A stakeholder in the Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery, near Reims in France, ARD is a mutualised private research structure, owned by major players in French agribusiness - such as SICLAE and CRISTAL UNION - as well as regional farming cooperatives. It was created in 1989 to find new opportunities for creating value from its shareholders' produce (cereals, sugar beet, alfafa, oilseeds, etc.) focusing on the development of new products and processes in white biotech and plant fractionation.
ARD has laboratories, pilot plants and one industrial demonstration plant in white biotech and has developed expertise in :
- plant fractionation and biorefining,
- white (industrial) biotechnology,
- bio-based chemistry and agro-materials,
- the environment.
ARD has established several business in this field: SOLIANCE (producer of green ingredients and actives for the cosmetic industry) and BIOAMBER (company developing bio based succinic acid) and has contributed to significant development in white biotech, namely first and second generation bioethanol.
ARD signed an agreement with the French Ministry for Industry in December 2009 to create B.R.I. (Biorafinerie Recherche et Innovation), an open technological platform for the industrial scaling-up of biotechnology processes. This platform boasts laboratory equipment, pilot installations and an industrial demonstration unit (BioDémo).