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New Uses

Feb 12, 2024

Consider Corn Challenge IV Spotlight: Bluestem Biosciences

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Stacey Stiens

Bluestem Biosciences—one of four grand winners of the National Corn Growers Association's (NCGA) Consider Corn Challenge IV—stands at the forefront of renewable chemicals innovation in the Midwest. Harnessing the power of programmable biology, Bluestem is revolutionizing the biomanufacturing sector by developing sustainable solutions for commodity chemicals. Their groundbreaking decarbonized chemical platform promises far-reaching benefits, from mitigating climate impact to revitalizing agricultural economies and domestic supply chains, thus paving the way for a bio-based future across the chemical sector.   At the heart of Bluestem's success lies their pioneering work in developing novel yeast biology for the anaerobic bio-production of 3-Hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP). This chemical intermediate, with a substantial $25 billion total addressable market, serves as a strategic platform molecule with applications across diverse consumer end markets, including personal care products,...

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Jan 24, 2024

Consider Corn Challenge IV Spotlight: Maïzly

Key Issues: SustainabilityNew Uses

Author: Stacey Stiens

Maïzly—one of four winners in the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Consider Corn Challenge IV—has emerged as a pioneer in the realm of plant-based alternatives, particularly in the creation of a nutritious beverage derived from corn. Founded by Tim Leclercq and Marcel Van Der Merwe, the company has perfected a formula that replicates the mouthfeel of dairy milk while offering a smooth, natural taste that enhances rather than masks the flavors it accompanies. With a range of delicious flavors—original, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry—as well as a tasty custard, Maïzly has positioned itself as a game-changer in the plant-based food industry, capturing customers who cannot consume dairy milk or other plant based alternative beverages due to allergies or intolerances.   The key innovation lies in Maïzly's identification of a specific corn variant that not only mimics the characteristics of dairy milk but also contributes to a unique taste profile. Unlike traditional...

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Oct 20, 2023

Consider Corn Challenge IV Winners Announced

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Stacey Stiens

At yesterday’s Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership 2023 Conference in San Francisco, California, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge IV. Four winners were chosen, each with a unique way to improve a product or process using feed corn to produce biobased materials.    “The Consider Corn Challenge fosters innovative collaborations between corn farmers and industry, which paves the way for new products, chemicals and applications. This year’s winners have continued to demonstrate corn’s adaptability,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “And corn’s unique versatility can be witnessed in the showcase of their diverse approaches and applications. This contest continues to highlight the fact that U.S. corn is an extremely flexible feedstock suited for biobased products.”    The four winners for the Consider Corn Challenge IV are Bluestem Biosciences Inc., based out of Omaha, Nebraska; Pennsylvania State University,...

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Apr 17, 2023

Consider Corn Challenge IV Continues to Find Game-Changing New Uses for Field Corn

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Stacey Stiens

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is launching its fourth iteration of the Consider Corn Challenge. This open-innovation contest invites participants to answer the call and submit proposals for new uses of field corn as a primary feedstock for producing novel sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand.    “Consumers have a genuine interest in biobased products; and corn is investing in solutions to meet that need,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Colorado farmer Troy Schneider. “In order to continue drawing in the cutting-edge, game-changing participation we have seen for the past three years, the prize pool for the fourth challenge has been increased to $250,000.”   Previous winners of the Consider Corn Challenge contests have scaled up to the next phase of development, received additional grant funding, entered into joint agreements and obtained registration for state biobased production incentives.   “The...

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Mar 30, 2023

Continuing to Pave the Way for Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Sarah McKay

At the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) in Washington D.C., the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) once again sponsored and facilitated the Corn-to-Chemicals Summit, outlining the uses of corn as an industrial feedstock.   The panel was moderated by Sarah McKay, NCGA Market Development Director, and participants included Nick Lepore, Morning Consult Senior Research Manager, and Denny Vennekotter, Vice Chair of Market Development Action Team (MDAT) and Ohio corn grower. The panel highlighted the survey results from the MDAT commissioned study on public perception of industrial biotechnology and support for a national incentive for biobased products. Vennekotter also shared his perspective on the value and sustainability of corn as an industrial feedstock and how utilizing corn addresses key areas of importance for the public as it relates to industrial biotechnology. Further, the panel had a robust Q&A session with the audience on programs and policies,...

