ARD — Research & Biotechnologies

With its status as an expert in industrial biotechnology, extraction and plant chemistry, ARD continues to build on its leading position in this sector as a result of the innovations and solutions it offers its agricultural partners and customers.


Thanks to the flourishing of its biotechnology business, ARD continues to gain momentum and reported positive results again last year. It was able to report 16% higher revenue for the financial year. Its WHEATOLEO subsidiary also continues to expand, driven by the development of new international key accounts in the detergents sector.


Expanding its market presence to include contract manufacturing and delivering sustained growth in new product development further boosted the attractiveness of ARD during the year. This is clear from the new medium-term contracts for food and cosmetic ingredients signed with American, European and French startups, and with a leading European corporate group. This impressive growth is behind the ARD plan to invest €10 million in doubling its industrial demonstrator and contract biotechnology manufacturing capacity. The new unit is scheduled to go live in December 2022.


This part of the business is also expanding, with new R&D budgets being extended to include other crops, including beet, as well as a vineyard project. Four potential marketers have already shown interest in its biological control solutions, and European approval of these solutions is currently under consideration.

Detergents, food ingredients and cosmetic ingredient

ARD remains strong in these markets, which are making increasing use of biosourced solutions, and WHEATOLEO has continued expanding its product range to further accelerate its growth going forward.


The first international flight by an aircraft powered by 97%+ renewable fuel was made on 15 June 2021. Having taken off from Germany, it landed at Reims an hour later. This achievement was made possible by the ARD-produced isobutylene used to make this biofuel; an environmentally friendly alternative to the fuel usually marketed for propeller-driven aircraft. The fuel was developed by Global Bioenergies, a partner that ARD is working with on the development of processes for the fermentative conversion of renewable resources into isobutylene for biofuel production. The adventure also continues in... cosmetics. Like oil and its derivatives, isobutylene has applications in a number of different fields. Global Bioenergies (in which L'Oréal is a shareholder) has also launched Last, its own brand of long-lasting bio-based makeup products containing between 25% to 50% plant-based ingredients. Another a very promising world first!


At the 2021 Châlons Trade Fair, ARD signed a Charter of Commitment with VIVESCIA for the long-term development of biologicals in the Grand Est Region, together with 25 partners.