BOSTON — Imagindairy and Ginkgo Bioworks announced they are joining forces to produce animal-free non-whey dairy proteins.

The partnership will enable the companies to use Ginkgo’s Protein Expression Services and Imagindairy’s process development and scale up expertise to accelerate the development of non-whey dairy proteins, according to the companies.

The partnership is funded by a joint grant from the board of governors of the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

Imagindairy recently scaled up its animal-free dairy manufacturing capabilities with the acquisition of its own industrial scale precision fermentation production lines. The facility will enable Imagindairy to produce more than 100,000 liters of fermentation capacity, according to the company.

The companies are working together to develop an optimized organism to produce the non-whey dairy proteins. Imagindairy will develop the production process and scale up and manufacture the proteins.

“We have many successful collaborations in this space, and we're thrilled to get to work with Imagindairy on this innovative and market relevant project,” said Jennifer Wipf, chief commercial officer at Ginkgo Bioworks. “We're also honored to be recognized by the BIRD Foundation. Being awarded this highly competitive grant is a testament to our technical expertise and ability to accomplish this project with Imagindairy. I can speak for the entire team when I say that the samples that Imagindairy have shared are absolutely next level. If the rest of their pipeline is anything like what we've tasted, we can't wait to try what's next."

Added Eyal Afergan, co-founder and chief executive officer at Imagindairy: "We're proud of this acknowledgment by the BIRD Foundation as it highlights the importance of further innovation in the alternative proteins field and our capability to successfully execute this project. Our process development capabilities and industrial-scale precision fermentation lines will allow us to rapidly scale the optimized strains created with Ginkgo and bring innovative non-whey proteins to the market faster."

Ginkgo Bioworks is also partnering with Vivici BV to expand the production of alternative dairy proteins produced using precision fermentation.