The Strange Attractor

CoLabs Updates #1 - Monash Precinct Developments, Civic Science Hub Relaunch and Member Updates with Andrew Gray and Samuel Wines

February 16, 2024 Co-Labs Australia
The Strange Attractor
CoLabs Updates #1 - Monash Precinct Developments, Civic Science Hub Relaunch and Member Updates with Andrew Gray and Samuel Wines
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We're experimenting with a first for us on the podcast: a shorter, condensed version where we (Andrew and Sam) cover off what has been happening recently in and around the lab.

This conversation includes updates on: 

  • Our new site that is being built in the Monash Precinct
  • Our civic science hub, BioQuisitive and it's relaunch
  • Two of our members that are graduating! 
  • A few new members that are coming on board

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Samuel Wines:

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Strange Attractor. This week, something a little bit different. We're just trialing giving off little updates and sound bites about what's going on here at Colabs and within our organizational ecosystem. So this one is just going to be a conversation with Andrew and myself, short and sweet, just with some updates. So thank you for listening. Alright, so it's been a while since we've sat down for our, I guess, a round of updates from what's going on at Colabs and within our, I guess, ecosystem of organizations that we also have. So is there anything that you feel like leading with?

Andrew Gray:

Well, quick update on the Monash site. Yeah, I think that's really exciting watching that finally begin construction and seeing all the movement happening on site.

Samuel Wines:

There's that little spider looking robot.

Andrew Gray:

It reminds me of a cartoon.

Samuel Wines:

What was it? What was it for Holding?

Andrew Gray:

yeah, bringing up steel, I think, the steel purlings and stuff to hold them in place.

Samuel Wines:

I just want one, I know, just to do tasks, just hold this stick.

Andrew Gray:

for me it only weighs a couple tons.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, that's coming along really well. I'm really looking forward to getting the renders being able to sort of share what's going on. I had quite a few people obviously reaching out in the last little bit about space down there, so it'll be great to be able to be like, hey, this is what it's going to look like, yeah 100% space collaboration opportunities.

Andrew Gray:

There's a lot of amazing initiatives down there. Obviously, monash University is there, csro is there. We've had a lot to do and talk about with the generator down in Monash. That's exciting. The Monash Innovation Labs, csro On Program. The Victorian Heart Hospital Institute.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, and what about? There was stuff with Silvio and yeah, yeah, the smart CRC.

Andrew Gray:

So becoming a partner of a CRC and how we support regenerative medicine here in Australia and Victoria, which will be really exciting, and there will be GMP space right next door for processing and manufacturing regenerative cell based therapies.

Samuel Wines:

Awesome, and then also a little bit off to the tangent, but another Monash potential collaborator would be the MC3S, the Monash Consciousness, cognition and Contemplative Studies space. So being chatting with Megan and Beth about finding ways to collaborate with them on the interdevelopment goal stuff and then even anything to do with innovation within that space, which is kind of, I think, really fun and awesome I think that'll be a really exciting way of getting in, just giving Megan's background in entrepreneurship over in the States and everything. So yeah, quite an interesting, unlikely connection.

Andrew Gray:

Unlikely and likely.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah.

Andrew Gray:

You know, just amazed by the number of people and just the diversity in people we meet through this and things that we care about and are pursuing initiative wise and yeah, doubling down on the excited note there for doing more with them. I think they bring with them a lot of experience and great understanding of what the tech like, what a massive tech industry and tech ecosystem looks like over in the West.

Samuel Wines:

And where's it dead from again?

Andrew Gray:

The Monash Center for Nanofabrication.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So another potential partner. There is Relics for Pretty Cool.

