Novozymes expands R&D capability in Brazil

By Matt Soberg | November 28, 2011

Novozymes launched additional R&D laboratories and customer solutions facilities at an existing site near Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, increasing its Brazilian workforce by 10 percent as the company takes advantage of the country’s expanding biofuels market. Novozymes invests approximately 14 percent of its global sales turnover on R&D dedicated projects annually.

The new Novozymes R&D laboratory will focus on bioenergy with additional research into household care, agriculture and baking industries. The company hopes to advance the commercialization of advanced biofuels in Brazil by expanding the R&D competencies of its current workforce, which traditionally focused on production, administration, sales and sustainability. The company is creating a Latin American stronghold through strategic relationships with Dedini, Cetrel, CTC and Petrobras, the largest company in Latin America, according to Novozymes.

 “Our new facilities and expanded research capacity will promote the growth of advanced biofuels in Brazil, an industry that creates jobs, fosters development of new technology, provides new export opportunities for Brazil and Latin America, and creates sustainable solutions essential to the world,” said Luis Fernandes, regional president for Novozymes in Latin America.

Expanding its global R&D plan, Novozymes has two laboratories located in the U.S. with others in England, Denmark, India, China Japan and now Brazil.  Each site has independent R&D capability, however, all sites are connected by the company’s project and knowledge management systems, according to Novozymes. 

Novozymes targeted Brazil as a growing biofuels market due to the established biofuels industry and the country’s plan to double its production of ethanol by 2020. “Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers of sugarcane, biofuels and flex-fuel cars, all of which are predicted to experience growing demand in the rest of the world in the coming years,” according to Novozymes. “90 percent of new cars made in Brazil are flex-fuel which are highly efficient and run on both gasoline and fuel ethanol.” Through its own studies, the company believes sugarcane and its coproducts could double the volume of ethanol using the same amount of land.