How we Do It


Biology offers a better way. Our platform replaces a chemical factory’s tons of steel and concrete with a microbe in a fermentation tank: a tiny, easily reproduced, incredibly valuable engineered cell that can help solve some of our world’s biggest problems.


We fuse biology and technology, and integrate new techniques in genomics, machine learning, and automation.

Zymergen 3 Step Process
We use a three-step process to create breakthroughs:

1. Design Product

The potential of nature is limitless, and the scope of molecular diversity is vast. We’ve built a huge biomolecular database to power our search for molecules best suited to the customer problem we are trying to solve.

Once we’ve identified a winning biomolecule, we set about designing microbes that can produce it. Using our best-in-class genomic libraries, we generate thousands of prototypes with the potential to produce the molecule we want, across a wide range of potential microbes.

2. Create Microbe

To genetically fine-tune a microbe to work reliably at scale, we create and test billions of designs informed by scientific expertise and machine-learning algorithms. We measure the results in near-real time with custom analytics software, in order to find the perfect genetic recipe for commercial success. 

Advanced machine-learning tools pull out subtle signals from the noise, so we can unlock the benefits of tiny genetic changes. This enables pioneering exploration of the known and unknown universe of biodiversity and delivers breakthrough solutions.

We then ferment molecules, combining deep technical expertise and data science algorithms with a world-class collection of fermentation bioreactors. Once we’ve produced these molecular building blocks in the quantities needed, we’re ready for the final stage.

3. Scale Production

In parallel to scaling up biomolecule production, Zymergen’s chemists and materials scientists develop the purification and chemical modification steps to convert these molecular building blocks into finished products. With established manufacturing partnerships and a global supply chain management team, we have the capabilities to take our molecules over the finish line and into the hands of our customers.

With one billion pounds of product created by our microbes and counting, we are tackling big problems with biology as we strive to make better and greener products faster and cheaper than ever thought possible.

Iterate. Improve. Repeat.

Our workflow improves over time as each round of biomolecule design, microbe creation, and product optimization generates more proprietary data, further enhancing our algorithms—and getting us to the next breakthrough product even faster.

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