Technology and the Future Bioeconomy
New discoveries in the life sciences and the challenge of climate change are leading to the emergence of the bioeconomy where basic methods of advanced biology are applied to produce a wide array of products while also improving environmental quality. The emergence of the bioeconomy is a continuing evolutionary process of transition from systems of mining nonrenewable resource to farming renewable ones. This transition benefits from modern tools of molecular biology that have expanded human capacity to breed new organisms and utilize them in order to increase productivity in agricultural production and fisheries as well as produce a wide array of products that were extracted in the past. This transition is leading to the integration of the agricultural sector with the energy and mineral sectors. The introduction of biotechnology has already improved productivity of medicine, as well as agriculture but in the case of agriculture, has encountered resistance and regulatory constraints. The evolution of the bioeconomy requires continuous public investment in research and innovation, as well as the establishment of a regulatory framework and financial incentives and institutions that lead to continuous private sector investment in development and commercialization of new products. One of the big challenges is the development of a regulatory framework that will control possible human and environmental externalities from new biotechnology products, and at the same time not stifle innovation.
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