The Next Industrial Revolution

As we divert from mere optimization of natural processes, new systems and materials with previously impossible qualities emerge. Cell-free biological factories and biomanufacturing are paving the way for the next biologically-inspired industrial revolution.

Novel materials for industrial fabrication and biological-based manufacturing processes are paving the way for better performance and more sustainable manufacturing, heralding the next industrial revolution.

Biological factories are slowly overcoming their initial yield hurdle, and microbe-produced high-value chemicals are positioning themselves as a staple of our industry. But beyond that, the understanding of biological systems and the application of biomimicry to an array of processes could be a key step to make current systems radically more sustainable. With digital manufacturing at the forefront, biological production might soon break its cellular bounds and reach another milestone of cell-free, isolated biological entities and multi-layered production systems. The shift now is from cellular factories to biologically-inspired and enabled industries.

Key Issues & Questions

Consumer Electronics and Synthetic Biology

  • What is the current landscape of synthetic biology-enabled consumer electronics?
  • What consumer devices would you expect to see in the next 2, 5 or 10 years?

Digital, Biological, Material

  • How has the interaction between the digital and biological culminated in new materials, as opposed to hardware?
  • Should biology aim to be more like digital, or is there an intrinsic value in biological materials that must be preserved?

Biological Aided Design, Biological Aided Manufacturing

  • What are key examples of biomimicry and biological aided design in today’s synthetic biology industry?
  • What comes after microbial factories for manufacturing?

Designing for Developability

  • What do the best targets of development look like?
  • How does a company think about a product’s developability in the context of commercial viability, regulatory acceptance, and market understanding?

Cell-Free Is the New Frontier

  • What’s the current landscape of cell-free manufacturing?
  • How does going cell-free broaden the scope of synthetic biology?

High-Value Chemicals Made by Microbes

  • What are the key cases of microbial-enabled manufacturing, and how should they evolve in the coming years?
  • What extraction and manufacturing industries are ripe for disruption through the use of microbial factories?
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