Advanced Engineering Biology FSP launches alongside three other new CSIRO programs

The Advanced Engineering Biology FSP (AEB FSP) will deliver new tools to develop fast-tracked solutions for some of the most pressing challenges of this century.

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, will invest $50 million over the next five years in four new programs to drive critical breakthroughs in tough national challenges, from food security to health and wellbeing and carbon-neutral industries.

Providing high-throughput bioengineering capability, the CSIRO BioFoundry finds solutions to rapidly innovate the development of bio-based products.

The AEB FSP was announced by CSIRO’s Chief Scientist, Professor Bronwyn Fox, in April 2022, alongside three more new Future Science Platforms:

  • The Revolutionary Energy Storage Systems FSP will reimagine Australia’s electricity grid from one designed to support fossil fuels to instead incorporate more sources of renewable power. 
  • The Permanent Carbon Locking FSP will harness biology, chemistry and engineering to drive innovation in carbon capture and carbon storage science.
  • The Immune Resilience FSP will build on the accelerated understanding of human and animal immune systems gained from COVID-19 to develop technologies that prevent, protect, and respond to emerging health threats.

The programs are part of CSIRO’s $200 million portfolio of Future Science Platforms (FSPs), programs that push the boundaries of existing research through collaboration with universities and industry.

CSIRO’s Chief Scientist Professor Bronwyn Fox said the new FSPs will bring together industry and science, including early career researchers, to invent the cutting-edge science that will shape our future. 

“CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms are a big part of our strategy to stay at the forefront of discovery,” Prof Fox said.

“They are a critical part of the way we do science – they are our investment in cutting-edge, transformative research where we push the boundaries of science and lean into the seemingly impossible.

“The foundational research that these four new Future Science Platforms will undertake will pave the way for innovations and catalyse new industries that will help us to better manage our health, food security, natural resources and environment in the decades to come.” 

Dr Colin Scott, Interim Director of the Advanced Engineering Biology FSP, said developing powerful new tools for biological design and prototyping will supercharge the delivery of impactful new goods and services. 

“This research will help deliver the 50,000 jobs and $30 billion a year that have been identified in the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Roadmap,” Dr Scott said.

“This is a really exciting time for the bioeconomy in Australia. We are seeing significant growth in start-ups and in the wider innovation ecosystem. Increased investment in this research area will help ensure that Australia is a world leader in engineering biology.”

CSIRO’s $200 million portfolio of Future Science Platforms includes 20 programs that underpin innovation and have the potential to help reinvent and create new industries for Australia.

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