Access to cheap and assorted kinds of enzymes is crucial for the development of a sustainable biobased economy. Excluding the cost of purchasing and shipping of molecular biology reagents and the occasional batch of enzymes that become inactive during transport resulting in experiments often being scale back and delayed; Another challenge for global labs lies in the fact that most biotechnology supplies need continuous access to refrigeration – known as a cold chain – from when they leave a warehouse to when they arrive at a lab. The lack of access to these enzymes is preventing entire regions, especially developing nations, from participating in the biotech economy.
As one of the main projects of MboaLab biotech, in collaboration with the Open Bioeconmy Lab, the Open Enzyme manufacturing project is a large-scale project aimed at solving the reagents access problem in Africa and the global south through research and capacity building for researchers and scientists. The idea is to use genetically modified bacteria to produce enzymes locally for research purposes. By enabling researchers to produce their own enzymes within days, we believe that the distribution will become simpler, less costly and more accessible to people worldwide.
Through the creation of an essential and open-source toolkit to cheaply produce good-quality enzymes that most molecular biologists and the synthetic biologist would be using on a daily basis, we want to provide molecular-biology researchers across the world with rapid and affordable access to molecular-biology tools. So, for every single part of the pathway of creating an enzyme we are trying to find ways to do it cheaper, faster, and easier.