This Roadmap provides a commercially focused and strategic view of how synthetic biology could underpin a thriving Australian bioeconomy worth up to $27 billion by 2040.
Synthetic biology is a transformative and interdisciplinary field of science. It applies engineering workflows and sophisticated genetic technologies to rapidly design and build novel biological solutions.
Synthetic biology-enabled solutions have applications in sectors like health, agriculture, biosecurity and the environment and could help us solve some of Australia’s greatest challenges.
They have the potential to be globally transformative and create a $700 billion global opportunity by 2040.
This National Synthetic Biology Roadmap report, released in August 2021, identifies the value that synthetic biology could unlock for Australia and discusses how Australia can accelerate the demonstration, scaling, and commercial success of its applications.
Positioning Australia for a $27 billion opportunity
Under a high growth, high market share scenario, synthetic biology could unlock up to $27 billion in annual revenue and 44,000 new jobs for Australia by 2040. The largest emerging markets for synthetic biology applications are expected to be food and agriculture, followed by health and medicine industries.
Developing Australia’s national synthetic biology ecosystem could also help to:
identify solutions to uniquely Australian agricultural and environmental challenges
establish cost-effective domestic manufacturing capabilities to enhance supply chain resilience
protect the nation from biological threats such as emerging infectious diseases or bioterrorism.
Capturing the full opportunity will require synthetic biology to be a critical national capability that underpins a thriving Australian bioeconomy.
This will require maintaining investments in synthetic biology research while increasing support for the ecosystem’s most critical challenge: industrial translation and scale-up.
Demonstrating synthetic biology’s commercial feasibility by supporting research translation activities within the Australian landscape will help to raise broader industry awareness, build critical mass, and provide learnings that can be leveraged across other emerging applications. These efforts will need to be balanced with the need to invest in strategic research and development in longer-term opportunities.
Want to learn more about how synthetic biology can unlock these opportunities? Talk to CSIRO Futures about how we can help.
The CSIRO BioFoundry is a state-of-the-art facility providing bioengineering capability to the R&D community. We collaborate with industry and academia looking for solutions to rapidly innovate the development of bio-based products.
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