Advanced Engineering Biology (AEB) is a new addition to CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms (FSP) program, focusing on new biomanufacturing capabilities and developing engineering biology technologies.
The investment will run until 2027 and according to Dr Robert Speight, director of CSIRO’s Advanced AEB FSP, the program will integrate engineering and biology to develop solutions for broad-ranging issues from the environment and energy transition to food security and human health.
“The field is moving fast, and there’s still a lot left to discover about the biological building blocks of life – how they work, and how we could use them,” he said.
“The applications of engineering biology are varied and range from improving plants to sequester carbon more effectively, to manufacturing sustainable alternatives to animal proteins, petroleum fuels, and harmful pesticides, and even engineering biosensors that can make on-the-spot medical diagnoses.”
The program will focus on new biomanufacturing capabilities, as well as developing the technologies that underpin engineering biology, to make it faster, more predictable and higher performing.
It will also conduct detailed research on the public’s expectations, attitudes, and perceptions to help guide the responsible development of biotechnology.
CSIRO Deputy Chief Scientist, Dr Jill Freyne said Australia has an opportunity to position itself as a world leader in the rapidly expanding biotechnology sector.
“The Advanced Engineering Biology FSP is about unlocking the transformative potential of engineering biology to underpin transitions to new industries, enable circular economies, and realise vast benefits for society and the environment,” Freyne said.