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Maximising Impact

Application Domain Leader: Aditi Mankad

In Australia, the next five to ten years are likely to represent a burgeoning of synthetic biology (SynBio) research, destined for applications across diverse domains such as healthcare, environmental protection, agriculture, and various platforms within industrial biotechnology. The early identification and consideration of social, behavioural and ethical issues with respect to SynBio is key to enabling the successful integration and uptake of any new products or processes developed.

Furthermore, the need to understand community perspectives goes well beyond achieving a “social licence to operate”; rather, SynBio has the potential to forever revolutionise how societies think and it challenges generational beliefs about “acceptable” human-science interactions. Thus, the social research of this Domain needs to consider a breadth of social issues at individual, group and institutional levels.

The Maximising Impact Application Domain conducts in-house research exploring a multidimensional understanding of public values, acceptance and risk-related decision-making. We are also funding an external project that explores policy and legal frameworks and considerations.


  1. Mapping of industry, government and research stakeholders
  2. Quantitative National Social Attitudinal Survey
  3. Social psychology/behavioural economics experiment (as part of the National Survey)
  4. Patent and Intellectual Property frameworks and policy analysis