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Meeting Policy Challenges for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

image of Meeting Policy Challenges for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

This publication investigates key aspects surrounding the sustainability of bioeconomy development: the use of biomass as feedstock for future production;  the design and building of biorefineries for the manufacture of a range of fuels, chemicals and materials, and also for electricity generation; and the use of biotechnologies such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and gene editing.

Today more than 50 countries have a dedicated bioeconomy strategy or related policies. While the bioeconomy is consistent with sustainability policy (examples are the circular economy, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, green growth, re-industrialisation, rural regeneration, climate change mitigation), synergies must be ensured to avoid over-exploitation of natural resources and conflicting global needs.

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Education and training for industrial biotechnology

This chapter examines education and training for industrial biotechnology, a field that calls for education outside of normal disciplinary boundaries. Many factors in the education and training of industrial biotechnologists point to multi-disciplinarity. This has been discussed many times, but has been elusive in practice. The most obvious combination of skills needed is synthetic biology or genetic engineering with “green” chemistry, with the reduction-to-practice skills provided by chemical engineering. Other mathematical skills are also important. But for employment in small companies, employees also need to be flexible and willing to multi-task and get soft tasks done. This often does not suit a PhD graduate as doctoral training remains specialist, long-term and driven by publication. Although these issues could have been part of a capacity building discussion in this book, the significant policy implications warrant their own chapter.

English

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