Since the beginning of the 21st century, especially since the new crown pneumonia epidemic continued to spread, the global biotechnology has advanced by leaps and bounds, the impact of major public health security incidents has continued to escalate, and all sectors of society have paid unprecedented attention to the bioeconomy. The era of bioeconomy has officially kicked off.
At present, more than 60 countries and regions around the world have issued strategic policies and plans related to biotechnology and bio-industry, and more and more economies have incorporated the development of bio-economy into the mainstream of their national strategic policies. How do you view the general trend of the current global bioeconomy evolution? How to take the initiative to develop in the bio-economy era?
The general trend of global bioeconomy development
The bio-economy era has opened up another epoch-making and far-reaching civilization stage for mankind after the agricultural economy, industrial economy, and information economy era, showing a completely new scene completely different from the information economy era. The development of bio-economy will profoundly affect the production and life of human society, the way of cognition, and even energy security, national security and other aspects.
Trend 1: The bioeconomy outlines a beautiful blueprint for the sustainable development of human society.
At present, the wave of biotechnology revolution is sweeping the world, and life science has gradually become the most active field of scientific research in the world after information science. In the past decade, the number of papers published in the fields of biology and medicine worldwide has approached half of the total number of natural science papers, and seven of the top ten scientific breakthroughs published by Science in 2021 are related to biotechnology. Among the top 100 global R&D companies, the biopharmaceutical industry accounts for nearly one-third, ranking first.
In recent years, gene sequencing, gene editing and other general life science technologies have developed rapidly, and their development costs are falling faster than Moore's Law. Modern biotechnology has gradually entered thousands of households, driving the rapid development of the bio-industry, and a bright blueprint for the bio-economy. in sight. In particular, modern biotechnology continues to penetrate into the fields of medicine, agriculture, chemicals, materials, and energy, providing new solutions for mankind to solve major challenges such as disease, environmental pollution, climate change, food security, and energy crisis. play an important leading role in sustainable economic and social development. With the accelerated application of emerging biotechnologies such as regenerative medicine and cell therapy, human cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes will be overcome, effectively improving human health and prolonging human life expectancy. The accelerated integration of breeding technology with cross-disciplinary technologies such as genome-wide selection, gene editing, high-throughput sequencing, and phenotyping will effectively ensure food supply and improve the ecological environment. Biosynthesis, bio-based materials and other technologies are widely used, and bio-manufactured products will gradually replace about one-third of petrochemical and coal chemical products in the next decade, creating better conditions for human green production and ecological environment restoration.
Trend 2: The bioeconomy may become one of the core contents of the science and technology economic strategy of the great powers in the future.
With the accelerated evolution of the bio-economy era, some developed economies have promulgated and implemented top-level bio-economy development strategies. For example, Germany released a new version of the National Bioeconomy Strategy in January 2020, following the publication of the "German Bioeconomy Strategy Research 2030: The Road to Bioeconomy" in November 2011; Growing Innovation: The European Bioeconomy and the October 2018 release of the European Sustainable Bioeconomy: Strengthening the Links between Economy, Society and the Environment; the United States, following the release of the National Bioeconomy Blueprint in April 2012, It has successively released special bills on engineering biology and medical innovation policies, as well as strategic documents such as "Preparing for Future Biotechnology Products", "U.S. Bioeconomy Development Proposal: Maximizing Support for Economic Growth and National Security", and "Protecting the Bioeconomy".
As mentioned in the "Bioeconomy Policy: Overview and Analysis of the G7 Strategy" published by the German Bioeconomy Council in November 2017: "In recent years, the practicality and great development potential of the bioeconomy have been widely recognized around the world. The bioeconomy Policies have become the core content of the economic policies of developed economies around the world. ” Countries have opened up different paths and policy means for the development of bio-economy based on their own resources, technologies and industrial reserves. For example, France, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and other countries have established bio-economy development strategies in key fields such as bio-based materials and bio-energy based on their own biological resource endowments, energy supply characteristics and industrial transformation needs. R&D budgets in the pharmaceutical sector already account for nearly half of non-defense R&D spending. It is foreseeable that under the background of the bio-economy era, the bio-economy will become the main battlefield for the scientific and technological and economic competition of great powers .
