How we are advancing bioprocessing research

Our innovative approach will greatly reduce the time and expense currently wasted on developing bioprocesses that would never be industrially applicable.

Our researchers are taking a new approach to product development in industrial biotechnology. We are moving away from the traditional, linear method where an organism is developed, researched and modified before the practical requirements of a process are known. Instead, we are bringing in scaled-up processing, technoeconomic modelling and considering industrial and regulatory requirements in the initial discovery and development stage.

We are doing this by creating a framework based on the industrial needs of a process. This helps us identify the right questions to be addressed first, and uses this framework to develop the organism and process right from the start. To do this, we assess the wild type organism's behaviour at pilot scale, and place that in a simple technoeconomic model. This gives us a good idea of its potential performance, as well as what is actually necessary to develop the species industrially. Doing this early on in the process reduces the risk of later stage failure in our technologies.

A unique development cycle

Diagram of the development cycle
Our development cycle

Our iterative approach to the process development cycle brings together three stages that help reduce failure at scale. We draw on a large pool of interconnected expertise to achieve this.

Interconnected expertise

Our Centre's combined interconnected expertise falls across traditional boundaries and equips us to deliver an integrated biotechnology solution. Our researchers work on projects that develop from new global needs or exploit new discoveries in any suitable area.

Our expertise spans the breadth of a process from the fundamental plant science to the end testing of final products, including in:

Biomass cultivation

  • Plant science
  • Biomass chemical analysis
  • Feedstock mapping

Upstream processing

  • Fractionation
  • Thermochemical depolymerisation
  • Mechanochemistry

Chemical processing

  • Thermochemical processing of biomass
  • Catalysis of bioresources
  • Reaction engineering

Biological processing

  • Bio-conversions
  • Enzyme and protein production
  • Genetic and metabolic engineering
  • Pharmaceutical synthesis
  • Bacterial and yeast fermentation
  • Mammalian cell culture
  • Cultured meat
  • Regenerative medicine

Separations

  • Membranes
  • Traditional chemical engineering expertise

Testing with end users

  • Biopolymer
  • Biofuels
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Food testing

Systems modelling

  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Technoeconomic assessment
  • Process modelling
  • Supply chain modelling