damaged items are difficult to track down. Such substandard products are not only potentially dangerous to the health of patients, but also cause tremendous waste: the pharmaceutical industry discards at least $15 billion of product each year due to temperature deviations and this sum reaches $35 billion if we take into account additional costs like product replacement. 

Pain in the chain

Once our package arrives at the airport, it starts the next phase of its journey and it is time for it to pass through customs control. Unfortunately, as a Harvard Business Review analysis highlighted, documentation is often manual and paper-based. As a result, paperwork piles up at each handoff and border crossing. Fragmentation of data across documents and siloed IT systems causes delays, and can lead to further errors. Regulations for transportation also differ from country to country, further aggravating the administrative burden.

When our medicine finally arrives at the wholesaler or pharmacy, one hurdle remains before it can be placed on store shelves. How can a distributor reliably check if the box of medicines they received is authentic? The question of provenance might seem trivial, but it is a significant challenge. According to Tegan Keele, US blockchain program lead at KPMG, drugs can be traced if they are packed in a box with a barcode or QR code printed on it. However, visibility decreases as soon as someone opens and unloads that box, because individual units are not yet traceable. This is a major problem: according to a Deloitte report, the pharmaceutical industry loses a massive $200 billion a year due to counterfeiting. However, the gravest cost of counterfeit drugs is their toll in human lives: according to the same report, fake drugs are accountable for about one million deaths per year, a tragedy that particularly affects developing countries.

Blockchain: always on the verge?

The pharmaceutical supply chain is ridden with fragmentation of processes and information asymmetries that make compliance with regulations and the monitoring of sensitive cargo a complex and expensive task. In short, it is an industry with multiple stakeholders with potentially diverging interests, where trust is paramount. 

This is a use case for blockchain.  One of its core purposes is to create a trustworthy, secure and inalterable ledger of records accessible to multiple stakeholders. 

Proponents contend that if this were combined with smart contracts and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to measure things like temperature, geolocation humidity and shocks, the entire supply chain could be made more transparent. In turn, this would lead to greater accountability and ultimately, less waste. You might even envisage a scenario where paper-based agreements like insurance policies and vendor contracts, and even payments are fully automated. 

Unfortunately adoption of blockchain for supply chain management has been rather slow and mainly limited to pilot projects. So why does blockchain seem to be always on the verge but never breaking through to adoption?

One of the core issues is scalability. Managing a global supply chain potentially involves thousands of interactions between individuals and machines. Existing blockchains that rely on proof-of-work (PoW) mining can generally only process about 7 transactions per second on average. Indeed, scalability and excessive energy consumption are frequently cited by researchers as significant barriers to blockchain adoption in supply chain networks, both of which stem directly from PoW mining. 

An even greater concern, however, is the technical complexity of blockchain and the degree to which it is interoperable with existing systems. Enterprises tend to want to combine blockchain with their existing back-end systems rather than starting from scratch, but this can often be an onerous undertaking involving high research and development costs. These issues are likely to be particularly prevalent in the pharmaceutical sector, due to the comparative complexity of its supply networks.  

Perhaps the most interesting finding across recent studies is that security and privacy are currently regarded as a drawback rather than a benefit of blockchain. 

Re-engineering blockchain

If blockchain is to be a viable option for supply chain businesses, it needs to be flexible, upgradable, environmentally sustainable and cost effective. 

The pharmaceutical industry could clearly benefit from blockchain-based networks that would enable information and resources to flow through the supply chain with less friction and waste. While blockchain holds the potential to ameliorate these issues, the theory remains far removed from practical reality. At Geeq, we are developing a technology to close this gap. We have designed a new type of blockchain network that can truly enable stakeholders to reduce information asymmetries and coordination problems, while increasing transparency. 

This new type of consensus mechanism called proof-of-honesty, does not require costly mining. Unlike other public blockchains, there are no “block proposers” that win the right to validate the next block of transactions. Unlike other enterprise blockchains, there is no delegation to validate transactions to special, trusted nodes. Instead, all nodes are treated equally, follow the same rules and compete in terms of the accuracy of their ledgers. 

