Wednesday, 2 March 2022 | 12:00 noon – ICGEB Trieste, ITALY
Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, UK
Towards distributed global manufacturing using synthetic biology
(Host: E. Buratti)
Scientific research in the life sciences has benefited greatly from 40 years of open access to genetic sequence and related ‘omics data available in public databases. This data commons is taken for granted by
Biology is the future of sustainable manufacturing for many materials, including critically important proteins and enzymes. The biomanufacturing sector therefore has great potential for growth and yet both bio-innovation and bio-production are currently confined to limited geographies. By distributing biomanufacturing capabilities globally and fostering an inclusive innovation ecosystem that includes developing and emerging economies, the sector could also follow other trends in manufacturing such as developing “circular economies” of resources; shortening supply chains by moving production close to both material and markets; and adopting agile, just-in-time production. This talk will introduce approaches from synthetic biology and biological engineering that could accelerate this transition, using the local production of COVID diagnostics in Africa and Latin America as a case study.
Dr Jenny Molloy is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, studying the role and impact of open approaches to intellectual property for a sustainable and equitable bioeconomy. In particular she researches the potential for local, distributed manufacturing of enzymes to improve access and build capacity for biological research. This work combines technical development using synthetic biology-based platform technologies with qualitative research on challenges faced by molecular biologists globally through interviews and case studies.
Jenny chairs an independent working group on Local Production and Diagnostics and is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Synthetic Biology. Since 2015 she has co-founded four social enterprises and nonprofits making open source tools more accessible to researchers and building communities for open source tool developers.