There is virtually no limit to the possible applications for these and other natural substances (e.g. succinic acid and microbial fuel cells) produced with the aid of biotechnology. The same applies to many other precursors and intermediates which the biotech industry is currently introducing. However, in the final analysis, the applications are customer driven.
Developers that produce biotech products on an industrial scale must establish contact with the companies (in many cases SMEs) which are able to use them for their special applications. Even the secretions of the split gill have to find partners that have an in-depth understanding of their products, niche markets and end users but are not sufficiently aware of the business opportunities which new developments in biotechnology can offer away from the media paths.
Even the US military is interested: With skyrocketing crude oil prices, depleting reserves and insecurities in major producer regions, also the US military eyes the biofuels and renewables industry. America's armed forces could well become a major player in this branch, insiders believe, as green technology goes khaki...
Why Are Bio Economy Companies Reluctant?
Forced to deal with commodity market volatility, non-payment risks, financial crises, new trade barriers in agricultural and food markets and regulatory conflicts relating to genetically modified plants, companies are noticeably reluctant to abandon so far reliable sources of raw materials, replace equipment that works reliably, modify production processes to handle new materials or build new systems from scratch based on new technologies.
What Decision Makers Say...
Investment – yes, technology revolution – no; me-too products – no, something new – yes, say the decision-makers. As a result, the preference is for components, modules, process solutions and systems which are able to accommodate different raw materials to produce the same end product and which are suitable for small test series.
The expectations of what biotechnology should deliver are high.... - more on page 3!
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