Towards the new bioeconomy: Bio-manufacturing as a strategic economic development initiative for Quebec

Globally, the bioeconomy can be defined as the domain of the economy based on products, services and processes derived from biological resources. In this regard, synthetic biology refers to the characteristics of a field derived from biology that has developed over the past thirty years thanks to advances in applied genetics and bioengineering. Some predict that the future economy will primarily be a bioeconomy based on these emerging techniques, which are consistent with the decarbonization of our economy. We first describe the international reality of the "Bio Revolution" and then aim to assess Quebec's position. Next, we present some government policies following a top-down approach from different jurisdictions. A case study of a Montreal-based company allows us to highlight the problems it faced in attracting the financial capital needed for its growth. Another critical issue in the field is the scalability of production processes. We explore this issue further in agritech, a high potential sector but whose realization faces several socio-economic challenges. This analysis serves as a backdrop to our recommendations to develop a roadmap for government support for synthetic biology.

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