Motivation – because our project was born out of passion
Electronics consumption increases, metal resources decrease. In today’s era of electronics and overconsumption, it is almost impossible to imagine that the era of electronics will ever end. But it will – even in the near future unless some fundamental changes occur in the worlds attitude towards resource consumption.
"At present, raw material consumption worldwide amounts to 85 billion tons. Without countermeasures, consumption will have doubled by 2050. That is far more than is available in the world!" (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Germany, 2017) It is time for a fundamental change!
Therefore, we quickly realized that we want to develop something that would secure resources - something that would enable the next generation to have a stable future, something that would promote sustainability. During our extensive research, we became aware of the second problem that we and future generations have to deal with: Excessive pollution due to excessive consumption. “The amount of natural resources used is closely linked to the amount of final waste and emissions generated through their use. Effective pollution control must also look to minimize raw material use, thereby decreasing final waste and emissions.” (International Resource Panel co-chairs Janez Potocnik and Izabella Teixeira in a joint statement in United Nations Environment Programme press release, 2017)
After many discussions, it became clear to us that we could not decide to deal with only one problem. We want to tackle both problems. Environmental pollution by heavy metals poses a big problem and, without exception, also addresses each of us - and the people of tomorrow.
Synthetic biology offers many possibilities to scavenge metal ions in an environmentally friendly way. We postulated for ourselves:
We want to use Synthetic Biology to filter metal ions from the environment and use them as new resources - and thus make the world a little better for us, but especially for the generations to come.
Federal Ministry for Ecenomic Affairs and Energy Germany press release.
https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Pressemitteilungen/2017/20170316-bundesregierung-schlaegt-g20-ressourcenpartner-weltressourcenrat-ergebnisse-globalen-ressourcen-rohestoffverbrauch.html. 16 March 2017. Accessed 14 October 2018.
United Nations Environment Programme press release. https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/resource-use-expected-double-2050-better-natural-resource-use. 3 December 2017. Accessed 14 October 2018.