For 30 years now, ARD – the expert in industrial biotechnologies, extraction and plant chemistry – has made biomass recovery and reuse its core business. Today, ARD is capitalising on the boom in demand for renewable carbon, the expertise of its teams and the high quality of its unique facilities. ARD delivered strong and improved financial performance for the 2021/2022 financial year, with revenue up by 38%.
Our provision of services for industrial scaling of biotechnology-based processes performed very strongly during the year: 100% of its projects have completed successfully, and full satisfaction is reported for all ARD customers. Both the order bank and workload plan are full until 2024. To support this impressive growth, at the same time as delivering on the expectations of its customers, ARD is doubling the capacity of its industrial demonstrator. These new facilities will enable the teams to continue with joint development of two particular aspects of their business that make them unique and highly respected: R&D for the pre-industrial development of processes for use with molecules of interest, and contract manufacture. Work began on this project early in 2022, and remains on schedule. The final phase is slated for January 2023. Some 20 employees were recruited and trained in 2022 to support the eventual ramp-up of these new production capacities (see inset).
Rich in natural micro-organisms, bio-inputs offer a realistic alternative to petroleum-based plant protection products. The teams at ARD have done a great deal of work on the technical and regulatory aspects to facilitate the greater use of bio-inputs for field crops. These advances were showcased at the 2022 Foire de Châlons agricultural show and a dedicated morning session, which concluded with the signature of a charter by 36 Grand Est region stakeholders.
Detergents, food ingredients and cosmetic ingredients
The results of Wheatoleo, the ARD subsidiary that specialises in surfactant production and marketing, have been penalised by rising energy costs and raw material prices, which have led to some customers postponing product launches. Nevertheless, significant contracts are now being finalised with major customers on the basis that ARD’s green surfactants are consistent with their CSR policies and meet local production requirements. New investment and recruitment are planned for 2022/2023 to cope with the forecast increases in capacity.
At ARD, they call it ‘BioDemo’... ‘Bio’ for Biotechnology and ‘Demo’ for industrial demonstrator. This facility enables ARD not only to develop innovative biotechnological processes up to the pre-industrial stage, but also to offer contract manufacturing as a service. Having these facilities grouped together in one location makes it possible to accelerate the industrialisation phase at optimum cost. They also attract customers from all over Europe and as far away as California... The bottom line is that BioDemo makes ARD a unique project incubator and industrial innovation accelerator.
An ambitious and virtuous project. Production capacity will be doubled within the same footprint by the space available and either selling equipment no longer in use or dismantling it for recycling. Some of the new equipment has been acquired from the highly selective global second-hand market for safely reusable state-of-the-art equipment. With its own experience, the experience of its partners and the proactive enthusiasm of its teams, the company is well on the way to succeeding in its challenge to deliver an ambitious and complex project in just 18 months!