Tim Gardner on Data Systems for Biotech and Bioprocessing [Interview]

Commercializing Industrial Biotechnology is a workshop where highly experienced industrial biotech leaders will share their experiences and insights on current challenges to help advance everyone's work in the field.

Timothy Gardner will be speaking about his company, Riffyn, and the value it brings to biotech organizations by solving issues of data fragmentation. He will deliver his talk at the Commercializing Industrial Biotechnology 2019 (CIB 2019) conference in May. I spoke with Tim about his work at Riffyn and the current need for a more time-effective and systematic way to keep track of scientific data.

What specifically will you be talking about at the CIB conference?

Experimental anomalies and fundamental discoveries often go unnoticed because they are buried in uninterpretable spreadsheets, inaccessible databases, or excessive experimental noise. This fragmentation of data is costing us months, if not years, of lost time and product opportunities. Riffyn has introduced the Riffyn SDE, a data system that addresses these issues of data fragmentation. We will provide a walk-through of Riffyn's capabilities and core value proposition for biotechnology organizations.

What message would you like the audience to take away from your presentation and the conference?

Riffyn offers a novel path toward data systems for biotech and bioprocessing. It solves issues of data fragmentation and presents analysis-ready data in real-time, already integrated across unit operations, batches, online data, and offline data.

How do you envision industrial biotechnology advancing some of the Grand Challenges in engineering and society (sustainability, health, etc.)?

Biological systems have solved virtually every chemical or physical problem encountered in the natural world, from photosynthesis to flight to surviving a radiation dose equivalent to a nuclear blast. Harnessing those capabilities for human needs offers unprecedented opportunity to reshape our social and economic systems to be more sustainable, more efficient, and more effective. Our challenge as engineers and as a society is to build the technological capacities to access such capability. Technologies today have exploited only a tiny fraction of what could be possible.

The Commercializing Industrial Biotechnology 2019 (CIB 2019) conference will be held in Los Angeles from May 13-14, 2019. Learn more and register today.

Timothy Gardner

Timothy Gardner is founder and CEO of Riffyn. He was previously Vice President of Research & Development at Amyris, where he led the engineering of yeast strain and processes technology for large-scale bio-manufacturing of renewable chemicals.  Earlier, he was an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, the Founder of Cellicon Biotechnologies, and a Programmer at ALK Associates. Tim has been recognized for his pioneering work in Synthetic Biology by Scientific American, the New Scientist, Nature, Technology Review, and The New York Times. He also served as an advisor to the European Union Scientific Committees and the Boston University Engineering Alumni Advisory Board. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University.