Andrew Gray:

Lots of amazing stuff happening there as well the Synchotron Monash IVF. There's Heaps.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, and even even like, hopefully, like it would be pretty cool to be able to maybe collaborate with like Biopria and like the other folks I guess interested in the material economy. Like there's been a lot of interests. I mean, we're obviously writing the report and we're exploring this sort of stuff through another venture, like what might a regenerative material economy look like? What might a more circular bio-based textiles industry look like? You know what about packaging, all of these sorts of things? So it's exciting to be able to be closer to, I guess, world leading laboratories exploring this sort of space.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, and they're. You know the expertise. It's been interesting being in Brunswick. I feel like there's a really big demand for that type of experience. With everybody here I feel like lives and breathes that sort of alternative material, whether it's fungi-based materials, bioplastics. So it's interesting being in Brunswick when you know we'll have this sort of network. I guess that kind of speaks to what we're trying to set up, which is a node you know a set of nodes around Australia that can allow for the, as you would say, transfer of nutrients like mycelial network.

Samuel Wines:

That's it. I was itching for me to get in there and save mycelial network. But yeah, it really does feel like a dissent, like we it's. It's one thing to say these things, like I love saying things, but it's another thing for them to actually be coming to fruition, like the fruiting body of a mushroom, okay, I gotcha, yeah anyway.

Samuel Wines:

So Monash site, that's super exciting. I'm really I'm really curious to see who will be our first few strings of members down there. Not like I mean, we've had a lot of interest in the, you know, the 100, 200 square sort of lab pod side of things. I'm really curious about what's smaller startups.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, I think that's kind of the area that I love to. I love about what we do, which is helping the ideas go from idea to reality. I like that, that moment to kind of hit the bench, and then you know, things start up morphing and evolving and tackling all the challenges that come with that. So whether it's infrastructure, connections, whatever, and then you know, like we like to say, being the uncle, so you get to spoil it with all the attention and help you can, and then you know, let it grow.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, speaking of let it grow, I mean we're gonna have two alumni this, yeah, this month. So we've got um, old leather are going to be graduating, moving down to work, uh, more closely with Biopria. Just obviously they need that sort of equipment. And then also CIMEX are graduating, so they'll be heading over to Jumma Bio Incubator and then tapping into that network of infrastructure there which is awesome, and then maybe in the future down to Monash, who knows?

Samuel Wines:

but it's exciting to see that there's movement and that these things that I mean just even in that email that sort of Ed got sent to us right is like. You know, if it wasn't for these the space that CoLab has provided for that sort of price, you know there wouldn't be a CIMEX, which is, um, it's pretty cool, you know, getting feedback like that from our members and just being able to support that really early stage. I mean, that's why we exist right.

Andrew Gray:

I'm just yeah. So I was just sort of staring off into the distance just thinking about how much time is actually. I was looking at all the time that's passed over there and just yeah, you know, I think we've been trying to sort of acknowledge every week as it passes, but time does still fly and it's yeah, like you said, amazing, Both of them moving, you know, growing off the back of two successful raises. Both, yeah, I think all leather is about one mil and then one point one, one point one yeah, and then CIMEX was about two, so oh, nice.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, I didn't realize that they closed that much. Yeah, that's awesome. I need to factor that into our stats and.

Samuel Wines:

I definitely have not factored that in. Oh, that's so exciting, Cool. So that kind of probably wraps up everything from a CoLab's updates perspective. Aside from you know there's a food hack event on next week, so that should be fun. There's a few more things we're going to be looking at doing coming up as well from that front. Oh, we actually know, almost almost wraps it up. We've brought on another hire. Soon, yeah, Soon hire. Maybe Monday soon.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, that's pretty soon. Actually that's pretty soon.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, so that's going to be exciting having another human around to be able to help with this space. So Georgina is coming on board, which will be pretty cool.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, she's been doing a stellar job with AusCelp, just jumping into science, you know, having not really come from that discipline.

Samuel Wines:

Political economics background yeah.

Andrew Gray:

Just driven, driven by her passion for all things kelp, and that has literally overcome a lot of learning barriers and challenges. You know, we see a lot in university and anybody really trying to learn something. Passion is just really an amazing catalyst for learning.

Samuel Wines:

And that curiosity just like leaning into things.

