Energy + Environment

Maximizing the bioeconomy will help minimize the use of non-renewable resources by producing sustainable bioproducts, renewable fuels and more. After all, nothing is greener than biology.

Synthetic biology is an environmental boon. Compared to conventional manufacturing, biofabrication requires fewer harsh chemicals, less energy input and can even yield carbon-neutral liquid fuels. By synthesizing complex bioproducts in factories, we eliminate the need to extract them from the wild, leaving fragile ecosystems intact.

Here on Earth, evolution has optimized biological systems for life on a blue planet – if we are to venture into space, biology will have to be engineered for extraterrestrial conditions.

Key Issues & Questions

One Earth: Applied Biology for a Healthier Environment

  • How can synthetic biology ensure a sustainable future for the planet?
  • How can we use synthetic biology to improve environmental health and public health?
  • What types of environmental initiatives are needed for global sustainability?


  • How is biology helping us move away from fossil fuels? What key challenges remain?
  • What can we learn from the biofuels’ boom and bust?

Ocean Life and Synthetic Biology

  • How will genetic interventions in nature play a role in sustaining biodiversity in the face of ocean acidification and habitat loss?
  • What are the concerns and benefits of using engineered organisms to combat climate change in the ocean?
  • How can we find more ways of using synthetic biology to directly or indirectly benefit ocean life?

Synthetic Biology for Sustainability in Space

  • What can we learn from biological efficiency?
  • How can biofabrication be adapted to extraterrestrial conditions?
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