KEY ENABLE TECHNOLOGIES
Biotechnologies/Life Science Technologies
Key enabling technologies to face complex social problems on the molecular or cellular scale such as those that arise in the field of personalized medicine, systems biology or the sustainable use of biological resources. These include bio-inspired technologies such as advanced biomaterials and bioelectronics, biomedical engineering and neuroscience technologies.
Technologies and systems based on the application of biotechnology (enzymatic synthesis of biological compounds and/or biocatalyst production through fermentation) for the environmentally sustainable and cost-effective processing and production of chemicals, materials or fuels at the industrial level.
- Bioproduction of high-value compounds. Technologies and processes to generate new high-performance or high-value substances or compounds for other industries using plants, land or marine biomass, or renewable resources. For example, new biomolecules such as pigments, lipids, fatty acids, proteins, antioxidants, bioactive compounds, etc. for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic or chemical sector.
- Bioproduction of raw materials and bio-based products. Technologies and processes to generate raw materials or industrially useful products more efficiently than at present (i.e. lower energy consumption or less by-products).
Biology automation technologies
Technologies and systems to automate (or support) development or R&D processes in biotechnology. This includes:
- High throughput biology. Devices and equipment to automate experiments in the field of cellular biology in such a way that their large-scale repeatability is feasible, supporting mass quantities of biochemical and biophysical measurements in parallel for millions of genes, proteins and metabolites.
- Automation for biology. Smart automated solutions geared towards increasing productivity, quality and reproducibility in R&D processes in the field of biology or bioengineering, covering different stages of the process by combining robotics and artificial intelligence.
- Biologization of manufacturing. Technologies for the use and industrial-scale production of complex molecules and biological systems.
These include technologies that can help explain normal and abnormal cellular pathways, networks and processes by simultaneously monitoring thousands of molecular components.
- Omics analysis. Technologies and solutions for the study and analysis of the structure, function and evolution of the genome (genomics), RNA (transcriptomics), proteins (proteomics) or metabolites (metabolomics) in biological samples. This also includes epigenetics.
- Genomic engineering/synthetic genomes. Support technologies for genomic engineering and the production of synthetic genomes for different applications.
Technologies for the design, manufacturing and/or modification of genetic materials in living organisms through engineering principles (such as standardization, modularity and interoperability) to design and construct new biological parts, devices or systems. This group includes the production of synthetic membrane proteins, cell-free bioproduction systems, metabolic and forward engineering and bioengineering.
Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering
Technologies, methods and processes geared towards regenerating, repairing or replacing damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissue. This includes the generation and use of therapeutic stem cells, cellular and tissue engineering and the production of artificial prostheses and organs.
Technologies to interact with the brain and nervous system in order to research, access and manipulate the structure and function of neural systems. For example, to support research on the brain or artificial intelligence or to manufacture devices that allow brain functions to be repaired or replaced or to treat mental illnesses. This includes optogenetic technologies, neuromodulation technologies, brain-computer interfaces and human behavior modelling.
Biosensors and Biochips
Miniaturized devices to measure and analyze biological or chemical parameters. This group includes different technologies:
- Biosensors. Sensor or measurement devices specifically designed to estimate a specific biological material, integrating a biological component as well as a physical-chemical component. Their applications vary from monitoring glucose to detecting pesticides and contaminants or detecting pathogens or toxic substances.
- Nanobiosensors. Biosensors that use nanomaterials as bioreceptors, offering increased chemical and biological sensitivity compared to other types of biosensors. These include biosensors based on nanoparticles, sensors based on nanotubes and sensors based on nanofibers.
- Bioactivators, bioactuators. Actuators operated by biological signals.
- Biochips, lab-on-a-chip. Micro-laboratories integrated on a single chip that are able to carry out hundreds of simultaneous biochemical reactions (on the microfluid scale) to analyze and test samples and biological compounds. Examples of applications include immunological tests or nucleic acid tests without needing the support of a laboratory.
- Organ-on-a-chip. Cell culture systems that simulate the microenvironment and key functional aspects of living organs on the microscopic scale (3D microfluids). Their most relevant applications are in pharmacology to test new medicines and for toxicology studies and clinical trials, replacing animal testing.