How will biotech contribute to the economy in the future? What roadblocks stand in its way? Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt, convened a Task Force to help highlight a path to achieve the promise of the bioeconomy, an economy that will rely on platforms such as engineering biology and artificial intelligence. According to a recent projection, the bioeconomy will be worth between $4 trillion and $30 trillion globally, so this path has the potential to make a huge impact. Their report has been published by Industrial Biotechnology and is available to download. What you will find is a comprehensive discussion focused on identifying opportunities that will support the translation of basic science into products--and recommendations for the needed steps to allow the large-scale production of bioeconomy products.
The report covers recommendations in four broad categories:
1. Addressing foundational science and technology challenges;
2. Building a national infrastructure for bioproduction scale-up capacity;
3. Developing a well-trained workforce to power the bioeconomy;
4. Enabling centralized leadership and a policy environment that incentivizes and supports a circular bioeconomy.
Of particular interest, perhaps, is the section (page 128) about education and what federal and state governments should do to bring industry and learning institutions together to support the progress towards the bioeconomy. The report is about 20 pages long, so it is not a fast read, but it will give you plenty to think about if you have the time to read it through!