Twig – Sustainability through AI and Robotics
London-based start-up Twig is making waves in the bioengineering industry. Having raised £3m in funding, the company is using cutting-edge technology to create sustainable alternatives to harmful ingredients found in everyday products.
Twig’s mission is to drive a global shift from unsustainably resourced ingredients to bio-fermented ingredients, benefiting people, producers, and the planet.
Twig’s Innovative Approach to Bioengineering
Twig’s approach is far more efficient than traditional bioengineering methods, which can take up to a decade and potentially yield no results.
The company uses artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to test thousands of bacterial strains, dramatically reducing research and development time.
The process involves three central components. First, a bio-tool constructs the necessary ingredients’ building blocks. Following this, robots handle and examine the bacteria.
The final step sees AI combining the information produced by the bio-tool and the robots, suggesting refinements to achieve higher-quality outcomes.
The company’s CEO and co-founder, Dr Russ Tucker, expressed his vision for Twig’s contribution to global sustainability. “Many of the biggest little ingredients that go into the products we use in our daily lives are hugely damaging for the planet,” said Tucker. “Twig is bioengineering better – through the right combination of AI and automation, we can deliver a step-change in bioengineering, driving a global transition from unsustainably resourced ingredients to bio-fermented ingredients in a way that benefits everyone – people, producers, and the planet,” he added.
Twig’s Impact and Vision
Twig’s approach to bioengineering is not only innovative but also environmentally conscious. The company utilises AI and robotics to identify eco-friendly substitutes for substances like palmitic acid, isoprene, and acetone, which are known to be harmful to the environment.
Oliver Sexton, an investor at UKI2S, acknowledged the importance of Twig’s work. “Twig is using biology to make a vast array of products using entirely sustainable alternatives to petrochemicals. Its focus on moving manufacturing to a low-impact footing is core to our planet’s healthy future,” he stated.
Twig’s Future in Bioengineering
Twig’s automated lab can manipulate and analyse tens of thousands of bacterial strains each week. This capability reduces human bias and routine errors, making the process more efficient and accurate.
The company assesses each strain for its environmental impact, commercial benefit, and feasibility, ensuring that every experiment provides valuable data for their transfer learning technology.
Once a successful strain is discovered, it’s ready for production and licensing from day one. The result is high-yield, low-cost, scalable ingredients that can transition from the lab to everyday life.
The company received funding from Project A, Seedcamp, Zero Carbon Capital, UKI2S, Gaingels, and angels via HackCapital. Founded in 2022 by James Allen, Satnam Surae, and Russ Tucker, Twig is poised to contribute significantly to the bioengineering field and global sustainability efforts.
Moving Forward, One Ingredient at a Time
Twig is a testament to the power of technology in driving sustainability. With its innovative use of AI and robotics, the company is set to revolutionise the bioengineering industry, creating sustainable ingredients that benefit not only the planet but also the people and producers. As Twig continues to grow and evolve, the future of bioengineering looks brighter and more sustainable.