Trend 3: The bioeconomy will endow national security with a new connotation and mission.
With the rapid development of cutting-edge life sciences and biotechnology such as synthetic biology, gene editing, and neuroscience, the international security situation has undergone profound changes. Traditional national security has broken through the five-dimensional space of land, sea, air, sky, and electricity. The importance of biological security Huge improvements. At the same time, the international biosecurity situation is grim, the research and development of biological weapons has been repeatedly banned, and the threat of biological warfare still exists. "Ethnic weapons" and "genetic weapons" targeting specific ethnic groups have the characteristics of strong lethality and contagion, large killing area, long damage time and difficulty in finding. According to statistics, there are 20-30 pathogenic microorganisms and toxins that can be used as modern biological warfare agents in the world.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, public health emergencies such as bird flu, Ebola, and Zika virus have occurred one after another around the world . Invasion of alien species, misuse of biotechnology, bioterrorism, laboratory biosecurity loopholes, and loss of genetic resources are not uncommon. International disputes over the cross-border flow of biological resources and the cross-border development and application of biotechnology are increasing. In September 2018, the United States first released the National Biodefense Strategy, a systematic strategy to comprehensively address various biological threats, and put forward five major goals: enhancing the awareness of biodefense risks, improving the risk prevention capabilities of biodefense units, and preparing for biodefense. Under the current new background and new situation in the field of biosecurity, countries and regions need to step up the layout and development of the bio-economy, improve the ability to prevent bio-security risks, and accelerate the construction of a national security system that adapts to the era of bio-economy, in order to effectively prevent biological threats, manage and control biological risks, Safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and jointly support the modernization of global security governance and the long-term stability of mankind.
International practices and experiences in cultivating and developing bioeconomy
Since the second half of the 20th century, major developed countries and regions have attached great importance to the development and promotion of biotechnology. In terms of methods and means, they have experienced from focusing on training in the field of life sciences, to supporting and promoting the biological industry as a strategic emerging industry, and then Up to now, the bio-economy has been regarded as a new economic form parallel to the industrial economy and the information economy, and the system, mechanism and policy ecological environment have been comprehensively improved from both sides of supply and demand. Such practices have been particularly evident since the beginning of the 21st century, especially in the past 10 years.
Genomics, synthetic biology and other underlying platform general technologies have become hot spots.
In recent years, major developed countries and regions have strengthened the deployment of cutting-edge leading technologies, enhanced disruptive innovation, and actively seized the strategic commanding heights in the field of bio-economy. Genomics, synthetic biology, computational biology and other low-level technologies with universality and platform have become the focus of countries to increase R&D investment.
❖ In the field of genomics, the US National Institutes of Health launched the "All Of Us" project in May 2018, planning to sequence 1 million genomes in the next 10 years; the UK government plans to sequence 5 million genomes in the next 5 years; EU plans The genomes of 1 million people in the EU will be sequenced in the next three years.
❖In the field of synthetic biology, the corresponding strategic plans of the United States, Japan, the European Union, Italy, and Russia all regard genome editing as one of the key technologies; in the "Bioeconomic Action: Implementation Framework" released by the United States in 2019, many Synthetic biology technology has been applied in every new research field; the UK's corresponding bioeconomy strategy clearly supports the development of industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology as a platform technology to achieve application in a more circular and greener bioeconomy; Singapore's special funding for synthetic biology research and development programs.
❖In the field of biological storage and computing, Microsoft has realized fully automatic DNA information storage, breaking through the key steps of DNA storage technology to commercial data centers; Stanford University has developed a low-energy brain-like "artificial synapse" to achieve synchronization of computing and storage; Zurich, Switzerland The Federal Institute of Technology has developed a technology called "DNA of Everything" that uses DNA as a storage medium and can store information in almost any object.
Strengthening biotechnology can better support the sustainable development of human society.
In line with the characteristics of the era in which biotechnology has entered thousands of households in the bioeconomy era, major countries and regions have deployed key bioeconomy development priorities in response to major needs such as "medicine", "food", "beauty", and "safety" that are related to sustainable economic and social development. .
