The biological sciences are adding value to a host of products and services, producing what some have labelled the "bioeconomy" and offering the potential to make major socio-economic contributions in OECD countries. Using quantitative analyses of data on development pipelines and R&D expenditures from private and public databases, this book estimates biotechnological developments to 2015. Moving to a broader institutional view, it also looks at the roles of R&D funding, human resources, intellectual property, and regulation in the bioeconomy, as well as at possible developments that could influence emerging business models to create scenarios to 2030. These scenarios are included to stimulate reflection on the interplay between policy choices and technological advances in shaping the bioeconomy. Finally, the book explores policy options to support the social, environmental and economic benefits of a bioeconomy.Click to Access:
- 15 Apr 2009
The State of the Bioeconomy Today
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Biotechnology today is used in primary production, health and industry. Platform technologies such as genetic modification, DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and metabolic pathway engineering have commercial uses in several application fields. The main current uses of biotechnology in primary production are for plant and animal breeding and diagnostics, with a few applications in veterinary medicine. Human health applications include therapeutics, diagnostics, pharmacogenetics to improve prescribing practices, functional foods and nutraceuticals, and some medical devices. Industrial applications include the use of biotechnological processes to produce chemicals, plastics, and enzymes, environmental applications such as bioremediation and biosensors, methods to reduce the environmental effects or costs of resource extraction, and the production of biofuels. Several applications, such as biopharmaceuticals, in vitro diagnostics, some types of genetically modified crops, and enzymes are comparatively "mature" technologies. Many other applications have limited commercial viability without government support (e.g. biofuels and biomining) or are still in the experimental stage, such as regenerative medicine and health therapies based on RNA interference.
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