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September 27, 2022
Just released: Engineering Biology for Climate & Sustainability: A Research Roadmap for a Cleaner Future
The Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) is happy to have released our newest technical research roadmap, Engineering Biology for Climate & Sustainability: A Research Roadmap for a Cleaner Future. The roadmap is available as an interactive website and PDF available at https://roadmap.ebrc.org.
This publication highlights innovative solutions and opportunities in engineering biology to support global efforts to tackle the climate crisis, enable sustainable products and solutions, and grow the circular bioeconomy. The technical roadmap addresses the current state of biotechnology for climate change mitigation and adaptation and ecosystem resilience, and lays out goals and short-, medium-, and long-term milestones for the development of engineering biology tools and technologies for a sustainable future.
Supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, the roadmap was written collaboratively by more than 90 contributors across 56 academic institutions, biotechnology companies, government laboratories, and other organizations. The depth and breadth of this expertise is reflected in the diverse landscape of technologies, processes, and products presented in the roadmap for leveraging engineering biology to address our imminent climate crisis while advancing the bioeconomy. As the U.S. seeks to establish and maintain leadership in the global bioeconomy through the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation, and through the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, this roadmap provides a vision of how that dedication and leadership can ultimately benefit all Americans and our global community.
The technical roadmap focuses on novel, foundational engineering biology capabilities for the:
- Biosequestration of Greenhouse Gases
- Mitigation of Environmental Pollution
- Conservation of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
And engineering biology for climate-friendly, sustainable products and solutions for:
- Food & Agriculture
- Transportation & Energy
- Materials Production & Industrial Processes
The roadmap features case studies that explore the social and nontechnical dimensions associated with some of the roadmap’s potential climate solutions. These case studies were selected to support and encourage the incorporation of ethical, economic, political, and security considerations into the design and pursuit of technical research. The questions and considerations illuminated by these case studies highlight the need for technical and nontechnical stakeholders to work together to secure a sustainable future. The roadmap also contains a contextual glossary of terms and concepts.
May 5, 2021
We’re Hiring! – EBRC Science Policy Postdocs
The Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) and UC Berkeley are seeking postdoctoral scholars interested in science policy. Postdocs will leverage their previous training to work with EBRC programs and to conduct an individual research project.
Click here to learn more.
Special Opportunity – Bioeconomy Assessment, Influence, and Impact
The EBRC postdoctoral scholar(s) will contribute to an analysis of the bioeconomy landscape in the US and opportunities and strategies to strengthen and grow the engineering biology sector of the economy. The postdoc will conduct interviews and reviews of literature and data to assess the capacity, participation, and potential impact of engineering biology tools, technologies, products, and people to influence production and consumption of a variety of resources. The postdoc can expect to gain significant experience in science policy analysis, writing, and communication.
October 20, 2020
Bioindustrial Manufacturing And Design Ecosystem
We are excited to announce that we have been selected to establish the Department of Defense’s Bioindustrial Manufacturing Innovation Institute. You can find some initial information below and we encourage you to subscribe for updates.
U.S. Department of Defense awards $87.5 million to EBRC-led BioMADE establishing the Bioindustrial Manufacturing Innovation Institute
EMERYVILLE, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded a Cooperative Agreement to establish the Bioindustrial Manufacturing And Design Ecosystem, or BioMADE. Established by the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC), BioMADE joins eight DoD-sponsored Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MII) as part of the Manufacturing USA network and becomes the 16th institute creating an end-to-end ecosystems for domestic manufacturing to secure America’s future through manufacturing innovation, education, and collaboration. The 7-year award includes $87.5M in federal funds and is being matched by more than $180M from non-federal sources.
“The Department of Defense is committed to promoting U.S. biotechnology innovation and securing America’s bioindustrial base. Through today’s award, we are pleased to work with new partners to accelerate the Department’s biotechnology modernization and the development of this field which is so critical to our Nation’s future security and prosperity,” said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
For over a century, America has used biology to manufacture products like fuels and solvents. In recent decades, products such as lactic acid have led to the development of renewable plastics not dependent on crude oil. Today, a vast array of renewable products produced by the latest advances in engineering biology are entering nearly every sector of the economy.