❖U.S. Biomass Research and Development Council (BR&D) under the guidance of the previous programmatic document "National Bioeconomy Blueprint", the "Bioeconomy Plan: Implementation Framework" released in March 2019 pointed out that in the next stage, the country will focus on energy , agriculture, industry and other transformation and sustainable development needs, focusing on advanced algae fuel systems, gene editing, biomass conversion and carbon cycling and other fields.
❖Canada released its first national bioeconomy strategy in May 2019, “Canadian Bioeconomy Strategy – Leveraging Advantages for a Sustainable Future”, pointing out the need to further maximize the value of biomass and residues to achieve effective management of natural resources.
❖In July 2019, EuropaBio released the "Biotechnology Industry Declaration 2019 - Revitalizing the EU's Biotechnology Ambition", confirming that it is necessary to innovate biotechnology, benefit mankind and the planet, and enhance the EU's biotechnology industry competition power, calling on EU policymakers to rebuild a healthier, more resource-efficient, biotechnology-driven Europe.
❖The strategy of "Bio Strategy 2019 - Bio-Community Facing International Resonance" released by Japan clearly states that it will focus on developing nine fields related to medicine, food, housing, and energy, including: high-performance biomaterials, bioplastics, Sustainable agricultural production systems, organic waste and wastewater treatment, health care and digital medicine, biomedicine and cell therapy, bio-manufacturing, industrial and food bio-industry, bio-analysis, measurement and experimental systems, wooden buildings and smart forestry management, etc.
Ensure smooth inter-departmental coordination systems and mechanisms.
Judging from the top-level designs of the bioeconomy development strategies released by major countries and regions in the past few years, the bioeconomy covers many fields, involves complex support and regulatory departments, and has a high degree of reliance on public policies and institutional mechanisms. Countries attach great importance to ensuring the prosperity of the bio-economy in a smooth institutional mechanism and policy ecosystem by increasing inter-departmental coordination.
❖In May 2020, a new proposal by the US Congress on engineering biology research pointed out that the federal government should continue to strengthen coordination with the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services and other departments.
❖ Germany's 2020 new version of the "National Bioeconomy Strategy" proposes that the government will appoint an independent, broad-member, cross-border joint advisory committee to ensure that with the participation of multiple relevant groups, multiple goals, implementation plans and specific implementations will be proposed. Suggest.
❖In the United Kingdom, the report is jointly issued by the departments of business, energy and industry, and the government, industry and research departments jointly promote the transformation of the bio-economy.
In addition, private think tanks, financial institutions and other industry-university-research units are also important participants in actively constructing and improving the bio-economic system and mechanism. For example, the American Schmidt Futures think tank (Schmidt Futures), which released the report "U.S. Bioeconomy: Planning a Course for a Flexible and Competitive Future" in April 2022, is chaired by the National Security Council Artificial Intelligence and Defense Innovation Committee, former Initiated by Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The think tank established the Synthetic Biology and Bioeconomy Working Group in October 2021, with members mainly composed of experts in the fields of physics, ethics, synthetic biology, etc., as well as venture capitalists of innovative companies, industry leaders and leaders of biotechnology alliances composed of others.
Continue to strengthen public participation and public opinion guidance in bioeconomy-related decision-making.
Different from the industrial economy and the information economy, the development of the bio-economy is not only a revolution in efficiency, but also related to the transformation and evolution of the ontology of human life, and is closely related to all things in nature. Therefore, the relevant decision-making and deployment needs to introduce a public participation mechanism. For example, on the development and promotion of genetically modified products that the public is more concerned about, both the active US and the relatively cautious EU have tried every means to disclose the information in the GMO approval process and invite the public to participate. U.S. practices include: Environmental impact reports must be released at the same time as GMO release and registration, GMO foods must be subject to public comment before they are put on the market, and meetings of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Biotechnology Scientific Advisory Committee are open to the public and the minutes of the meeting are posted online. The European Union requires the Food Safety Authority to issue an evaluation report on new genetically modified products, and the European Commission will publish the evaluation report online and accept a one-month public comment.
