In cities, something like 40 or even 50% of food doesn’t even reach our plates. [Claudia Vickers, Director of the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform] points out that synbio offers the potential for society to recycle carbon and energy through fermentation in a local bio-based system.
Likewise, think of the tonnage of fibres and fabrics, which are tossed into landfill every day. These could be broken down into fermentable carbon sources, which would contribute to the circular economy as well.
There are significant capability hurdles too – for example, there’s currently a massive insufficiency worldwide for fermentation at scale.
For the technology to reach its potential, the emergence of manufacturing bio hubs located next to feedstock and renewable energy sources are required.
Better still, by making them truly open and democratized, it will accelerate the chances for any industry to test, try, fail and pivot, and potentially create new solutions.