University of Wisconsin-Madison


Madison, WI

Project Name 

Accelerate Biotechnological innovations in Dairy (ABID)

Award Amount

Federal Share: $1.2 million
Local Match: $1.2 million

This EDA investment will support the creation of the Accelerate Biotechnological Innovations in Dairy (ABID) program, which will expand the dairy bioeconomy initiative by applying technological approaches (biofermentation, chemical/enzymatic modifications) to scale production of green chemicals from dairy byproducts (waste streams like cheese whey). The ABID program will accelerate and provide pilot-scale manufacturing and incubation facilities for entrepreneurs and researchers to develop their novel technologies into marketable products. University partners, Discovery to Product (D2P), Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and its UW-System counterpart, WiSys, will market the ABID program throughout University of Wisconsin system and will help select 3-4 technologies/businesses per year to be scaled, prototyped and accelerated through ABID.

The Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Organizations (REDOs) and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) are partners that will help market this program to businesses and capital throughout the state. ABID partners will provide mentorship and business accelerator programs. The project’s goal is to utilize nearly 1 billion pounds of lactose produced every year as a byproduct from Wisconsin’s cheese industry (30 billion pounds of whey) as a renewable feedstock. This feedstock would be used by new businesses in an “emerging dairy bioeconomy,” operating new bioreactors and biorefineries located in rural regions where dairy farms and cheese plants are located.