ValleyDAO — Combining Web3 and Biomanufacturing for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

4 min readMar 14, 2022


Global concerns of an ecological meltdown have led to a dramatic increase in the demand for environmentally sustainable solutions. The application of biomanufacturing combined with efficient human coordination through decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) could rapidly accelerate the transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy.

ValleyDAO is a research and startup funding collective inspired by the work and accomplishments of VitaDAO. The overarching vision of ValleyDAO is to support the global transition to a sustainable bioeconomy by funding research and startups and ultimately democratize biomanufacturing intellectual property (IP) rights.

Why biomanufacturing?
Economies all over the world are in the pursuit of innovative technologies to meet materials, food, and energy requirements without compromising life quality, animal welfare and the environment. There is a need not only to move away from animal and fossil sourced starting materials but also to remediate the excess carbon dioxide levels that have accumulated since the beginning of the industrial age. Many such needs can be fulfilled by using biological organisms such as bacteria, yeast, and algae to produce products such as animal-free leather and meat, biofuels, and degradable plastics. Speaking of biofuels, carbon dioxide can be captured and converted into one at a much faster-than-normal rate using modified algae.

An example by Cemvita of how biomanufacturing can be applied to convert green house gases such as carbon dioxide or methane into biofuels using algae.

Democratization of biomanufacturing
The degree to which the biomanufacturing technology and know-how can be accessed could soon determine the fate of economies. The pharmaceutical industry, for example, outrageously prices therapeutics and treatments while leaving no room for competition, thanks to their rampant abuse of the traditional patenting system. We need a better system to make sure our medicines, the very food we eat, and access to energy and materials, among other things, do not fall victim to hyper-corporatization in the future. DAOs can provide a solution through an online governance system that anyone with an internet connection can participate in. Decisions such as how IP rights on plastic conversion and carbon dioxide capturing microbes are licensed and to whom can be voted on using DAO governance tooling such as Snapshot.

Source: McKinsey, 2020. The Bio Revolution: Innovations transforming economies, societies, and our lives

Why a DAO framework?
DAOs have previously proved they can successfully coordinate human efforts through transparent, inclusive and non-hierarchical decision-making. Unrestricted by geographical borders, DAOs bring together collective intelligence from all over the world to achieve a singular mission. Members of the DAO have “skin in the game”, providing a reason to invest time, money, and energy into building the network. The success of VitaDAO’s first research investment is a blueprint for how this can be done.

Funding and IP ownership
ValleyDAO will primarily invest in research and early-stage ventures and work towards creating solutions to combat negative climate impact and developing scalable biomanufacturing technologies. On the research front, the DAO will focus on providing grants faster while also eliminating the peer-review biases inherent in the traditional peer-review process. This will be done by shortening the grant processing time from 9–12 months down to 3–6 months, and by offering an inclusive and transparent peer-review process. The projects will be able to be viewed, reviewed and voted on, with some oversight, in the open by a large and diverse audience resulting in fair grant distributions. ValleyDAO will also invest in early-stage startups and use its network to connect the founders with relevant incubators, lab infrastructure, investors and talent.

The DAO and its members will collectively acquire research IP and company equity. Each investment term will be independently negotiated between the DAO and the funded party based on mutual needs. Using the token, the DAO members will be able to vote and decide what to fund and how the IP and startup equity are managed. The IP-NFT framework, created by Molecule, allows the IP rights to be issued and traded on the Ethereum blockchain. The long-term goal of the DAO is to license out or sell the IP and startup equity in order to reinvest money in other projects.

Source: Molecule’s Biopharma IP-NFTs — A Technical Description

Getting involved
As much as we believe in the cause ourselves we won’t be able to get there without your involvement and support. If you believe in the mission and want to contribute to the development of ValleyDAO you can get involved by:

  • Joining the Discord and introducing yourself.
  • Filling out this form where you can sign up to become a core group member or make a research/startup funding request.
  • Joining our bi-weekly calls at 5:30 PM CET Thursday’s (see Discord for details).

Co-authored by Albert Anis, Hamza Qureshi, Daniel Hussey, Alec Brewer