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If the 20th century was the Age of Physics, the central technology of the 21st century will be biology. Despite marvelous advances in areas like health care, we have only seen a tiny part of what this powerful technology can do. Multiple industries are turning towards biological manufacturing as an integral part of their business strategy, particularly if they are concerned about sustainability. Imagine bacteria making supply chains more transparent, shoes and clothing made of mushrooms and algae, and maybe even houses with living walls.
How will this trend affect your business area? What will become obsolete, replaced by this inherently sustainable technology? We explored this biological manufacturing revolution with four experts who discussed what you need to know, and how to separate hype from reality.
Suzanne is a designer turned pioneer of biotechnology for consumer products. She started growing materials from microbes for the fashion industry in 2003 coining the term ‘Biocouture’. Today Suzanne is the founder of Biofabricate, a global network serving the needs of biomaterial innovators, investors and consumer brands. Biofabricate’s vision is “A sustainable material world. Built with biology, not oil.”
Mitchell Joachim is the Co-Founder of Terreform ONE and an Associate Professor of Practice at NYU. Formerly, he was an architect at the offices of Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei. He has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and fellowships with TED, Moshe Safdie, and Martin Society for Sustainability, MIT. Mitchell has won many honors including: Lafarge Holcim Acknowledgement Award, ARCHITECT R+D Award, History Channel Infiniti Award for City of the Future, and Time magazine’s Best Invention with MIT Smart Cities Car.
Dr. Ellen Jorgensen cofounded Aanika Biosciences, a biotech startup that enables sustainable practices by using microbes to track, trace and authenticate products throughout supply chains. She holds a Ph.D. in Cell & Molecular Biology from New York University, spent over 30 years in the biotechnology industry, and is passionate about science communication. In 2009 she cofounded Genspace, the world’s first open source community biolab and is a leader in the DIYbio movement.
Drew is Associate Chair of Bioengineering at Stanford University and President of the BioBricks Foundation. His students have pioneered amplifying genetic logic gates, rewritable DNA data storage, LEGO-like standard biological parts, genome refactoring, and synthetic genetic codes that resist evolution. Drew co-founded the iGEM, a genetic engineering “Olympics” that’s enabled over 50,000 students globally to learn about and practice biotechnology.
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