Dutch biotech startup bags €22M for proprietary generative AI model

It has been nearly a year since OpenAI unleashed ChatGPT on the world, and it seems as if no one (at least in tech) has stopped talking about generative AI since. Meanwhile, the applications of GenAI go way beyond chatbots and copyright-grey-area image ‘artistry’. 

For instance, Cradle, a biotech software startup out of Delft, Netherlands, is using it to help biologists engineer improved proteins, making it easier and quicker to bring synthetic bio-solutions for human and planetary health to market.

In synthetic biology, people use engineering principles to design and build new biological systems. Scientists can use parts of DNA or other biological elements to give existing organisms new abilities. 

This has tremendous potential for programming things like bacteria to produce medicine, non-animal whey proteins, detergents and plastics without petrochemicals, yeast to make biofuel, or for instance crops that can survive in tough environments… the list goes on. 

“At the core of all these products are proteins, which are little cellular machinery,” Stef van Grieken, co-founder and CEO of Cradle, told TNW a little while back. “If you want to change them to be better for the application you have in mind, you have to alter the DNA sequence. That’s a really complicated task because DNA is basically an alien programming language.”