Maximising Impact

Research focussed on the social, ethical, institutional, legal and regulatory aspects of synthetic biology - to inform the development and implementation of synthetic biology solutions to Australia's greatest challenges in health, environment and industry.

Application Domain Leader: Aditi Mankad

The Maximising Impact (MI) Application Domain is a platform that enables research capability in key social, institutional and ethical areas associated with different synthetic biology technology approaches and applications. Identifying and considering these societal aspects of synthetic biology early is key to enabling the successful adoption, integration and application of new products and processes developed across the broad disciplinary areas of synthetic biology R&D.

Our mission is to provide early and ongoing insights into critical social, economic and environmental (triple-bottom-line) issues that may affect the direction, development and implementation of synthetic biology. These insights may be used by policymakers, funders, researchers and communication agencies to shape, support and/or frame synthetic biology applications in ways that increase the likelihood that these areas of science will have positive real-world impacts when applications are eventually implemented.

The MI domain works at several scales (individual and institutional) and across a range of sectors (research, industry, regulatory, government, civil society). We apply methodologies from multiple disciplines including the humanities, social and behavioural sciences. We have a dual goal of pursuing cutting-edge science while working towards science integration. From the outset, MI has applied an interdisciplinary approach to defining analytical frameworks and processes collaboratively. This approach aligns with our goal of science integration.

Projects

Completed

  1. Mapping of industry, government and research stakeholders in SynBio science case studies
  2. Multidimensional understanding of public values, acceptance and risk-related decision-making: A baseline survey

Ongoing

  1. Understanding stakeholder and public perceptions of synthetic biology solutions to environmental problems in Australia using a place-based approach
  2. Integrated economic analysis of novel synthetic biology technologies
  3. Synthetic Biology and Intellectual Property in Australia
  4. Global Regulation of access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources for synthetic biology
  5. An application of Indigenous biocultural knowledge and values in synthetic biology