In addition, in view of the emerging industry attributes of biotechnology products and services, as well as the importance of public "medicine", "food", "beauty", and "safety", some countries and regions have made great efforts to improve the public's acceptance of biotechnology products and services. Actively guide them in terms of degree, cultivate corresponding consumption concepts and habits, etc. For example, France proposes ten actions to support the matching of supply and demand in the bioeconomy; UK Research and Innovation will support business and academia to operate in a transparent and accountable mechanism to enhance public trust and publicize innovative bio-based products openly and effectively. Raise public understanding and awareness of new products to ensure social, environmental and economic benefits when transitioning to a bio-based economy; Italy’s Bioeconomy in Italy: A New Bioeconomy Strategy for a Sustainable Italy Promote demand for bio-based products from a consumer perspective, gather information on consumer bio-based products, consider how to form new markets, and leverage bio-based services to develop innovative, inclusive business solutions.
How to take the initiative to develop in the bio-economy era?
The path of cultivating and developing the bio-economy in China can be roughly divided into three stages: vigorously supporting the research and development of major technologies in the field of life sciences and tackling key problems in the early stage; concentrating resources to promote the development of the bio-industry in the past 20 years; in May 2022, China will follow the development trend of the global bio-economy era. , released the first national-level bio-economy development strategy "The 14th Five-Year Plan for Bio-economy Development", marking China's bio-economy development entering a new stage. Entering this stage, focusing on the current new trend of international bio-economy development, based on the advantages of China's rich biological resources, broad market space, large-scale bio-economy, and sound industrial system, we can start from consolidating the scientific and technological foundation, strengthening core pillar industries, strengthening Scientific planning, overall design, forward-looking layout, and solid progress in the protection, development and utilization of biological resources, building up biosafety barriers, and optimizing the ecology of the bioeconomic system, and strive to seize the initiative in development in the era of bioeconomics.
01Consolidate the foundation of life science innovation.
The first is to further consolidate the technological foundation for the prosperity and development of the bio-economy. Closely align with the implementation requirements of the Healthy China Strategy, and speed up the deployment and promotion of a number of new biotechnology research plans in response to the "stuck neck" problem that restricts the application and promotion of biotechnology. Strengthen the national strategic scientific and technological strength in the field of life sciences with the joint participation of industry, universities and research institutes, give full play to the advantages of the new national system, and innovate the "revelation and command" system.
Second, under the background that the international scientific and technological cooperation situation is undergoing a trend of reversal, adhere to open innovation, recruit various talents and teams at home and abroad, make better use of professional innovation and entrepreneurial capital at home and abroad, and strengthen cross-border scientific and technological cooperation projects. Lower institutional barriers to cooperation in innovative elements.
The third is to expand a number of industrial clusters, and guide innovation resources to be further inclined to areas with early accumulation, foundation and future potential . It is an important force driving the transformation and upgrading of regional industries and supporting the leap-forward development of China's bio-economy.
02Cultivate and expand emerging pillar industries.
Accelerate biotechnology to widely empower health, agriculture, energy, environmental protection and other industries, promote the deep integration of biotechnology and information technology, and accelerate the growth of the pillar industries of the bio-economy.
One is to promote the development of the medical and health industry. Starting from disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, focus on the development of early screening of major diseases using genetic testing and other means, support the development of individualized treatment and precision treatment, and accelerate the iterative upgrade of vaccine R&D and production technology; Integrate other technologies, develop advanced diagnostic technologies, products and equipment, and strengthen TCM efficacy judgment and mechanism research; in disease medical treatment, promote biological drugs such as antibody drugs, advance the development of original drugs for major diseases and rare diseases, and expand the clinical application of advanced treatment technologies , standardize the clinical application of new technologies such as cell therapy, and encourage the integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine.
The second is to promote the development of biological agriculture. Focus on improving the production capacity and quality of important agricultural products such as grain, orderly develop biological breeding technologies such as genome-wide selection and synthetic biology, ensure the supply of important agricultural products such as grain, meat, eggs, milk, and oilseeds, and actively promote corn, soybeans and other crops as well as livestock and poultry, Tackle key problems in improved aquatic products, explore and develop new foods such as "artificial proteins"; focus on improving agricultural production efficiency, develop agricultural waste biological preparations, natural agricultural biological drugs and other agricultural products, and promote the research and development of animal genetic engineering vaccines, high-efficiency detection reagents and other technologies. Industrialization, development of biological feeds such as enzyme preparations and microbial preparations.
