Top Tech Trends Debate: Four tech trends set to disrupt the next five years


Synthetic biology is a rapidly accelerating market, with an estimated conservative global valuation of around US$14 billion.1 To polymath hacker and explorer JJ Hastings, the ability to produce fast, efficient and customisable materials enabled by machine learning and computer-aided design will change the world with an array of entirely new, advanced materials. The extraordinary is now possible: producing spider silk without spiders, egg proteins without chickens and fragrances without flowers. These materials can now be produced by renewable feedstock, reducing the need for large scale agricultural bases or energy-intensive manufacturing. The predicted impact of biomanufacturing drew US$1.7 billion in 2017 investment alone.2 Synthetic biology companies are partnering with fashion designers, heavily backed by VC dollars, as well as forming'organism foundries'.