Green chemistry company Carbios has entered a strategic alliance with the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA Toulouse).

As part of the alliance, Carbios and Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), a mixed research unit INSA Toulouse, INRA and CNRS, will establish a research centre.

The enzymatic engineering research centre will be dedicated to plastic recycling and biosynthesis.

Named Plastic Polymers and Biotechnologies (PoPLaB), the collaborative laboratory will open at INSA Toulouse on 28 January.

The lab opening is the result of a scientific partnership of the past seven years. As part of the collaboration, the companies developed 100% polyethene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles using Carbios’ biorecycling process last year.

CARBIOS scientific director professor Alain Marty said: “The creation of this laboratory represents several years of fruitful research devoted to the discovery and optimisation of enzymes for the degradation and synthesis of polymers.

“This laboratory will benefit from state-of-the-art equipment in terms of enzyme modelling and understanding of plastic hydrolysis molecular mechanisms, high-throughput enzyme evolution platforms, all based on highly qualified researchers.

“This will enable us to take up new challenges by enlarging the range of polymers accessible to our enzymatic technology.”

In addition to the alliance, Carbios has joined the INSA Toulouse Foundation initiative.

In 2016, the partnership created a Carbios’ subsidiary Carbiolice dedicated to polylactic acid (PLA) biodegradation. The joint venture was created by Carbios in partnership with Limagrain Ingrédients and the SPI investment fund run by Bpifrance.