Government initiative launched to establish biofoundry infrastructure in S. Korea

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 30, 2022, 15:10 Updated : November 30, 2022, 15:10

[Courtesy of the Ministry of Science and ICT]

SEOUL -- A government initiative was launched to establish South Korea's biofoundry infrastructure aimed at fostering synthetic biology, which is a multidisciplinary area of research that seeks to create new biological parts, devices, and systems, or to redesign systems that are already found in nature. Bofoundry standardizes and automates the entire process of synthetic biology by combining digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and robots. 

The initiative was announced by Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho during his visit to CJ CheilJedang's biofoundry facility in Suwon, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Seoul on November 29. CJ Cheiljedang has pushed for white biotechnology that uses living cells to synthesize easily degradable products.

Synthetic biology is emerging as a key technology in the global competition to secure technology leadership. In its initiative disclosed in September 2022, the U.S. predicted that synthetic biology may replace more than one-third of existing manufacturing industries within a decade. 

South Korea's initiative calls for the establishment of a national biofoundry from 2024 that will serve as a core infrastructure to design and manufacture artificial cells. "Synthetic biology technology will lead a new evolution in the era of bio-transformation that can overcome limitations in the bio-field through the convergence of bio-digital technology," Lee said.
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