By making ledger accuracy, rather than mining power, the fulcrum of competition, blockchains can be created that support far higher transaction throughput, even with modest numbers of nodes. This degree of scalability will be an essential prerequisite for widespread deployment of blockchain in the supply chain sector.   

Author 

Stephanie So is an economist, policy analyst and co-founder of Geeq. Throughout her career, she has applied technology within her specialist disciplines. In 2001, she was the first to use machine learning on social science data at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. More recently, she researched the use of distributed networking processes in healthcare and patient safety in her role as a Senior Lecturer at Vanderbilt University. Stephanie is a graduate of Princeton University (A.B.) and the University of Rochester (M.A., M.S., Ph.D).

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Source: https://www.asiacryptotoday.com/pain-in-the-pharma-chain-is-blockchain-the-remedy/

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AI

FourKites raises $100M for supply chain visibility

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Chicago, Illinois-based supply chain visibility platform FourKites today said that it raised $100 million in series D financing, bringing its total raised to over $200.5 million. The company says that the capital will be toward product development as FourKites expands its global reach.

Supply chain challenges are myriad in the pandemic world. For retail, it’s estimated that inventory is accurate just 63% of the time, on average. But stakeholders with superior visibility into their supply lines consistently outperform the competition. Seventy-nine percent of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve revenue growth greater than the mean within their industries, according to Logistics Bureau.

FourKites, whose customers include Coca-Cola, AB InBev, and Walmart, claims to track over 1 million shipments daily and 1 billion events monthly reaching 176 countries across road, rail, ocean, air, and parcel. More than 500 of the world’s largest brands including 9 of the top 10 consumer packaged goods companies use FourKites in their logistics and transportation workflows, according to the company, as well as a network of over 450,000 couriers.

CEO Matt Elenjickal says that the idea for FourKites evolved from his time as a supply chain consultant, where he worked with Fortune 50 enterprises that often struggled with the need for basic supply chain visibility. Elenjickal founded the company in 2014 to address what he saw as a key gap in the logistics space: the lack of real-time visibility. In doing so, he made FourKites one of the first companies to deploy GPS-enabled electronic logging devices, ostensibly allowing shippers to improve on-time delivery and optimize their supply chains based on data and predictive intelligence.

FourKites provides a real-time view of supply chain and carrier performance for shipments, with tools that enable companies to manage exceptions before they occur and deliver notifications to recipients. On the procurement and planning side, clients get insights for store operations, including product availability and labor planning, in addition to tracking for in-transit and in-year freight.

FourKites

“FourKites primarily uses data science in service of improving supply chain performance. Predicting estimated time to arrival is the bread and butter of this industry because that drives a lot of decision-making,” Elenjickal told VentureBeat via email. “We monitor over 230 ports and use more than 150 data points associated with a single load — chiefly shipper, carrier, lane, terminal, route, journey, rest patterns, load, traffic, and point-in-time weather — to drive our models. Models are trained on roughly 2 million shipments spanning trucks, trains, air, rail and water shipments across the countries being tracked on our platform at any given time. They’re tuned to be sensitive to shipper, warehouse, lane and carrier behavior.”

Elenjickal says that FourKites has also tracked over 3 million less-than-truckload shipments for customers around the world, where the freight is relatively small (usually less than 150 pounds). Leveraging this dataset and its machine learning capabilities, the company’s team analyzed over 3 million loads, 3.2 billion less-than-truckload miles, and more than 1.3 trillion data points to generate what FourKites claims is the industry’s first dynamic estimated time to arrival model for less-than-truckload shipments, applicable regardless of geography.

In September 2019, FourKites, which recently grew beyond 500 employees, launched FourKites Community, a forum that gives customers the ability to connect with other shippers and third-party logistics providers in the FourKites network. It’s a part of FourKites’ plan to hit $100 million in revenue within the next two years.

However, FourKites faces formidable challenges not only from competitors including Shippeo, Descartes, and Transporeon, but from headwinds arising from the pandemic. Early in the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon and other ecommerce retailers were forced to restrict the amount of inventory suppliers could send to its warehouses. Ecommerce order volume increased by 50% compared with 2019, and shipment times for products like furniture more than doubled in March 2020. Overall, U.S. digital sales have jumped by 30%, expediting the online shopping transition by as much as two years.

