Dr. Sarah A. Teter – Accepting the award on behalf of Novozymes
Dr. Sarah A. Teter is a Staff Scientist at Novozymes, Inc., where she manages Novozymes’ global portfolio of biomass conversion research projects. Teter’s research has had a significant impact on reducing costs of biomass sugars, for production of fuels and chemicals. Through directed research to improve the performance of cellulases, hemicellulases, and auxillary enzymes, along with innovations in expression technology, Novozymes has launched the Cellic® enzyme product line, which is currently being used by global industry front-runners in commercial scale production of cellulosic ethanol. Teter has extensive experience in coordinating large global research teams; the Novozymes biomass conversion R&D team numbers more than 150 scientific staff, covering technical aspects such as protein engineering, enzyme chemistry, protein expression and production, as well as customer-facing application engineering. Teter has worked on biomass R&D at Novozymes since 2001, and has served as the principal investigator on awards from the U.S. Department of Energy (2008-2011; 2013-current). Teter’s technical training includes post-doctorate studies at University of Michigan (1999-2001) and Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry (1997-1999), a Ph.D. from UC Davis (1997), and a B.A. from Swarthmore College (1992).
Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. The company’s business is industrial enzymes, microorganisms, and biopharmaceutical ingredients. Novozymes helps companies make more from less by offering biological solutions that save energy and raw materials, and reduce waste. The result is higher quality products, lower costs, better lives and a better environment in a growing world. Novozymes’ products are used in the manufacturing process of 40 different industries including biofuels, detergents, food, and animal feed.
Novozymes has been at the forefront of delivering robust biochemical conversion technology to the advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals industry. Its enzyme products have significantly driven down costs and increased yields in the production of both conventional biofuels from starch and advanced biofuels from agricultural residues and waste. The company’s Cellic® products represent the pinnacle of 15 years of extensive laboratory research (the single largest R&D effort in the company’s history), innovative scientific discovery, and close collaboration with technical and commercial partners.
In 2009, Cellic® CTec and HTec were launched, providing an effective enzyme cocktail for large-scale testing in advanced biofuel pilot plants. By 2010, Cellic® CTec2 became the first commercially-viable cellulase, enabling operation of a number of demonstration scale plants. The strong performance of CTec2 favorably impacted production economies, such that planning for the first commercial scale plants accelerated.
Cellic® CTec3/HTec3 launched in 2012, enabling the first commercial-scale biorefineries to begin production. The past two years have seen growth in commercial scale production, with five commercial scale cellulosic biorefineries that utilize biochemical conversion technology (Beta-Renewables, GranBio, Raizen, Poet and Abengoa) coming online. CTec3/HTec3 performance reduced enzyme costs by an average of 1.5X over CTec2, due to robust enzyme performance across a range of industrial feedstocks. With CTec3, Novozymes has been able to broadly demonstrate the vision of a sustainable, bio-based society. Production of advanced fuels and chemicals is reliant on cost-effective technology for conversion of biomass to sugars, and CTec3 represents a huge step forward in the transition from an oil-based economy to a bio-based economy.
Novozymes has consistently been recognized for its leadership in sustainability and innovation including the following:
- George Washington Carver Award,The Biotechnology Industry Organization, 2012 to Steen Riisgaard, President and CEO of Novozymes in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the bio-based economy by applying industrial biotechnology to create sustainable and environmentally friendlier products.
- Dow Jones Sustainability Index leader 12 years running; In 2014 and 2015, top 3 percentile of sustainability leaders in its sector.
- World Leader for Corporate Action on Climate Change, A List, CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index, 2014.
- ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Leader – Chemical Sector, MSCI Global Sustainability Index, 2014.
- Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index, Corporate Knights, 2014.
- Biofuels Leadership Award, World Biofuels Markets, 2012.
- #4 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy, Biofuels Digest, 2014.