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What is Biotechnology and Why are Design Consulting Services Critical?

Most people have heard the term but many still wonder, “What is biotechnology?” Biotechnology is an area of science in which living organisms and systems are used to develop or manufacture products. It may use the organisms themselves or derivatives thereof.

Stated more simply, biotechnology is technology based on biology. It capitalizes on cellular or biomolecular processes to design and build products that help improve people’s lives and have a positive impact on our planet.

The question, “What is biotechnology?” can also be answered by looking at the areas it covers. They include:

  • Molecular biology
  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biomanufacturing
  • And many others

You might also review the vast array of biotechnology “deliverables” to understand its scope. For example, it can be used in areas such as:

  • Medicine – for creating new medications or designing advanced prosthetics
  • Industrial processes – for developing cleaning products, textiles, and biofuels
  • Agriculture – for making it easier to grow pest- and drought-resistant crops
  • Environmental sciences – for producing better ways to repair harm done to the environment

The History of Biotechnology

It is fair to say that the field of biotechnology is many thousands of years old. The first people to harness biomolecular and cellular processes to do things like bake bread, ferment beer, produce wine, make cheese, or use selective breeding to change domesticated animals were harnessing natural processes to achieve their goals. While the term wouldn’t be coined for centuries, and these early “scientists” surely were not asking, “What is biotechnology?” they were definitely practicing it.

Hungarian agricultural engineer Karl Ereky is credited with coining the term “biotechnology” in 1919 from “biology” and “technology.” He envisioned a future in which the biological sciences would be used to create useful products out of raw materials.

Today, there are hundreds of biotechnology products that are improving healthcare. Dozens of facilities are being built around the U.S. for producing biofuels and chemicals from what is known as biomass, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And, millions of farmers worldwide rely on biotechnology to produce bigger, healthier harvests and do so in an ecofriendly way.

Leveraging Experienced Design Consulting to Advance Biotechnology

As companies look to make their contribution to the advancement of biotechnology and the improvement of the human condition or protection of the environment, the process starts with building or upgrading a facility to meet the organization’s research and/or production needs. Actually the process begins with leveraging experienced design consulting services to craft a thorough and detailed plan for how the facility will operate.

From the strategic planning process and capital planning, to compliance consulting and environmental health and safety, the services of a design consulting firm are critical to the success of any project. This is true across a wide range of disciplines, including:

  • Laboratories
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Healthcare
  • Life sciences
  • Food sciences

In a field where there is a premium on precision, the application of sound engineering principles and attentive project management is crucial. Biotechnology companies are not only looking to produce advanced and innovative products and services, they need to do so in a way that is efficient and cost-effective.

Looking Ahead at Biotechnology’s Impact

So, what is biotechnology? It is a discipline that has been having a positive impact on human life for millennia and that is playing an increasingly pivotal role in society today. Enabled by skilled design consulting that paves the way for cutting-edge facilities to be built, it is poised to make an even larger impact in areas where it is currently used and to expand into many other industries and areas.

As the Biotechnology Innovation Organization says, biotechnology can help heal the world, fuel the world, and feed the world. And as the human population continues to skyrocket, being able to do those things efficiently and effectively is more important than ever before. So, as biotechnology companies continue to come up with new products and services, we at APECS are collaborating with them to find better, more cost-effective ways to design and build the infrastructure and systems they need to do their urgently needed work.

Our full-service engineering and design firm can provide key insights and assistance on your next biotechnology project. We have 30+ years of experience helping our clients meet their engineering, design, project and portfolio management, capital planning, and environmental health & safety needs. Contact APECS, Inc. today to learn more about how we can help with design consulting and other needs.