Andrew Gray:

I love that she names all the kelp like all the kelp cultures have different names.

Samuel Wines:

This is Barbara.

Andrew Gray:

Pam Beasley, kimberly. We're having a. Unfortunately we're having a kelp funeral. I think one of the we did a little side experiment that got contaminated.

Samuel Wines:

She mentioned, she was very upset, yeah, so we're going to have an actual.

Andrew Gray:

It'll be awake later.

Samuel Wines:

Okay, well, I'll make sure I I'll come down and pay my respects.

Andrew Gray:

But it's yeah, it's been going great. Auscelp's been going great, they've been ramping up operations and, yeah, I'll be exciting to have you know Georgina's expertise in the lab, but also her expertise just in strategy and helping us out.

Samuel Wines:

I agree, I agree and on that strategy, note what's we, I mean? Obviously posted an update not too long ago the looking at relaunching BioQ as a civic science hub.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, yeah, so changing the name. So originally, bioqizidiv was, I guess, referred to as a community lab and there will definitely be a lab component in the civic science hub concept. And I think what the civic science hub idea is about is creating a blueprint to create more of these sort of spaces that provide and open up and basically democratize access to science for the public, which we've seen so many benefits from. I mean, that's you know, that was my, I guess, journey and how I got here and some of the connections that we have and some of the members we have also came from that.

Andrew Gray:

So it's you know it's difficult when your first enterprise is a charity because you just undervalue everything and you're not really thinking about the business side of things. You're just doing it passion, wise, and that's great and, you know, bring a lot of people in, but often what happens is you're trying to push things along at the expense of yourself and it's just not sustainable. So now that you know things are, they're happening with co labs and some of the other initiatives, I feel like we can properly resource that and give it the attention and support it deserves as well as a community.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, and I can't remember it was one of the professors at ETH University over in Switzerland was going on about the so for transformative innovation and all of this sort of stuff that we're looking at supporting, the start of that value chain is is education and fundamental research, not even necessarily directed research of like a. All right, let's try and find a way to apply this straight away. But, like Einstein's work on the theory of relativity, he never would have thought that 40, 50 years later that would be what governs our satellites. You know like there is a need for this. Exploratory curiosity led way for people to just relate to science, design, innovation, whatever it might be, and then from that seeing what kind of emerges.

Andrew Gray:

And yeah, yeah, I totally agree, and I think the other important distinction to make is that it needs to be a part of, not separate to agree, yeah. So, like with universities and other, like pretty much our education system, it's basically, you know, you know this is a education department, this is, you know, this department, that department, everything's a department, you know this, compartmentalized, departmentalized, yeah, yeah which comes with that.

Samuel Wines:

I guess that reductionist sort of mechanistic thinking of wanting to tick boxes or put things in categories, which is it's left brain. It's great, don't get me wrong. It's got us this far, but when we're facing uncertainty and the challenges that we are going to have to come up against in the next sort of 50 to 100 years plus, like that style of thinking will be way less fit for purpose.

Andrew Gray:

I think, yeah, I agree with that, and it'll be interesting to see where we're at in that, you know, timeframe, as you mentioned. Currently it is. I think the current education system we have is doing an amazing job. You know, I got a chance to work with some amazing initiatives like the Monash Tech School it's part of the Victorian Tech Schools Initiative and just some of the. Just the engagement that we had in STEM through the programs and just the amazing people down there that I got to work with was phenomenal to see. You could see it, with all the students leaving at the end of the day just completely drained because they just they were being, you know, shown all these different technologies. They got their hands on everything, all sorts of workflows crammed into like one or two or three days, and it was very rewarding. So I think really, the civic science hub is trying to support those types of initiatives, and all by creating alternative pathways for people to get into education.

