Gray biotechnology: a smart investment in our environment
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Between 2013 and 2021, more than $285 billion in investment deals for organic technology initiatives were registered around the world. In 2020 alone, the market capitalization of the top biotech companies in Europe reached $300 billion, reaching a return of 22% according to the World Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Index, with a particular focus on increasing investments in gray biotech.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the scientific world to understand what biotechnology is, what the purpose of gray biotechnology is and what investment opportunities it offers.
Biotechnology has evolved more than any other discipline in the field of science and technology in recent decades. Its advances open up possibilities to face enormous challenges in sectors essential to human life.
What is biotechnology?
It is a broad branch of science that relies on chemistry and biology to create technological solutions. According to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, biotechnology is ‘any technological application that uses biological systems and living organisms or derivatives thereof for the creation or modification of products or processes for specific uses.’
However, its area of action is practically unlimited, which is why, depending on the objective of its application, it is given ‘surnames’ through colors. That’s how there is red biotechnology, dedicated to health -also known as biomedicine-, or green biotechnology, dedicated to agriculture. There are many more: white, blue, orange… but today we will focus on gray biotechnology, which is becoming increasingly important on the international scene.
Gray biotechnology: science to take care of the planet
This branch of biotechnology is dedicated to creating products and/or processes that facilitate the conservation of the environment, including flora, fauna and inorganic elements necessary for life; from what might seem trivial to us, such as biodegradable market bags, to more complex feats, such as the decontamination of soil, water and air.
Some of the branches of gray biotechnology are:
- Biofuels: seeks alternatives to fossil fuels (which are highly polluting).
- Biomaterials: dedicated to creating biodegradable materials or alternatives to plastic, mainly, which is one of the main problems in air and water pollution, especially with micro plastics.
- Conservation of flora and fauna: seeks to provide solutions to pollution-related problems that threaten specific species of plants, animals and other organisms important for the conservation of the planet’s environment.
- Bioremediation: perhaps the most difficult task, given the centuries of pollution and environmental abuse. It is focused on cleansing the soil, air and water of all the pollutants with which we currently coexist.
As global awareness of the problems posed by environmental pollution and climate change grows, investment and advances in biotechnology are increasing, so investing in gray biotechnology is not only a smart way to support the conservation of our environment, but also a sustainable – and ethical – way to make a profit.
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