To address this, in May 2020, FourKites announced new collaborative features designed to reduce human contact and decrease the risk of virus transmission to frontline workers. Among these were paperless document processing, customer notifications, enhanced instant messaging, and capabilities for retailers that enable them to track last-mile shipments from local warehouses to outlets. Just two weeks after the COVID outbreak in the U.S., FourKites introduced a publicly available live network congestion map that spotlights cross-border freight movements across North America, Mexico, and Europe; port delays; and interstate transit metrics, as well as free services to better support shippers, carriers, and drivers with data and transparency.

FourKites

Elenjickal notes that New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) used FourKites platform data to monitor the food supply chain across NYC at the beginning of the pandemic. By tracking stops that shippers were making to ZIP codes within the city, the NYCEDC was able to better understand where there may be geographic disparities or product-level trends over time so that it could more effectively keep food flowing throughout NYC. In addition, the City of New York was able to closely monitor interstate trucking and coordinate with regional and national trucking associations, port authorities, and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure that truck drivers continued to be able to access the city and bring in product. NYC created temporary truck rest areas for drivers and worked with FourKites to push notifications and updates regarding new rest areas to all drivers within 50 miles of New York City via CarrierLink, FourKites’ mobile app for drivers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic shutdowns did not have the effect on freight that many thought they would. In fact, the initial disruptions caused by the shutdowns drove more interest in freight visibility solutions,” Elenjickal said. “Communication became absolutely critical during COVID, and that is a trend that’s here to stay. Many of us have dreamed of this happening. But this is what the next 5 to 10 years of supply chain is going to look like, and we’re excited to be creating the technology that can facilitate it.”

Going forward, Elenjickal says the plan is to grow FourKites’ presence and customer success teams, particularly in Europe, Asia Pacific, and India. “If you look at the strategic investors in this growth financing, we are now evolving beyond transportation visibility into true end-to-end supply chain visibility so that you know exactly what is happening in your supply chain, anywhere and everywhere, at any given point in time,” he said. “We will be connecting the physical and digital worlds of warehouses, yards, stores and transportation with real-time data and machine learning.”

Thomas H. Lee Partners, Zebra Technologies, Volvo Group Venture Capital AB, and Qualcomm Ventures participated in FourKites’ latest funding round. This brings the total capital raised to over $200 million.

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Start Ups

This Y Combinator startup is taking lab-grown meat upscale with elk, lamb and Wagyu beef cell lines

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Last week a select group of 20 employees and guests gathered at an event space on the San Francisco Bay, and, while looking out at the Bay Bridge, dined on a selection of choice elk sausages, Wagyu meatloaf and lamb burgers — all of which were grown from a petri dish.

The dinner was a coming out party for Orbillion Bio, a new startup pitching today in Y Combinator’s latest demo day, that’s looking to take lab-grown meats from the supermarket to high-end, bespoke butcher shops.

Instead of focusing on pork, chicken and beef, Orbillion is going after so-called heritage meats — the aforementioned elk, lamb and Wagyu beef to start.

By focusing on more expensive-end products, Orbillion doesn’t have as much pressure to slash costs as dramatically as other companies in the cellular meat market, the thinking goes.

But there’s more to the technology than its bougie beef, elite elk and luscious lamb meat.

“Orbillion uses a unique accelerated development process producing thousands of tiny tissue samples, constantly iterating to find the best tissue and media combinations,” according to Holly Jacobus, whose firm, Joyance Partners, is an early investor in Orbillion. “This is much less expensive and more efficient than traditional methods and will enable them to respond quickly to the impressive demand they’re already experiencing.”

The company runs its multiple cell lines through a system of small bioreactors. Orbillion couples that with a high throughput screening and machine learning software system to build out a database of optimized tissue and media combinations. “The key to making lab grown meat work scalably is choosing the right cells cultured in the most efficient way possible,” Jacobus wrote.