Andrew Gray:

So previously, what we saw often was people that are, you know, members of the public that weren't necessarily participating in education. So they maybe had done their year 12 or something like that, and then they went out to the workforce, got a job came to buy a quesitive and suddenly we're getting hands on with stuff and, like you said, really just curiosity, exploratory work or participating in other people's projects and helping them out and then using that as a chance to learn, collaborate, inevitably go and ask you know what would it be like to go back to uni or to go to uni? And so we've. You know we actually saw a lot of transition from you know, the public. So it was basically a feeder for universities and some capacities or PhD positions that were quite competitive because of the extracurricular work they did at the community lab.

Samuel Wines:

So with the community lab and this concept I had this conversation with someone the other day how is this different to a complementary to a tech school?

Andrew Gray:

That's a good question. So the community labs literally managed by a community. So the tech school initiatives have very specific goals that they're trying to hit. So they get given, you know, they have directives. There's a lot of freedom in how they achieve that. Some of the goals are to actually interface with industry a bit more, open it up to the community and obviously, you know, engage local schools in the area.

Andrew Gray:

The programs they run run for a good period of time so they'll, you know, it's sort of a there's normally a cycle of development so they'll have something they're working on that's going to be a new and exciting program coming out every year. It's a lot of work that goes into these programs, like just the amount of brain power that is leveraged, you know. So there's industry experts that are consulted and read. You know, teach I'm every day. Every day is pretty much teachers. There's a good complimentary of, like, teachers and technical staff, which is what I guess I was education support and we basically get in a big room brainstorm, ida, and then you sort of you have this big bunch, you know, of ideas and you kind of whittle it down and that's kind of the thing and it has to also ideally. You know you're trying to hit certain targets with the schools, so it's complimentary to actually curriculum.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, okay, yeah, that makes sense, whereas DIY bio is very much, or at least the community lab or the Civic Science Hub is really about more industry, I'd say, or curiosity, so it could be anything really there's not really a directive there.

Andrew Gray:

The directive is created by the community that uses that resource. So it's a. It's a. It's a different approach and it's a little bit more free form, and that's also because the funding you know, the funding and the grants are that normally get handed down to the the text goals will have specific milestones or specific goals that they're trying to achieve.

Samuel Wines:

Right, okay, that's, that's good, that's that's useful for me to be able to then reiterate to other people how it is different. But on that, on that, on that theme as well, like there's nothing to say that we couldn't explore setting up some form of a text school or something up here. I know that's been floated, at least with Adam at Broody, whether or not that's a down the line sort of thing. Probably more than likely, maybe.

Andrew Gray:

I think from my recent conversations, I think it's about supplementing the text school initiatives and other education initiatives around the area, right? So really, I think I mean looking at our strengths and what we have access to, which is industry Um, you know, being you know. So, while tech schools would be reaching out to industry, we'd be more or less industry reaching out to education. So I think that's kind of one way to look at it, and if you're working at both ends, then you know you're probably going to find something amazing at the middle.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, and, as you sort of said as well, on top of that, it's not like everything we're looking at supporting in the citizen or the civic science hub. It's not like everything there is geared towards. This has to make money per se.

Samuel Wines:

We're also exploring, like what makes sense from, like a raising social foundations, bringing people within planetary boundaries. What are some ways in which we can actively contribute to, um, I don't know say, promoting biodiversity in our local area? What are some ways we can look at trying to close the loop on the material economy, whether that's technical nutrients or whether that's improving our reliance on the biological nutrient cycle, like there's? There's a whole lot of initiatives and things that will naturally sort of flow on from.

Andrew Gray:

Who knows? Yeah, I mean, it's exactly that Like it really is, you know, like I said earlier, just a resource that is used by the community and managed by the community. And if those things are, you know what the community wants, that they will definitely start to manifest and you can. I think the other great thing about it is do these sort of experiments with the community and say, okay, will this be something that's interesting? So you could do a prototype, you know, workshop or project, so working, you know, I think, looking back at our time with bio-acquisitive at the community lab and what worked. Well, having these sort of projects that we're just running, you know, gave people an opportunity to jump in and latch on to something without having much background, whereas when we first opened it, um, we kind of naively thought, oh, we'll just build it and then people will know what to do with it, and you know I'll do my thing, and other people know what to do, do their thing. And didn't work like that at all, like once it was built.

