Industrial and synthetic biotechnology

The Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy’s Industrial and Synthetic Biotechnology Program develops agricultural and industrial processes and products that are better for consumers, the environment and the economy.

Our research encompasses a wide range of technologies from molecular engineering to industrial chemistry and bioprocess engineering and process scale-up, targeting industries from food and livestock feed through to fuels and chemicals. We’re working to meet the food, fuel and material demands of our growing global population with the least possible environmental impact.

Industrial biotechnology uses biological processes to produce high value and sustainably produced products. QUT has some of Australia’s leading capability in research and scale-up of processes for the microbial production of biofuels, biochemicals and other bioproducts with a particular capability in fungal systems.

Synthetic biology combines engineering with molecular biology to design and construct novel biological systems that can convert biomass from agriculture or waste streams to value. This includes industrially useful mid- to high-value bioproducts, such as pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, agricultural chemicals, solvents, bioplastics and many more.

Real-world innovation

We’re developing tangible bioeconomy outcomes through partnerships with industry, government and community. Our research projects focus on the following key areas:

  • Adding value to commodity crop by products and wastes
  • Turning surplus into sustainable fuels, chemicals, materials and other valuable products
  • Engineering biology for new products and to make industrial processes more efficient, productive and profitable
  • Developing the next generation of industrial microorganisms
  • Designing molecular and cellular devices for analytic diagnostic and bioengineering applications
  • Developing and scaling up biological processes to increase impact


What we do

Program leader

Research team