ExxonMobil's collaboration with Synthetic Genomics is now the most significant project in the algal biofuel industry

August 7, 2018 | Case Study

In 2009, ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas company, announced a research agreement with Synthetic Genomics Inc (SGI) for the joint development of algae to leverage SGI's capabilities in synthetic biology. The agreement was a momentous event in the algae industry, as it was the largest announced investment yet by a single company in algae development; ExxonMobil's promised investment was valued at $600 million and conditional upon the collaboration hitting specific but undisclosed milestones. While news reports suggest that these milestones were not reached in a timely manner, forcing ExxonMobil to readjust its goals, recent announcements indicate that breakthroughs have been reached over the past two years.

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