Samuel Wines:

It was like uh, now what it's? Definitely, it is definitely like that with um, even, even and this is the thing when you have a proclivity or a leaning towards doing, you realize that that's not actually not everyone comes with that pre-wide, and that's actually a good thing. Like in terms of like humans as a ultra social species that collaborates. If everyone was just going off and doing people be like, maybe we wouldn't be that good at collaborating.

Samuel Wines:

So there is it is interesting seeing how there is that push, pull of like how are you what? When do you lead and when do you follow, when do you relate? And just watching that sort of dynamic into play happen.

Andrew Gray:

I'm.

Samuel Wines:

I'm very curious and very excited to see what emerges when we create the right conditions to allow that to merge in this place.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, and I think so. I mean previously it was very much a lab and there will be a lab component, like I said to the Civic Science Hub. But it's not just about the lab component which you've sort of alluded to.

Samuel Wines:

So when you say it's not just about the lab component, is that sort of saying that like is there an element of professional development, is there an element of um? Like what's? What do you mean by that? Well, it's a.

Andrew Gray:

I think the lab was a community sort of asset. It was a meeting place. It wasn't just a place to go do science, like I, I just go here for the science. It actually wasn't about the science, to be honest at all. It was about the community that was created there and some people just come hang out like at the end of the day.

Andrew Gray:

So you might have six people in the shipping container lab that we had over in Brunswick, the rest would just be outside. She'll have in a chat about crazy ideas, what they did over the weekend but wanted to be there, you know, felt comfortable about. Around. These similarly minded people are very diverse and oppositely opinion people. We had a lot of interesting conversations there. So that, yeah, that's kind of what I'm getting at.

Samuel Wines:

So, looking towards the future with this uh Civic Science Hub, what do you like? What's your vision for it, what do you think will be Sure?

Andrew Gray:

I think you know what we're communicating outwardly is very focused because it's you know, otherwise it can be very new, like it just goes all over the place as far as what you're trying to, the narrative that you're trying to communicate. So it's going to be what we're communicating is innovation, education, um, and really making a statement that these things don't happen in silence, they happen together and research.

Samuel Wines:

I might just throw in there as well. Right, that's that's education. That's how I see it, so that's tied into it.

Andrew Gray:

So I wouldn't say, you know, if somebody's learning, they're probably doing that through researching.

Samuel Wines:

Right, Right. So I guess if I was going to reframe that, it's it's. So you're trying to, because to me that's practice. It's where theory and practice meet, and you're saying that this is an applied education space.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, or discovery. Um, I'm literally just saying that it's about education and innovation.

Andrew Gray:

And it's going to be, um, those two things very hands on. So you know, instead of learning primarily through lectures or things like that, imagine the lectures in the lab which happens at our practicals, which is probably all of our favorite aspects of our science education. If you had the chance to go to uni, um, or the opportunity, uh, if you haven't, you know, it's sort of like learning, you know, just imagine trying to learn your degree off YouTube or Khan Academy, which is a lot of I love Khan Academy, I love listening to Khan Academy, but at the same time, like I don't think I would be confident going into a lab afterwards or even applying to a position in a lab afterwards, if I'd an education just off that.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, and I think it's all. Um, it's great to know all of that sort of stuff, but it's the, it's the. What are the skills that are embodied, that kind of come with that and enacted um to use, I guess, the, that sort of cognitive science framing, because a lot of the time when it's lab work, that's most of the work is that, um, how does this translate into the doing Um, is there anything else that's sort of on the top of your mind in regards to the Pacific science hub?

