Join us for Manchester Institute of Innovation Research Seminar Series 20/21, webinar hosted by Dr Claire Holland, Research Associate in Responsible Innovation at the MIOIR and SYNBIOCHEM.
To join this webinar, please sign up via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/manchester-institute-of-innovation-research-seminar-dr-claire-holland-tickets-124248469517
Building back better: Engineering a post-pandemic biology-based economy
A future vision of the UK bioeconomy is one where supply chains are no longer petroleum dependent and are instead more distributed and resilient, relying on bio-based and sustainable native resources. For these resources to be sustainably managed and preserve biodiversity, biomanufacturing ideally needs to be locally managed using viable local resources.
Our current economic dependence on coal, natural gas, and oil is unsustainable long-term and, as awareness of environmental problems, societal concern, and depletion of fossil fuels increases, the pressure is on to find suitable and innovative alternatives. This demand has been further exacerbated by the dramatic drop in oil prices internationally during the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, innovative biological pathways for making chemicals, materials, and other manufactures and for applications in agriculture and energy have emerged that promise not only greater sustainability but also new functionalities.
While the UK faces the ongoing challenges of levelling-up and building greater resilience in its economy, and with the effects of Brexit still to be fully realized, the need for the UK to ‘build back better’ is more important than ever. However, what role can new biological approaches to production and consumption play in creating a sustainable and more balanced UK bio-economy?
Claire Holland is a Research Associate in Responsible Innovation at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) and SYNBIOCHEM. Her current work involves developing research themes related to the concept of building back better with synthetic biology; focusing on responsibility, sustainability, and up-scaling of developing technologies. Claire has previously held postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Manchester and Copenhagen, and a Research Fellowship at the University of Reading, predominately investigating the potential for plant cell wall carbohydrates and enzymes to address real-world issues, such as food sustainability, next-generation biomaterials and biofuels, in a sustainable and environmentally benign way. She also worked at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), developing policies to protect EU-UK Research Funding in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research holds a series of regular seminars given by staff and visiting speakers to Manchester, discussing key issues in science, technology and innovation policy and management. All are welcome.