CSIRO to invest $25 million in Advanced Engineering Biology program


The nation’s science agency, CSIRO, has announced it will invest $25 million up to 2027 in a new Future Science Platform, titled Advanced Engineering Biology (AEB), which aims to “integrate engineering and biology to develop solutions for broad-ranging issues”.

Engineering biology, also known as synthetic biology, involves applying engineering principles to biology, constructing new and redesigning existing biological systems for useful purposes.

The AEB FSP was launched in July last year.

Dr Robert Speight, Director of the new AEB FSP, said in a statement on Wednesday that, “The applications of engineering biology are varied and range from improving plants to sequester carbon more effectively, to manufacturing sustainable alternatives to animal proteins, petroleum fuels, and harmful pesticides, and even engineering biosensors that can make on-the-spot medical diagnoses.

“We’re only just scratching the surface of engineering biology’s potential.”

The CSIRO said it would build on its years of research, which has helped grow a community of experts around Australia in the field.

The new FSP will focus on “new biomanufacturing capabilities, as well as developing the very technologies that underpin engineering biology,” to increase predictability and performance.

“The Advanced Engineering Biology FSP is about unlocking the transformative potential of engineering biology to underpin transitions to new industries, enable circular economies, and realise vast benefits for society and the environment,” added CSIRO Deputy Chief Scientist, Dr Jill Freyne.

CSIRO’s FSPs are described as “multi-year, multi-disciplinary investments… bringing CSIRO and our partners together”. They include themes around autonomous sensors, hydrogen energy systems and space technology.

Picture: supplied


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