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, I think it might be worth just sort of breaking down you know what sort of activities. So, if you're going to say, what does this thing do? Um, so we've kind of covered that. It's going to be a meeting space, it's going to have a lab, it's going to have room for about 20 people to be in there learning high tech fields and emerging disciplines, alongside a lot of the startups that were, you know, supporting through co labs. So you might get a chance to learn how to cultivate cells for future food sources, or bio manufacturing, operating little bioreactors or synthetic biology, and how do you generate pathways, style up organisms, solve the challenges that we can't. So there will be that.

Andrew Gray:

And then I'd say that's sort of in the education component and that'll be under, uh, what we're calling the lab Academy, which will be sort of a micro credentialed opportunity that will recognize and communicate the experience, the individual experience that each person has obtained while doing those workshops, which I think will be incredibly valuable for people, you know, looking for work in these growing sectors. And then, on the innovation front, there will be programs to help people, you know, if they have ideas and they want to try out some ideas and they need a really low-cost space, maybe not as highly certified or specced out as co-labs. They'll have that kind of rough protein-typing space. And I do have to add that this was all supervised access. And so when we say community lab, it's not like people are just showing up and there's no OHS or anything like that. There is. We have a safety manual, we have, you know, people have to fill out risk assessments and you have to sort of vet yourself with you, have to get the community to vet you as you progress in your experience.

Andrew Gray:

And then we're also excited to, because the other thing is a lot of people don't know necessarily what they want to do, and that's you know. We all remember that phase in our life where our parents are like you know, their friends are like hey, what do you want to be when you grow up? Sam, come on, tell us something cool and amazing. And you're like I gonna be this. What did you say?

Samuel Wines:

I don't think I ever said anything.

Andrew Gray:

You just stared at him.

Samuel Wines:

I think I said I wanted to be the next David Attenborough.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, well, it's pretty close actually, hey, yeah it's somewhat related Like. I they have the same clothes.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, that's a start, you know. At least it's like a fake until you make it.

Samuel Wines:

That's it. Aesthetically similar sensibilities. That's a start, yeah, I think, and on top of that, like you were saying before, not just all lab other areas I guess I'm really curious about exploring is I know that there's a really like there is fertile ground at the moment to be able to explore things like living systems thinking, ecological design, bi-design, all of these sort of emerging fields that there are places to explore this overseas, like real world laboratories where you can be experimenting with this sort of stuff, but maybe not a crazy amount of that is happening over here.

Samuel Wines:

And I find that that's gonna be a really exciting point as well is that we can kind of become a bit of a basin of attraction for all of these.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, I've seen quite often you've done really good job of sort of networking with, I think, a lot of the prominent people out there that are writing the reports and stuff. So it'd be nice to actually give that a space to sort of manifest and see what grows out of that. So I am looking forward to seeing that as well.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, actually good point. So both Materium, who kind of world leaders in exploring what the next generation of a regenerative materials economy might look like. So that's across, like packaging, that's across textiles for clothing, and also the built environment. So I'm really looking forward to seeing how that sort of collaboration can unfold again so they have a platform online like a recipe, like I guess you could say.

Andrew Gray:

That's a really yeah. I really liked that idea of a recipe book.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah.

Andrew Gray:

Only because I can only cook if I have a recipe book.

Samuel Wines:

Exactly so. It's like that, but for biomaterials, which is really cool, and it's open access. Anyone can use it. They're working with Googleorg, actually, and they have a whole bunch of scholars helping them out, so AI experts helping them out with creating an LLM that can actually help you with. Have you considered using this, or if you tried using that. So I'm really excited to see how that goes.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, we had a really good conversation with Liz Corbin, who's one of the co-founders, there yesterday and then obviously Metabolic as well, so another sort of world leader in exploring systems, thinking and circularity over in predominantly Europe, but we're looking at finding ways to collaborate with them again to sort of bring a lot of their findings to Australia and find ways in which we can see, because I mean, when you look at the amount of so, like Victoria is actually quite fascinating, and I think we have maybe eight or 10 of the 12 bioregions in Australia for agriculture, so we're in a very unique place where there's actually quite a lot that can happen when it comes to the bioeconomy down here.

