Synthetic biology is a technology that is used to program living cells to function as microscopic factories. Once programmed, the cells will produce specific products based on the genetic code. The production is biological and does not require fossil based raw materials.
With synthetic biology it is possible to use industrial side streams, including CO2, bio waste and community waste as raw materials. The cells can be programmed to produce pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, food, fuel, chemicals, bioplastics and materials for textiles and goods.
Synthetic biology, once an astronomically expensive technology, has become affordable and quick to design and apply due to the development of new genetic sequencing methods, AI, automation and robotics.
There is a huge and constantly growing market for sustainable products. Synthetic biology is a disruptive technology that aims to enable a cheaper, faster and cleaner way to produce materials for many of the high-volume products needed in our current way of life. We can expect synthetic biology to renew and even challenge many major industries and processes.
The estimated market to be affected by this technology exceeds $13 trillion. The global synthetic biology market is expected to grow from $5.3 billion in 2019 to $18.9 billion by 2024 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.8% for the period of 2019-2024 (bccResearch).
Synbio Powerhouse is an ecosystem of companies and research organizations currently working with synthetic biology. It is based in Finland but operates globally and aims to bring into fruition the massive business opportunities presented by this technology.
An actively curated ecosystem is needed because synthetic biology is not an industry in itself but an enabling technology. Companies operating in various fields must be brought together to cooperate, exchange ideas and systematically build new value chains to address global needs. When dealing with an unknown and disruptive technology joint communication and market shaping is also needed. Value can be created through improving current markets, but even more importantly, by creating new markets through innovation.
The potential of this new technology is immense considering that the combined turnover of the twelve companies in the Nordic region that could use synthetic biology in their new solutions, exceeds €54 billion.