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Next Gen Biomanufacturing: Feasible or Fairy dust?

Future Food Asia 2023 was held in Singapore, bringing together thought leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers and industry representatives from across Asia and further afield.

Miruku CEO, Amos Palfreyman was invited to participate in a panel discussion on whether the exciting prospects around Next Gen Biomanufacturing were really feasible or if they were actually just wishful thinking and a sprinkle of fairy dust. There was a range of different views expressed by the panelists, with most leaning towards 'feasible' but also recognising that it would not be smooth sailing and that there would be challenges (some already identified, some yet to be realised) to be navigated. Some of Amos' thoughts on this topic include:

  • The accessibility of new genetic tools combined with the urgent need to rethink the way many food supply chains are currently structured has led to the rise of the next generation of biomanufacturing.

  • Platform technologies rely on successful applications of the core technology. When you can make anything it can be hard to narrow down to the "killer app" that unlocks the most potential of the technology. This means that target selection and understanding the unit economics of the process to get to the target becomes critical.

  • Given the scale and novelty of the processes and science involved there will likely be a correction in expectations as even the most robust techno-economic modelling requires a large set of assumptions of which some will prove to be false. Of course then the sector will need to innovate and level up again at pace which is fertile ground for continued innovation.

A stimulating discussion!


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