Andrew Gray:

So yeah, and how would you describe the bioeconomy? Because I feel like that's a word that's gonna get thrown out a lot around.

Samuel Wines:

Oh gosh, that's so true.

Andrew Gray:

I think we should probably start helping paint pictures. For sure, at least we think it is.

Samuel Wines:

Well, here's the catch right. Because, like, the bioeconomy technically includes things like cattle and agriculture and like all of these sorts of things, pretty much anything that's bio-based. So that's all living systems and whatnot. But I guess a lot of the time when we're referring to the bioeconomy it's less like let's go grow another cow and more like how can we replace some of the systems and structures and patterns of production, distribution and, I guess, industry that are currently very like petrochemical focused, and how can we find biological alternatives for that? Yeah, but no, so technically it's anything that's within the biological cycle counts as the bioeconomy. So we're already pretty pumping in that department when it comes to the conventional way of looking at it.

Samuel Wines:

But I'm trying to bring along that lens of can we try? And when we are thinking about this bioeconomy, how can we do it in a way that is regenerative by design, so actively contributing to not just maximizing financial return on investment but foundational pools of social or ecological or even spiritual capital? So it's not just making more money, but how can we actually add to, I guess, design more resilient, regenerative systems and how can we improve the quality of life, not just for humanity but for all living beings? So when I speak about bioeconomy it's in that vein, which I know it can be quite different to maybe a more conventional take where it might be seen as predominantly primary industries, yeah, but I think it's not to discount that.

Samuel Wines:

I think that's going to be a massive area where we need to be applying permaculture principles or exploring regenerative agricultural practices. Agroforestry, food forests all this sort of stuff is incredibly important and from that there will be many different elements and ways in which we can try and close the loop on those material cycles so that less is going to waste. We're rebuilding top soil. Some of that agricultural waste that isn't going into building top soil could be used as these alternative products, for leather alternatives or packaging alternatives or whatnot, but also bearing in mind that as we increase that demand on the, let's say, the biological nutrient cycle, it can't be competing with food sources for humans.

Andrew Gray:

So it's really taken that systems thinking approach.

Samuel Wines:

Like what are the? End-ordered consequences Quite literally like as wide boundary or thinking sort of perspective when addressing this as possible. Otherwise, all we're going to do is respect the same patterns and processes of the past, which is Shift the problem to other parts?

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, not great. So I totally acknowledge that there's it's quite a fuzzy and uncertain sort of area and there's so much that needs to happen. But I think that it's kind of like whether the world's all going to fall apart or whether we make it through. It doesn't matter. Doing this sort of thing is the right approach for both sides of the.

Andrew Gray:

Yeah, and I think you know just to think about. I think the other thing here is that it does sound like a. It is a massive problem and you know if Someone's listening to this, it's not necessarily you know how are you going to do this? How are you gonna fix all this? There's a lot of people, there's a huge ecosystem around the world currently actively growing and Leveraging their time and resources towards addressing these big global challenges. So don't want to don't anybody to walk away from this with any Timber gloom.

Samuel Wines:

No it's exactly that you need some for like, and the thing is like yeah, it is pretty fucked like if If we look at it it's it does, but that doesn't mean that we don't have active hope, right.

Samuel Wines:

It's like life, life is constantly adapting and evolving to a changing context and All that we're saying is that we need to be baking that into our ways of organizing Humanity essentially, so that needs to be updating to reflect that and to be Reflecting a changing and uncertain environment from climate change and on resource scarcity, all these other things. We need to be baking that in so that we're more sustainable in a circular and Doing everything we can to utilize, like renewable biological resources and you know, biological processes to produce food materials and energy In a sustainable manner. So, rather than you know, just like it's a really easy, like let's just use fossil fuels or like let's just use, like for non renewable rare earth metals or minerals or of anything of that kind, like Nature doesn't really ever run off, that if you look, it's like pretty much what, like five, six Organic sort of molecules that most of life is based up. What is it? Carbon, nitrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and then like sprinklings of phosphorus and sulfur and a few other things.