The third is to promote the development of biomass application. Facing the major needs of green, low-carbon and sustainable development model transformation, actively develop bio-manufacturing technology, realize bio-technological substitution of chemical raw materials and processes, develop high-performance bio-environmental materials and biological preparations, and promote important chemical, pharmaceutical, material, light industry and other important Industrial product manufacturing and biotechnology are deeply integrated.
The fourth is to encourage the development of the bio-information industry. Continue to tap the huge innovation efficiency and industrial momentum generated by the integrated application of biotechnology and information technology, promote the role of information technology in supporting the development of new drugs, use "Internet + health care" and other means to optimize convenience services, and deepen the use of health big data in medicine Applications in scientific research, education and training, clinical diagnosis and treatment, product development, medical insurance payment, and the combination of medical care and elderly care.
03Strengthen the protection and utilization of biological resources and the construction of biosafety guarantee system.
On the one hand, higher efficiency and deeper protection, development and utilization of biological resources. First, pay equal attention to the soft environment and hard facilities, increase the protection of biological resources, improve the supervision system of biological resources, carry out a comprehensive census, find out the family background, improve the technology, and plan to build a number of high-standard treasure houses of biological resources. The second is to improve the development and utilization system of biological resources, strengthen scientific evaluation, strengthen the support of biological resource utilization platforms, and promote the comprehensive utilization of biological resources. The third is to strengthen the safety management of biological resources and improve the biological resource sharing system at the national level.
On the other hand, it is necessary to build a strong biosecurity system. One is to intensify efforts to improve the level of governance modernization. Accelerate the establishment of an overall coordination mechanism to promote the development of the bio-economy, study the establishment of a leading group for the development of the bio-economy, and accelerate the construction of a forward-looking institutional framework around the development, utilization, production, distribution, exchange, consumption, and biosecurity of biological resources, and continuously improve the construction of Strongly adaptable and targeted bioeconomy legal system, biosafety and ethical risk prevention and control system adapted to national conditions. The second is to improve the production capacity of production enterprises in the biological field. On the premise of ensuring safety, relax the production access conditions for related products, improve the industrial chain from research and development to production, preparation, consumables and related supporting industries, and ensure the production of special materials such as vaccines, medical consumables and civilian health products during public health and safety emergencies. supply. The third is to strengthen the popularization of bio-economy. In response to the public's panic about emerging infectious diseases and concerns about the efficacy and safety of new medical technologies and services, and the environmental friendliness of biotech products, strengthen scientific publicity, public opinion supervision, correct guidance and typical reports to help the public Improve scientific understanding and reduce unnecessary doubt and panic.
04Continue to optimize the system, mechanism and policy ecology.
On the supply side, it is necessary to continue and deepen the reform of market access and regulatory systems. Adhere to bottom-line supervision and prudential supervision, vigorously promote the reform of market access for biotechnology products and services, and further clarify product access standards, regulatory agencies and relevant time limits.
On the demand side, efforts should be made to deepen the reform of bidding and procurement and pricing systems. It is necessary to give full play to the role of government procurement in leveraging the market, encourage qualified and potential regions to implement more government application demonstration projects of biological products and services, increase the public's awareness and acceptance of biotechnology products and services, and establish in advance Improve the public decision-making mechanism for major disputes involving ethics and safety bottom lines, and continue to standardize the market order of products and services and the quality of supporting services.
In addition, it is necessary to strengthen the overall coordination of the development of the bio-economy, aiming at the characteristics of many types of biological products, long chains, and involving many management departments, around the formation of an innovation chain and industrial chain for the healthy development of the bio-industry, and coordinating the production, circulation and use of biotechnology products. Links, establish a management system that adapts to the development of the bio-economy, and improve the continuity and predictability of regulatory policies. In Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Chengdu-Chongqing Shuangcheng Economic Circle and other regions, take cities as carriers to build bio-economic pilot zones, and develop science and technology around bio-medicine, bio-agriculture, bio-energy, bio-environmental protection and other fields Innovation and reform pilots, focusing on building a forward-looking institutional framework and policy implementation system suitable for the bio-economy era in terms of gathering global innovation resources, access, pricing, supervision and other institutional and mechanism innovations.