Biotechnology is a broad domain, which includes numerous areas such as healing, feeding and fueling the world. Historically-speaking, the biotech sector started in the 80s with the discovery of gene cloning. The first “Biotech” ever born was Genentech (contraction of Gene and Technology), founded in South San Francisco, which successfully produced human insulin in bacteria.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines biotechnology as “the application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services.”
This means it is possible to genetically modify and exploit living organisms (micro-organisms, animals, plants) in order to produce biological molecules. This refers to what we commonly call GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
The biotech industry is a fast-moving domain thanks to the evolution of techniques in some disciplines, such as in biology, IT, physics and chemistry, as well as in robotics. In fact, new sciences – generally known as “-omics”