The biological transformation of the manufacturing industry - Envisioning biointelligent value adding

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Since the first industrial revolution manufacturing systems have been considered well-defined socio-technological entities that extract resources from the natural environment in order to create goods for the satisfaction of human needs. Productivity gains stimulated by technological innovations such as electricity and computers are inherent to the system. Whilst digitization depicts the latest paradigm, other technology leaps have virtually been neglected in traditional manufacturing science: biomimetics and biotechnology. In this context, we present the concept of a biointelligent industry outlining the vision of a naturally consistent subsistence strategy. Future industrial activities are expected to no longer extract resources from the environment but apply nature as a manufacturing utility. From a scientific point of view many issues, however, remain unanswered. In this paper we thus present fundamentals of a biological transformation from a manufacturing standpoint based on recent research. Thereby we define this novel field of research, discuss its impact on traditional patterns of thought, provide a selection of technology, process and system examples, and present 10 fields action in terms of future research, industrial investment, policy initiatives, and societal involvement. The paper sets the basis for extensive further research and discussion within the manufacturing community.




Miehe, R., Bauernhansl, T., Schwarz, O., Traube, A., Lorenzoni, A., Waltersmann, L., … Sauer, A. (2018). The biological transformation of the manufacturing industry - Envisioning biointelligent value adding. In Procedia CIRP (Vol. 72, pp. 739–743). Elsevier B.V.

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