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.

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
  • Repurposing cellular devices for diagnostic testing and driving organism improvements
  • Developing and scaling up biological processes to increase impact

Our projects

Our research program team oversees the following projects. To learn more about our work visit our research website here.

We're helping to develop novel microbial cell factories through participation in the the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology.

Our expertise is helping to develop technologies and processes to convert agricultural sector waste into profitable and sustainable biocommodities.

We've partnered with CSIRO to create a world-class collaborative research capability in synthetic biology and advance technology adoption by Australian industry.

We're developing profitable bioproduct opportunities for Australian primary producers and other participants in the sugar, cotton, forestry, and animal feed industries.

We're developing technologies to integrate bioenergy into the sugarcane production and milling process to mitigate fossil fuel use in one of Australia’s largest agricultural production systems.

We're developing new commercial products using novel microbial fermentation production and delivery systems, along with streamlined efficacy protocols that provide detailed physiological information on animal metabolism and gut health.

QUT is working with industry partner BlockTexx to divert textile waste into new materials using groundbreaking technology that separates polyester from natural fibres.

Graziers and farmers are being warned to keep a close eye on the health of their pastures and grasses, with research showing that pasture dieback is increasing across Queensland.

Program team

Professor Robert Speight

Program Leader

Dr Laura Navone

Chief Investigator

Dr James Strong

Chief Investigator

Dr Alexander Beliaev

Chief Investigator

Dr James Behrendorff

Chief Investigator

Professor Ian O'Hara

Chief Investigator

Professor Kirill Alexandrov

Chief Investigator

Adjunct Professor Chris Tindal

Chief Investigator

Dr Carlos Horacio Luna-Flores

Chief Investigator

Adjunct Professor Karen Robins

Chief Investigator

Dr Jo-Anne Blinco

Chief Investigator

Dr Mike O'Shea

Chief Investigator

Professor William Doherty

Chief Investigator

Dr Lalehvash Moghaddam

Chief Investigator

Professor Ken Ostrikov

Chief Investigator

Contact us

Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy

Level 3, H Block
Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia

Postal address

Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane QLD 4001