Ceres, Inc.: a 5-Minute Guide

Spread the love

Jim Lane

1535 Rancho Conejo Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320


Annual Revenues:
$6.6 million (Fiscal Year ended Aug. 31, 2011)

Type of technology:
Plant biotechnology, gene marker-assisted breeding and other genomics

Fuel Type:
Biomass is the common denominator to advanced biofuels, biopower and bioproducts and is independent of the end-fuel molecule.

Major investors:
Ceres is a public company. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol CERE. Pre-IPO investors include Warburg Pincus, Soros Private Equity Partners, GIMV and Oppenheimer.

Past milestones:
Completed IPO in February 2012.

Demonstrated at commercial-scale that sweet sorghum could be used as a season-extending feedstock for Brazil’s 400+ ethanol mills.

The company’s 2nd-generation of sweet sorghum hybrids significantly outperformed its initial products during the 2011-2012 growing season in Brazil.

The Brazilian government’s agricultural research corporation, Embrapa, selected Ceres to evaluate its leading sweet sorghum variety for use in ethanol production.

The company’s high-biomass and stress tolerance traits have demonstrated biomass yield increases of ~50% under non-irrigated conditions.

Ceres and a research collaborator in the U.K. completed the first high-resolution genetic map of miscanthus. This milestone is expected to speed development of economically viable seeded miscanthus varieties.

Ceres Switchgrass.png
Ceres CEO Richard Hamilton (right) and Dr. Richard Flavell, chief scientific officer, evaluate improved switchgrass (miscanthus). Image source: Ceres

Established world’s largest energy grass trialing network

Future milestones:
Ongoing commercial sales and scale-up in pace with bioenergy industry in Brazil, Europe and the United States.

Ceres Traits to Watch
Enhanced conversion: Substantial reductions in the cellulase enzyme cocktails required to release fermentable sugars from plant biomass.  This trait could be a key enabler of the large-scale use of biochemical processes and fermentation

High-biomass, low-input traits:  High yields and greater yield stability on low-rent, marginal land. Feedstock is 50-70% of operating costs, and land rents can be a significant cost component. These traits could provide a major lever against cost and enable larger volumes/facilities.

Business model:
Seed sales and trait licenses

Competitive edge:
Genetics, intellectual property, early-mover advantage

Distribution, research, marketing or production partnerships or alliances.
R&D: Texas A&M (leading sorghum genetics), Samuel Noble Foundation (Switchgrass genetics) and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences Institute of Aberystwyth University in the U.K. (Miscanthus genetics).

Development stage: Commercial

Company website : http://www.ceres.net/
Also BladeEnergy.com

Disclosure: None.

Jim Lane is editor and publisher  of Biofuels Digest where this article was originally published. Biofuels Digest is the most widely read  Biofuels daily read by 14,000+ organizations. Subscribe here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.