September 13, 2019

TTTD 2019: Biology like we’ve never seen before

J.J. Hastings

This year’s Top Tech Trends Debate (TTTD), presented by The Churchill Club, allowed audiences to witness four pitches from innovative panellists forecasting their view of the next big thing in tech.

Each speaker had three minutes to convince the audience (and the panel) that their emerging tech trend would have an impact in the next three to five years.

The entire Avion team has a keen interest in emerging technology across industries, exploring how and when it can impact the numerous subject areas we deal with as copywriters. With The Churchill Club focused on bringing together thought leaders to discuss emerging technology, the TTTD is one event that Avion Communications is proud to be partnered with.

This article is one of four that looks at the trends discussed and how each trend was received by the wider audience at the TTTD 2019.

After hearing amazing pitches on the new space economy, the Australian video game industry and creative artificial intelligence (AI) systems, the audience was ready for the final pitch of the night. This final emerging trend of future tech centred around the promising and eye-opening possibilities of synthetic biology.

The rapidly growing future of synthetic biology

Next up on the lectern was J.J. Hastings. Hastings’ impressive background in bioscience includes positions as Director of Alpha Space, lecturer at RMIT and the University of Melbourne, and Director of x0.lab.

Hastings’ expertise as a bioengineer extends across an array of projects and innovations with her passion and knowledge evident from the start of her pitch. Discussing the rapidly accelerating market for synthetic biology (a market with an estimated global valuation of almost $14 billion by 2026), Hastings captured the audience’s attention with her impassioned explanation of the power of biomanufacturing.

Creating new materials from scratch

With the power to optimise existing productions of biological materials and organisms, Hastings proposed that AI and machine learning (ML) will be able to create entirely new materials – ones that have never existed on Earth. 

Hastings showcased an example of synthetic biology, with artificial spider silk that’s produced by Bolt Heads – a business now valued at $700 million. Fashion giant Stella McCartney has been working with Bolt Threads to use this silk in their garments, highlighting the growing use of this technology.

By using what AI and ML have learnt about the natural world, new materials can be created that mimic those produced in nature – meaning humans can still use these materials, without reliance on often invasive, high energy or expensive production methods.  

Hastings explained this has led to a rapid acceleration in production across industries. Whether it’s being able to produce pharmaceutical drugs 50 times faster, or aid food and agriculture sectors with longer shelf-life food and reduction of harmful ingredients – the possibilities of synthetic biology are endlessly exciting.

What did the audience think of Hastings’ synthetic web?

After a terrific pitch, the panellists and audience were incredibly excited by Hastings’ emerging trend. The collective engagement Hastings’ created meant she took home first place in the TTTD for 2019. Seeing the trend’s potential across food and fashion, space, and healthcare, the collective agreement with Hastings’ pitch was noticeable.

Our team was also highly engaged by the prospect of synthetic biology becoming a major part of our society. With the potential impact across such a wide range of industries, it was clear that this trend was set to make a huge splash over the coming years.

With emerging tech and discovery at the forefront of our minds at Avion Communications, partnering with The Churchill Club on this event was a great honour. Explore what other exciting tech-focused events are coming up, or become a member of The Churchill Club today to gain exclusive access to event reports, plus a range of other benefits.

If you’re wanting to work with a creative copywriting team who live best practice web accessibility and SEO, and can help ready your business’ content marketing for the next tech trends, contact Avion today.

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