Innovative biotechnologies for people and the planet

Biotechnology involves using living things to make or change products. Helping establish Australia as a world leader in biotechnology, our innovative solutions benefit agriculture, food, healthcare, environment and chemical industries.

The Challenge

Turning to live sources to improve products and processes

Biotechnology harnesses the special biological and chemical talents of living cells, from simple, single-celled bacteria and yeasts, to complex multicellular organisms like plants and animals, to benefit people and the planet.

We're deriving new chemical products and technologies from living sources such as plants.

Increasingly, biotechnology is playing an important role in the Australian economy, providing solutions to a range of challenges in agriculture, healthcare, industry and the environment.

It's leading to innovative products from biodegradable plastics and biofuels to new, more targeted drugs. These are products that promote better health, productivity or environmental outcomes.

Our role is to establish Australia as a world leader in biotechnology and help industry develop or apply innovative biotechnology solutions for long-term competitiveness and sustainability.

Our Response

Innovative thinking paves way to next generation products

Partnering with industry and the research sector, nationally and internationally, we develop and apply biotechnologies to a broad range of industries.

For example, we discovered and developed a game-changing technology to produce oils in plant leaves for the first time. It has potential to provide a large domestic supply of bio-diesel and aviation fuel from crop residues and dedicated crops. This supply would be be cost competitive with imported petroleum-based diesel, and can be deployed without compromising food production – a major point of difference from current biofuel strategies.

We're developing technologies using eucalyptus waste streams at timber or paper mills for manufacturing bio-PET bottles and packaging. These bio-aromatic chemicals can be further converted to high-value derivatives to replace petroleum-derived additives in packaging materials. 

We're also working with the Grains Research Development Corporation through a long-term strategic initiative to develop high value industrial oil-seed crops that can replace petrochemicals with renewable bio-based alternatives.

We're applying advanced conversion and separation technologies to extract high value chemicals and bioactives from a range of agricultural, horticultural and municipal waste streams to build a versatile biorefinery industry, based on diverse and seasonal feedstock availability. Increasingly, we are working closely with local governments and the agriculture industry to develop plans to capitalise on these waste streams.

Case studies


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