Viridos Awarded California Competes Grant, Bringing Investment of Nearly $75MM to Imperial Valley

La Jolla-based biotechnology company to bring more than 70 high-paying jobs to Imperial Valley as part of State of California incentive program

LA JOLLA, Calif.--()--Viridos, a privately held biotechnology company harnessing the power of photosynthesis to create transformative solutions to mitigate climate change, has been awarded the prestigious California Competes Grant by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). In total, the grant will allow Viridos to create more than 70 high-paying professional jobs and will bring nearly $75 million in investment to the Imperial Valley.

“Viridos is honored to be selected by the State of California and Governor Newsom to receive this distinguished grant,” said Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Viridos. “We are also thankful to the continued support from our partners across local and federal agencies, notably the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation. Viridos is committed to keeping California as the hub of its strategy by bringing low-carbon and algae-based sustainable heavy transportation fuels to the commercial marketplace. This California Competes Grant allows us to continue our pledge towards helping industries in the heavy transportation sector significantly decrease their carbon footprints.”

The California Competes Grant Program aims to incentivize businesses to choose California for investment and to stimulate the creation of quality, full-time jobs in the state. Viridos succeeded through multiple elimination rounds of applicants in total asking for $3.4 billion dollars in requests with only $120 million in funding available. After two elimination rounds, Viridos was one of eight successful grant awardees in the state. To receive the grant, applicants must satisfy at least one of the following criteria: establish at least 500 net new full-time jobs, make a significant infrastructure investment, defined as spending at least $10 million in construction or renovation expenditures, or commit to growth in a high-need, high-opportunity area.

Viridos’ expanded project will bring the investment of high-quality jobs including scientists, engineers, and technicians to California’s Imperial Valley. In total, Viridos’ project will produce an investment of nearly $75 million including total wages, capital, and induced economic benefits. The expanded Imperial Valley site will further Viridos’ mission of continued innovation by producing lab-to-field results to reduce heavy-transportation carbon emissions and increase the use of algae-based biofuels.

“California has always been at the forefront of green technology development. We are thrilled that businesses like Ampaire, Universal Hydrogen, and Viridos have chosen California for these vital projects that will help California meet its carbon reduction goals and mitigate the extreme impacts of climate change,” said California Competes Deputy Director Scott Dosick. “We especially appreciate supporting companies like Viridos that choose to invest in areas such as Imperial County that have suffered too long from chronically high unemployment and poverty levels.”

About Viridos:

Viridos (formerly Synthetic Genomics, Inc) is a privately held biotechnology company harnessing the power of photosynthesis to create transformative solutions to mitigate climate change. Our unparalleled understanding of algal genetics and ability to translate innovation from lab to field underpins our initial deployment: a scalable platform to produce low-carbon intensity biofuels for aviation, commercial trucking, and maritime shipping. Building on a legacy of genomic firsts, our team of scientists and engineers are shaping new pathways toward a sustainable bioeconomy. To learn more visit

About California Competes:

California Competes is an incentive program available to businesses that want to locate to or stay and grow in California. Businesses of any industry, size, or location may apply through a competitive application process. Applicants will be analyzed based on numerous different factors of evaluation, including number of full-time jobs being created, amount of investment, and strategic importance to the state or region. To learn more, visit


Kate Raley McIlroy, FINN Partners


Kate Raley McIlroy, FINN Partners