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Introduction

Background

Biotechnology is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy, and if experts are right, we are about to witness a revolution that will be similar to what computers did to our lives in the 20th century, and continues to do so. Major governments and Fortune500 companies, including those that are not known to be related to biosciences, like Google, Autodesk, Microsoft, Samsung, Fujifilm and others are investing in the field. Costs of doing research are decreasing exponentially which is accelerating innovation and allowing the creation of startup business by young scientists and innovators. Venture Capital firms globally are diversifying into biotechnology with deal flows estimated at USD 1.6 billion with an estimated growth rate of a staggering 46 percent to about USD 11 billion by 2017, with direct impact on sectors including, and not restricted to, medicine, agriculture, livestock, energy and the chemical industries.

The question is, ‘Are we (Pakistan) ready for all of this?’

How can we align ourselves together to catch this new ‘wave of technology’ and not miss it like the wave of information technology and semiconductors? How can we play our roles as universities – where skilled manpower is produced and new knowledge is created. How can our industries benefit from this revolution? How can we encourage more young and bright minds to opt for a career in biology and biotechnology? And what role can the government play in orchestrating and nurturing this new sector?

Introduction

The Directorate of Science and Technology, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in collaboration with the Institute of Integrative Biosciences, CECOS University brings to you a series of events, workshops and conferences that intends to:

  • bring together the biotechnology and life sciences community to speed with latest in the discipline in the industry and the discipline.
  • train young scientists through hands on laboratory trainings and workshops.
  • forge new collaborations between university departments, research institutions and the local industry.
  • set out a common agenda for the bioeconomy in KP and in Pakistan.

The TFN! series is part of the SynBioKP project funded by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Future is Biology. The Future is here. The Future is Now!