UK is finally on board. The government led by Theresa May launched last week the National Bioeconomy Strategy “Growing the Bioeconomy. Improving lives and strengthening our economy: A National Bioeconomy strategy to 2030”.
“We live – writes in the foreword of the strategy Richard Harrington, Minister for Business and Industry – in an age of unprecedented demand on our global resources. This strategy will ensure that the UK can build a world-class bioeconomy, removing our reliance on finite fossil resources whist increasing productivity across all our towns, cities and communities. A strong and vibrant bioeconomy harnesses the power of bioscience and biotechnology, transforming the way we address challenges in food, chemicals, materials, energy and fuel production, health and the environment. The potential benefits are significant, as we develop low carbon bio-based products and processes that will improve our daily lives”.
The bioeconomy in the UK in 2014 has been estimated to have contributed to £220bn of output across the UK economy, supporting 5.2m jobs.
The British strategy is aimed at fostering all biology-based businesses, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices. One example? “GSK and Veolia are currently working with the Biorenewable Development Centre to look at a range of alternative materials to manufacture glucose from, such as waste from processing high starch foods like bread or potatoes. If successful at scale, this could provide a valuable resource for the production of Augmentin, a penicillin antibiotic which has sales forecasts of over £1bn per year by 2018”.