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News | Jan. 23, 2024

Jack Starr to Lead BioMADE’s Biomanufacturing Infrastructure Program as New Chief Manufacturing Officer


BioMADE is pleased to announce Dr. Jack Starr as its inaugural Chief Manufacturing Officer.

As Chief Manufacturing Officer, Starr will drive the development and deployment of a network of between 12 and 15 pilot- to intermediate-scale bioindustrial manufacturing facilities, including BioMADE’s recently announced site in Minnesota. The United States is poised to be the global leader in bioindustrial manufacturing, and these critically needed facilities will allow American innovation to effectively transition to manufacturing and product commercialization.

By bridging the gap from lab-scale research to at-scale manufacturing, this network of facilities will help companies scale-up sustainable products, create new markets for American farmers, and provide new, well-paying jobs – all while securing a domestic supply chain for products that Americans use every day. Starr will oversee site selection, design, construction, and operations for the national network.

Starr joins BioMADE from Cargill, where his professional expertise centered on process development, piloting, and the deployment of advanced solutions for manufacturing. As a Research and Development Director for 15 years at Cargill, his team deployed solutions to improve the maturity of Cargill operations using capabilities such as process simulation, process control, and advanced analytics. Most recently, he was a leader in Cargill’s Smart Manufacturing program where he worked with multi-functional teams to address global stakeholders on deploying advanced solutions.

Starr also spent ten years at NatureWorks, a Cargill joint venture that was a pioneer in biomanufacturing with the development of polylactic acid (PLA), a plastic made from renewable resources. There, he drove the process development effort for innovative lactic acid technologies working with both joint venture partners. This work culminated in building a lactic acid plant that provides the raw materials to NatureWork’s PLA manufacturing facility in Nebraska. Earlier in his career, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the process development and scale-up of new pharmaceutical active ingredients. He earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively.

Starr completes BioMADE’s executive team, joining Douglas Friedman, Chief Executive Officer; Melanie Tomczak, Head of Programs and Chief Technology Officer; Diane Pierotti, Chief Financial and Operating Officer; Genya Dana, Chief Strategy and Bioeconomic Development Officer; and Jayne Laiprasert, General Counsel.

About BioMADE

BioMADE is a Manufacturing Innovation Institute catalyzed by the U.S. Department of Defense. By supporting the development of biomanufacturing technologies, BioMADE and its network of 250+ members across 37 states are strengthening American competitiveness, creating a more resilient supply chain, re-shoring manufacturing jobs, and producing more sustainable products without relying on foreign sources of energy. BioMADE is also building a diverse and globally competitive STEM workforce to ensure American workers are prepared and ready to fill new jobs within this rapidly growing industry. Learn more about BioMADE by visiting