Reinventing Chemical Manufacturing with Biotechnology –
Chemical Industry on the Cusp
Fermentation has been used in human society for millennia to produce food and beverages such as beer, wine, and cheese, long before the underlying science was even barely understood. Now, advances in biochemistry and biotechnology have dramatically increased the potential utility of this important biological process.
In the 1940s, the first antibiotic, penicillin, was isolated and manufactured for human use, one of the earliest examples of modern era biotech. A few decades later in the 1980s, the advent of recombinant DNA technology enabled the directed engineering of biology to produce industrial enzymes, pharmaceutical compounds such as insulin, and food ingredients. Now, the emergence of new technologies like genome sequencing, gene synthesis, genome-editing, and deep analytical tools has enabled the production of increasingly complex chemicals via fermentation, paving the way for an expanded role of biomanufacturing in modern society.
Despite these advances, however, challenges still remain. Large scale biomanufacturing has still not been deployed at the scale needed to replace unsustainable or toxic production methods. Petrochemical-derived plastics that improved lives in the 1950s now pollute our soil and water. Chemical pesticides which revolutionized agriculture now contaminate our water, air and land.
Industrialize biomanufacturing by exploiting the virtues of industrial biotechnology.
Manufacturing chemicals and bioactive natural products using micro-organisms offers numerous advantages like reducing toxic waste, ameliorating climate change and fostering sustainability. But as with other established industries (e.g. chemical, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, semiconductor), a clear, strategic roadmap is needed to guide the process of industrialization of biotechnology. RCMB exists to bring the right minds together to guide the transformation of chemical manufacturing (unclear what is meant here)
Advance sustainable biotechnology by utilizing the talents of domain experts and thought leaders from around the world.
We aim to mobilize leaders from industry, academia, government, and public policy to realize the potential of industrial biotechnology and its translation to chemical manufacturing.
Generate solutions to critical issues preventing the deployment of biotech in chemical manufacturing.
Our goal is to establish the role of industrial biotechnology as an environmentally sustainable biochemical manufacturing platform that benefits human society and our planet