Emerging technologies

Future Prospects for Industrial Biotechnology




Pages: 140
October 2011
ISBN 978-92-64-11956-7



The field of industrial biotechnology has moved rapidly in recent years as a combined result of international political desire – especially in the case of biofuels – and unprecedented progress in molecular biology research that has supplied the enabling technologies. Different geographical regions have different priorities, but common drivers are climate change mitigation and the desire for energy independence.

Now, industrial biotechnology has reached the centre of scientific and political attention. At no time in the past has there been a more pressing need for coherent, evidence-based, proportionate regulations and policy measures; they are at the heart of responsible development of industrial biotechnology.

This publication examines the international drivers, the enabling technologies fast-tracking industrial biotechnology, industry trends, some of the products that are appearing on the market, industry structure and finance, and finally policy measures and trends. It examines separately biofuels, biobased chemicals and bioplastics.

It is quite clear that a supportive policy framework for the development of biofuels exists in many countries, but that no such framework is in place for biobased chemicals and bioplastics. This seems at odds with the apparent need for the integrated biorefinery, where chemicals and plastics production will significantly improve profitability when produced alongside transportation fuels.

Table of contents

Executive summary

Chapter 1. Introduction – Scope and drivers for industrial biotechnology

Chapter 2. Emerging synthetic enabling technologies

Chapter 3. Trends in industry and products

Chapter 4. Current high-visibility industrial biotechnology products

Chapter 5. Business organisation and finance in industrial biotechnology

Chapter 6. Biotechnology policy – Developments, implications and conclusions


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