Beyond health: why BIA is championing the biorevolution 

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In this blog, Linda Bedenik, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager, BioIndustry Association (BIA), discusses the concept of Deep Biotech and highlights how advancements in biotechnology offer solutions to sustainability challenges like plastic waste and fossil fuel reliance. The BIA's report, "Deep Biotech: Disruptive innovation for global sustainability" underscores the potential of biotechnology to create a sustainable UK bioeconomy and drive global change. 


In a world of ever-growing plastic waste and continued reliance on fossil fuels, we can look to biotech for solutions. Advancements like CRISPR gene editing, big data and AI analysis, genomics breakthroughs, and DNA sequencing industrialisation are driving major changes in biotechnology. 

The rise of modern industrial biotechnologies enabling us to engineer biology is leading us down a path of truly disruptive biological innovation that can tackle many of the UK’s and global sustainability threats if widely implemented.

The BIA has named this frontier of science Deep Biotech. Our brand-new report, "Deep Biotech: Disruptive innovation for global sustainability" highlights how deep biotech is key to creating a sustainable UK bioeconomy and making the UK a science superpower that benefits all. 

We are witnessing the rise of this biorevolution. UK startups already optimize algae to transform CO2 into biofuels, use soil to grow sustainable packaging, grow meat in bioreactors, not on farms, and craft enzymes that eat plastic. Deep Biotech is about harnessing the power of biology to solve the world's toughest challenges, from climate change to pollution to resource scarcity. 

Our new report marks an exciting milestone in BIA’s growth as the UK trade association for innovative life sciences and biotech companies. It delves deeper into the impact of UK bio-innovation, showcasing the immense potential of Deep Biotech across various sectors, from energy and materials to fashion and food. We also shine a light on the hurdles Deep Biotech companies face, and how we at the BIA will champion their cause over the coming years.  

While the impact-driven nature of deep biotech is easy to grasp, its interdisciplinarity will require understanding and support across government. Elections are looming, and the task for our incoming government will be to seize the opportunity and realise biotech’s potential across our entire economy and society. With the UK’s track record of success in health biotech, we are well placed to do so, igniting the biorevolution from the medicines we take to the food we consume and the clothes we wear.  

 

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Recent regulatory developments in the EU and UK suggest a proactive stance on governing AI technologies, with the EU introducing comprehensive regulations and the UK proposing reforms to align with emerging digital technologies.

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I’m delighted to be opening PULSE this morning. It is a free three-day leadership and entrepreneurship training programme for up-and-coming life sciences entrepreneurs that we’ve developed and delivered with the Francis Crick Institute. Read on for the latest on EU biotech initiatives, Biosecurity Leadership Council and boost for UK cell and gene therapy.

 

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