Government and big business are betting on the new science of synthetic biology. They would be wise to stay out of the fridge, says Ehsan Masood.
Anyone who believes that picking winners is a thing of the past should read A Synthetic Biology Roadmap for the UK, published on 16 July by the Technology Strategy Board.
The size of the global market for goods and services in synthetic biology, according to some, will exceed $10 billion by 2016. The roadmap, compiled by a working group drawn from industry (Shell and GSK), academia and the research councils, is a first attempt at understanding what the UK must do to increase its share of the pie. It will be followed by a one-day conference in Manchester on 25 July, organised by the TSB, at which scientists have been invited to pitch ideas.