Orbillion is co-founded by a deeply technical and highly experienced team of executives that’s led by Patricia Bubner, a former researcher at the German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim. Joining Bubner is Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, a former director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, who was a post-doc at Berkeley with Bubner and serves as the company’s chief technology officer. Rounding out the senior leadership is Samet Yildirim, the chief operating officer and a veteran executive of Boehringer Ingelheim (he actually served as Bubner’s boss).

Orbillion Bio co-founders Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, CTO; Patricia Bubner, CEO; and Samet Yildirim, COO. Image Credit: Orbillion Bio

For Bubner, the focus on heritage meats is as much a function of her background growing up in rural Austria as it is about economics. A longtime, self-described foodie and a nerd, Bubner went into chemistry because she ultimately wanted to apply science to the food business. And she wants Orbillion to make not just meat, but the most delicious meats.

It’s an aim that fits with how many other companies have approached the market when they’re looking to commercialize a novel technology. Higher-end products, or products with unique flavor profiles that are unique to the production technologies available, are more likely to be commercially viable sooner than those competing with commodity products. Why focus on angus beef when you can focus on a much more delicious breed of animal?

For Bubner, it’s not just about making a pork replacement, it’s about making the tastiest pork replacement.

“I’m just fascinated and can see the future in us being able to further change the way we produce food to be more efficient,” she said. “We’re at this inflection point. I’m a nerd, I’m a foodie, and I really wanted to use my skills to make a change. I wanted to be part of that group of people that can really have an impact on the way we eat. For me there’s no doubt that a large percentage of our food will be from alternative proteins — plant based, fermentation and lab-grown meat.”

Joining Boehringer Ingelheim was a way for Bubner to become grounded in the world of big bioprocessing. It was preparation for her foray into lab-grown meat, she said.

“We are a product company. Our goal is to make the most flavorful steaks. Our first product will not be whole cuts of steak. The first product is going to be a Wagyu beef product that we plan on putting out in 2023,” Bubner said. “It’s a product that’s going to be based on more of a minced product. Think Wagyu sashimi.”

To get to market, Bubner sees the need not just for a new approach to cultivating choice meats, but a new way of growing other inputs as well, from the tissue scaffolding needed to make larger cuts that resemble traditional cuts of meat, or the fats that will need to be combined with the meat cells to give flavor.

That means there are still opportunities for companies like Future Fields, Matrix Meats and Turtle Tree Scientific to provide inputs that are integrated into the final, branded product.

Bubner’s also thinking about the supply chain beyond her immediate potential partners in the manufacturing process. “Part of my family were farmers and construction workers and the others were civil engineers and architects. I hold farmers in high respect… and think the people who grow the food and breed the animals don’t get recognition for the work that they do.”

She envisions working in concert with farmers and breeders in a kind of licensing arrangement, potentially, where the owners of the animals that produce the cell lines can share in the rewards of their popularization and wider commercial production.

That also helps in the mission of curbing the emissions associated with big agribusiness and breeding and raising livestock on a massive scale. If you only need a few animals to make the meat, you don’t have the same environmental footprint for the farms.

“We need to make sure that we don’t make the mistakes that we did in the past that we only breed animals for yield and not for flavor,” said Bubner. 

Even though the company is still in its earliest days, it already has one letter of intent, with one of San Francisco’s most famous butchers. Guy Crims, also known as “Guy the Butcher,” has signed a letter of intent to stock Orbillion Bio’s lab-grown Wagyu in his butcher shop, Bubner said. “He’s very much a proponent of lab-grown meat.”

Now that the company has its initial technology proven, Orbillion is looking to scale rapidly. It will take roughly $3.5 million for the company to get a pilot plant up and running by the end of 2022, and that’s in addition to the small $1.4 million seed round the company has raised from Joyant and firms like VentureSouq.

“The way I see an integrated model working later on is to have the farmers be the breeders of animals for cultivated meat. That can reduce the number of cows on the planet to a couple of hundred thousand,” Bubner said of her ultimate goal. “There’s a lot of talking about if you do lab-grown meat you want to put me out of business. It’s not like we’re going to abolish animal agriculture tomorrow.”

Image Credit: Getty Images

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/03/23/this-y-combinator-startup-is-taking-lab-grown-meat-upscale-with-elk-lamb-and-wagyu-beef-cell-lines/

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