“Bridging the gap between lab-scale research and at-scale manufacturing, BioMADE builds an on-ramp to accelerate commercialization of biotechnology inventions originating from American R&D in universities, start-ups, and National Labs. I am grateful to the proposal team of more than 30 companies, 33 universities, 24 community colleges, and 6 nonprofits across 31 states that worked with us to develop a winning proposal” says Douglas Friedman, Executive Director of EBRC and CEO of BioMADE.
Modern biotechnology benefits from a rapid convergence of technologies which historically have not worked in concert. Specifically, biomanufacturing materials at scale with biology requires complex coordination of automation, computational sciences, process engineering, and materials sciences in an environment that promotes safe and equitable deployment of technologies. BioMADE will marshal insights from manufacturers and innovators advancing bioindustrial manufacturing technologies while simultaneously enhancing the structure of this young but robust innovation ecosystem.
Minnesota-based Cargill was an active participant in BioMADE’s development and looks forward to bringing its longstanding biomanufacturing capabilities to the institute. “We are excited that the Department of Defense has selected BioMADE to establish the Bioindustrial Manufacturing Innovation Institute.” says Florian Schattenmann, CTO of Cargill. “We are excited to work with BioMADE and the rest of the industry to identify and innovate on shared challenges in scaleup and downstream processing to further strengthen the US economy in the production of bioindustrial products.”
BioMADE is poised to be headquartered on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, a top ten U.S. public research university and a leader in chemical engineering, materials science, genomics, computational biology, and high-performance computing.
“We are honored to host BioMADE and believe that this institute will advance a new and significant biomanufacturing innovation ecosystem,” said University President Joan T.A. Gabel. “Our region–the Bold North–is home to 16 Fortune 500 companies and a highly sought-after educated workforce. We anticipate many future industrial biomanufacturing firms being created here, taking advantage of proximity to the agricultural raw materials needed for their production, the depth of talent we offer, and the business infrastructure that already serves related firms like Cargill, General Mills, CHS, and Land O’Lakes.”
Slated to join the University’s soon-to-be-constructed Microbial Cell Production Facility (MCPF), BioMADE’s internal efforts will focus on scale-up and downstream processing of laboratory R&D to commercial production. Working seamlessly with satellite offices in Berkeley, CA and Cambridge, MA, and with partners across the country, BioMADE will focus on catalyzing the creation of a secure domestic supply chain of bioindustrial products.
Zach Serber, CSO and co-founder of Zymergen – a Bay Area science and materials innovation company – says, “Zymergen is thrilled to work with BioMADE to identify industry needs and advance technologies and programs that will help the entire bio economy by bringing innovative, high performance and sustainable products to market faster. The BioMADE team fills an important role in this emerging category; providing proof-of-concept manufacturing capacity and helping develop key capabilities in the manufacturing workforce, both of which are critical to strengthening U.S. competitiveness. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and look forward to working with other partner organizations.”
In addition to its focus on technical innovation, education and workforce development are central to BioMADE’s mission to train and ready a robust domestic workforce for manufacturing jobs across the industry. Collaborating with a national network of biotechnology focussed training institutions and organizations, BioMADE will reach across the educational spectrum and across the country to expand biotechnology training to include biomanufacturing.
A commitment to incorporating ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) will be part of the fabric of BioMADE. All technical, educational, workforce, and community projects will include effort dedicated to relevant ELSI topics. Members will have access to experts in bioethics, biosecurity, biosafety, and other ELSI topics while dedicated ELSI advisors will work alongside BioMADE’s technical and workforce leadership.
“We at EBRC could not have led this team without the critical insights and involvement of our partner institutions, and their commitment to the vision of a thriving public-private solution to advance domestic biomanufacturing,” said Friedman. “Turning to the future, we look forward to an inclusive and comprehensive ecosystem of institutions across the country, unified with the goal of advancing US biomanufacturing capabilities, creating products that are as high performing as they are environmentally sustainable.”
June 11, 2020
EBRC and UC Berkeley are seeking postdoctoral scholars interested in science policy. Postdocs will leverage their previous training to work with EBRC programs and to conduct an individual research project in one of EBRC’s focus areas. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with positions open in the last summer / early fall 2020.