What does the future hold for biotechnology and biomanufacturing? I know I would like a crystal ball, but since I do not have one, the next best thing is to read thoughtful analyses that can help shed light on what might come to be, if we use our resources wisely and equitably. In this report Albert W. Hinman and Douglas C. Friedman discuss where the future workers and resources might come from, and how to make sure there is equal access to “the fourth industrial revolution bioeconomy”.
Albert Hinman is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) and Douglas C. Friedman is President of EBRC. Together they present a compelling analysis of actions needed to advance the U.S. bioeconomy (the share of the economy based on products, services, and processes derived from biological resources).
Three key points in their report are:
1. Investments should incorporate accessible workforce opportunities in biotechnology, biomanufacturing, and engineering biology;
2. Investments should focus on building up the capability of these rural, midwest, and southeastern regions to cultivate and transform their biomass resources into biobased products;
3. Investments should encourage the development of local community spaces that teach synthetic and engineering biology.
There is a lot of hope in the words of this report, but, it is clear that hope is not enough, thoughtful actions and hard work are needed also. Read the report and see what you can do to contribute to tomorrow’s workforce—today!
Note: The Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) is a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to bringing together an inclusive community committed to advancing engineering biology to address national and global needs.