Two scientists performing molecular research in a laboratory.

Researching new genes, molecules and biochemical pathways to benefit humans.

Bioindustries in CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences

The development of bioindustries in the new Australian bioeconomy will require the development of new technologies.

  • 30 August 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

Traditionally, Australian manufacturing industries have been:

  • based on low-value commodity products
  • heavily dependent on petrochemical feedstock
  • energy intensive
  • generators of significant contaminated waste streams.

More recently, Australia has begun to develop a growing bioeconomy that is providing the research and products necessary for the establishment of new bioindustries.

The drivers behind the need for a bioeconomy include:

  • the replacement of petrochemicals with renewable feedstocks
  • the need to move to higher value products in Australian manufacturing
  • a desire to improve profitability in Australian broad-acre cropping
  • pressure to reduce the environmental footprints of Australian agricultural and manufacturing industries. 

Our research and its aims

CSIRO research is helping Australian industries move to a bio-based economy by developing platform industrial and environmental biotechnologies.

The result will be building blocks for industry and raw materials for energy that are derived from renewable plant/crop-based sources.

This will require the development of new technologies including:

The results of CSIRO research will be building blocks for industry and raw materials for energy that are derived from renewable plant/crop-based sources.
  • enzyme catalysts for biomass transformation and clean up of environmental waste streams
  • new biomaterials (proteins) from insects and other invertebrates
  • creation of synthetic enzymes capable of chemical reactions not found in nature
  • sensory and diagnostic platforms with industrial and environmental applications
  • a portfolio of proprietary transgenes that enable crop biofactories and fermentation-based biorefineries.

What we are doing

CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences is contributing to the new bioindustries through research on:

  • industrial biotechnology and biomaterials
  • environmental biotechnology and enzymology
  • invertebrate and microbial genomics.

Our scientists are also involved in biosensor research with the CSIRO Food Futures Flagship and the search for microbes to improve oil recovery with the Wealth from Oceans Flagship.

Our partners

Much of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences' biotechnology research is in collaboration with other groups including:

  • other CSIRO Divisions
  • National Research Flagships
  • Universities, in Australia and overseas
  • Research and Development Corporations (RDCs)
  • private industry
  • Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs)
  • overseas research organisations.

Learn more about the research carried out by CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering.