We are delighted to bring you the next virtual Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Seminar Series. This will be an opportunity for you to hear, in detail, each month about the latest work from SynBioFSP funded projects, CSIRO-University Fellows and SynBioFSP PhD students.

Event date: 07Dec 2020

Monday 7 Dec 2020

Online virtual event

  • 12.00pm AEST (Brisbane time)

Webinar login details will be emailed to registrants

More information

Seminar Program:

Welcome, Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and introduction of speakers by Dr Aditi Mankad, Application Domain Leader, Maximising Impact

Title: Exploring application of techno-economic analysis in new technology development

Speaker #1: Dr Walter Okelo, Research Scientist, CSIRO Land & Water

Bio: Dr Walter Okelo is a research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO) and his current research involves quantifying economic impact of numerous risks to resource based industries and public health as well as conducting technology assessments. Walter holds a PhD in economics from University of Edinburgh and post graduate certificates in applied econometrics from Utrecht University and health economics from the World Bank. Also, Walter is a veterinarian by background and has over six years’ experience in designing and evaluating projects in Asia, Africa and the Pacific region.

Abstract: Techno-economic analysis (TEA) is a valuable tool in linking research and development, engineering and business. By connecting process parameters to financial metrics, technology developers and businesses can better comprehend factors that may affect profitability of their innovation and establish a basis of making objective informed decisions. Therefore, technology developers and businesses alike would benefit from awareness and earlier adoption of economic analysis. However, despite its usefulness in decision making, techno-economic analysis is widely underutilised in new technology development. This has resulted in Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform to recently undertake application of TEA in new technology development to maximise impact. While the fundamental approach to conducting analysis of emerging technologies is akin to that of TEA of existing technologies, emerging technologies pose additional challenges. This presentation addresses: i) the techniques used in TEA and some of the challenges , ii) potential application of TEA in evaluating and developing new chemical, bioprocess and related technologies, and iii) a broad set of market and technology characteristics that typically influence TEA of emerging technologies.

Title: Building a Commons for Synthetic Biology Research

Speaker #2: Dr Alison McLennan, Assistant Professor, Canberra Law School, University of Canberra (& Visiting Scientist at CSIRO)

Bio: Alison is an Assistant Professor in the Canberra Law School, University of Canberra, and a Visiting Scientist at CSIRO. She has a background in both law and biotechnology. She completed her PhD on the regulation of synthetic biology at the Australian National University. Alison does inter-disciplinary research in intellectual property, environmental law and the regulation of emerging technologies. She is interested in questions such as ‘does emerging technology require a new regulatory approach?’, ‘how can the law keep up with the science?’ and ‘how should scientists be involved in developing regulation and policy?’. She is currently working on a project co-funded by UC and the Synbio FSP to investigate the interaction between synthetic biology research and intellectual property in Australia.

Abstract: The idea of ‘sharing’ or ‘openness’ in synthetic biology research has been around since the early 2000s, when the field was first getting started. This philosophy has been developed through institutions such as iGEM and the BioBricks Foundation, in response to problems caused by the intellectual property system. There are theories of the ‘commons’ and ‘innovation communities’ that suggest that sharing in such communities will enhance innovation in the field. However, we have little empirical research into how this is playing out.

The project ‘Synthetic Biology and Intellectual Property in Australia’ considers how innovation in synthetic biology will be owned and accessed, and what role intellectual property will play. As part of this, it investigates ‘sharing’ or ‘openness’ initiatives in biotechnology research. It explores the key features of a range of sharing communities, with a view to identifying what makes such initiatives successful. It explores the experiences of scientists, technology transfer officers and legal managers in sharing tools and data in Australia. It considers the kind of sharing arrangements that would be useful for Australian synthetic biologists and what action could be taken to support sharing of synthetic biology data in Australia.

The goal of this work is to develop recommendations that help to maximise the benefits of synthetic biology research.

Upcoming Events:

Future events in this series are planned for the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday 9/2/2021 @ 1pm (AEST)
  • Tuesday 9/3/2021 @ 1pm (AEST)

Science areas:

Event type: Online