References From Speakers:
- Rob Carlson,
- Jasnima Aganovic, Mother Dirt, AO Biome
- Tal Danino
- Thomas Landrain, Pili.Bio
- Miranda Wang
- Christina Agapakis, Ginko BioWorks
- Rodrigo Martinez
- Dan Grushkin, biodesignchallenge.org
- Ellen Jorgensen, GenSpace
- Ellenore Pauwels, Wilson Center
- David Kong
3D, 4D, 5D - Printing Life
"What I cannot create I do not understand" -Richard Feynman
The Biofabricate conference was exciting and inspiring! I met many new people and learned about new and cutting-edge projects in the Bio Design industry. It was a great opportunity to be able to be in the same room with people who are also working in the same space and learn about different perspectives and implications. The attendees spanned the entire spectrum from politics, policy, synthetic biology, manufacturing, critical design, consumer products, venture capital, and beyond. All those different people, from diverse points of view, discussing the same topic, allowed for lively panel discussions and helped frame the conversations in a new light.
I thought the presentation from IDEO was particularly interesting because they showed an alternate future scenario/critical design project. This is out of the ordinary coming from a product design firm. And the format was unique among all the presentations at the conference.
The work from AO Biome was also fascinating. For the first time we are seeing consumer products designed to work in tandem with the microbiome: to enhance it rather than "disinfect" it. Mother Dirt is a skin care line that "restores your skins natural microbiome".
I was excited to see Ecovative and have the opportunity to chat with the team. They are launching a new product called Myco Flex. I think they are one of the most innovative companies out there who are truly making a difference in the Biofabrication space.
Bio Bots, a 3D printer that uses living tissue, was also at the conference. This seems like a potentially interesting product. Although I am not sure the technology today is advanced enough to make this product revolutionary, it certainly is a fascinating thought exercise to think about a desk-top product that allows consumers to print their own tissue.
In general the mood at the conference was positive and felt like a pep-rally. I personally had a great time. But, the same questions I had from the last blog post linger. Where is the real impact today of these technologies? I believe that we have the power to change our world by incorporating biology into our making and manufacturing. But in order for real, scalable change we need to get government (Big Money) on board. There have to be economic incentives. As William Meyers said, we have to "follow the money".