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Dec 7, 2022

NCGA Consider Corn Challenge Winner Gets Another Step Closer to Commercialization

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

ExoPolymer, Inc., a winner of the Consider Corn Challenge II, recently announced a new partnership with CP Kelco, which takes ExoPolymer’s technology one step closer to commercialization. The partnership with CP Kelco will help ExoPolymer scale up production of a polysaccharide-based biopolymer. ExoPolymer is creating a new profile of customizable, polysaccharide-based hydrocolloids that are domestically produced by microbial fermentation using corn sugar as a feedstock. These new hydrocolloids will meet the growing needs and performance gaps in the healthcare, personal care, food, pharmaceutical and energy industries.   “We are thrilled to see one of our previous Consider Corn Challenge Winners, Derek Wells and ExoPolymer, continue to reach key milestones in becoming closer to commercialization,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “This is our hope for all of our winners and is the goal of the contest. We want to help bring to light some of the great research...

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Jun 21, 2022

#CUTC22 Content is Just a Click Away!

Key Issues: New UsesResearch

Author: Stacey Stiens

Since 1987, the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) has convened the corn industry’s leading innovators to participate in scientific exchange and thought-provoking discussions.  This year’s virtual edition—focused on New Uses and Mycotoxins—did not deviate from that formula, allowing a diverse group of researchers, farmers and other industry leaders to come together to consider the future of the industry from the varying perspectives of each stakeholder’s lens.   Day one of the conference kicked off with New Uses sessions focused on topics including advancements in wet and dry milling, sustainable aviation fuel, advocacy for biotechnology and renewable products, innovative financing solutions and commercialization of renewables. The following two days, Mycotoxins were forefront, including but not limited to the prevalence of mycotoxins, advances in technology to reduce fumonisins, vomitoxin, aflatoxin and approaches for mycotoxin-contaminated corn...

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May 10, 2022

Sharing the Story of the Path for Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

At the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) in Washington D.C., the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) held a session on Corn-to-Chemicals, outlining the uses of corn as an industrial feedstock.   The panel was moderated by McKay, and participants included John Hannon, COO, Vertimass; Nathan Danielson, Principal, BioCognito; Erick Lutt, Senior Director, Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Jessica Bowman, Executive Director, Plant Based Products Council. The panel highlighted the evolution of the biotechnology industry and how each organization is working to overcome barriers to commercialization. Further, the panel had a robust Q&A session with the audience on programs and policies, including national incentives for biobased materials.   “U.S. corn farmers continue to produce an affordable, high quality and reliable crop each year,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “That crop can be turned into more than just food, feed and fuel. The...

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Feb 2, 2022

#ICYMI: Technip Energies Purchases Iowa Corn’s Monoethylene Glycol Technology

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Technip Energies and Iowa Corn announced that the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) and Technip Energies have signed an Asset Purchase Agreement under which Technip Energies acquires ICPB’s patents, technology, and rights for the process technology to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from surplus corn plant-based feedstocks.    Since 2013, ICPB has invested checkoff funds(1) to develop the technology and to create new demand for corn-based products. Corn-based MEG is used to produce renewable plastics. Technip Energies will advance the technology development, construct and operate a pilot plant to commercialize the technology and make it available for licensing.    Stan Nelson, Chair of the Iowa Corn Research and Business Development Committee, commented: “Iowa Corn has been dedicated to finding new uses and markets for corn to meet our mission for long-term Iowa corn farmer profitability. By investing in research to expand the market for corn as an ingredient to replace oil,...

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Oct 28, 2021

National Corn Growers Association Announces Winners of the Consider Corn Challenge III Contest

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the Consider Corn Challenge III winners at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in San Francisco, California. The six winners were chosen because their technologies can improve a product or process, scale-up and produce biobased materials from field corn.   “We know we produce an affordable, abundant and sustainable crop that can be used for a variety of uses and applications, which is why we held the contest,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “The value of corn as an industrial feedstock continues to improve thanks to advancements in technology, production and logistics efficiency. Corn is the perfect solution for biobased products, especially as society becomes increasingly interested in more sustainable products.”   The six winners of the Consider Corn Challenge III are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, BioAstra...

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For media inquiries contact Bryan Goodman, goodman@ncga.com