Samuel Wines:

Yeah, it's not that much, but you know, from that small amount of chemicals you can get quite a, you get the diversity of life, and so it's thinking. You know how do we put that green chemistry lens onto things. How can we think about how we design products and processes to Sort of mimic or work with nature as model and mentor? But yeah, I think hey look, it's a multifaceted sort of space and it crosses pretty much every sector to do with Making food, health care, and then even which isn't just the tech right no no, it's, thank you, thanks for pointing that out.

Samuel Wines:

It's like if you look at what's the framing I use for this one, it's like you have your. So it's not just so. To me, tech, the tech layer a lot of the time, is infrastructure. So what we're referring to is it's not just the infrastructure that we need to be, I guess, redesigning, but it's also our social structures, so our ways of organizing business, so that it's, you know, not just Just maximizing profit and shareholder return on investment but, as we're saying before, optimizing for the system as a whole, thinking more regeneratively in the way in which we organize and structure things, but also the like, the superstructure, which you could kind of just say culture.

Samuel Wines:

So what kind of culture do we bring to a place and how can that be? You know, how can we rechange, how can we reimagine our perception of like, what we value? So it's not just that monetary thing, but how do we, how do we value intangible things like relationships and Knowledge that's not just derived from the sort of scientific, western, scientific sort of narrative? So all of this sort of stuff, I think, is, how do we try and find ways to collaborate with and work with these ways of thinking, doing and being that hopefully Don't interfere with life's ability to create conditions conducive to life.

Andrew Gray:

Mic drop. I can't do it.

Samuel Wines:

Is there anything else that we wanted to to riff on for this little update?

Andrew Gray:

No, I think if anybody's interested in anything we've said, obviously go check out the website. If you are interested in the Pacific Science Hub, if you're an educator, if you're an industry or if you're someone that just wants to get more hands-on in the lab and or you know, just come hang out and talk what we're talking about or whatever you want to talk about. That's okay too. You can find us either through the website.

Samuel Wines:

You can look up bioquisitive www Dot, bio Q, that's BIO Q, dot, org, dot, au yep and we've got little platform that we're growing there so we can chat, share stuff and yeah and I guess we'll also be sharing a lot of this through co-lab socials and Newsletter and everything like that. So if people want to keep up to date, check that out, subscribe. Like what do people say on these Pog?

Andrew Gray:

don't say it Just like.

Samuel Wines:

Stop, you don't have to do that. No, that's, we're not about that. But yeah, I think that probably concludes our February mid-February update. So thank you for finding time to sit down. I know it's always difficult for us to Get like half an hour of time.

Andrew Gray:

I'm surprised there hasn't been any deliveries or anything like. It's been pretty chill today.

Samuel Wines:

I only a couple of emails have come through, but nothing. Nothing on top of that. So much time for activities, oh, what do you know? The email that came through is Monash Innovation Labs.

Andrew Gray:

Oh, cool yeah, great yeah nice and then Jermaine.

Samuel Wines:

So Glowy, we didn't mention. Glowy. There's a little last bit of this. So we've been chatting with one of our friends who now has the I guess the entire IP for Glowy, which is a bioluminescence, if you've ever seen back to the glowing algae or aquatic life, diana, flagellates or what are the other ones?

Andrew Gray:

diatoms, yeah, basically that. So by learning that it's not like shine a light on Something and it reflects light, but like produces light which is pretty amazing. There's even a, a petunia, you can buy in the US. What, yeah? And they've made it glow. I shouldn't say glow give. Offline fascinating yeah, very different regulatory yeah, I can't imagine that happening here.

Samuel Wines:

No, no, but yeah, so that's cool. So that might be another thing to keep an eye out for just glowing furniture around the around Melbourne.

Andrew Gray:

Life, yeah, but not not using electricity Super cool.

Samuel Wines:

Anyway, we'll wrap it here. Thanks so much for your time and we'll see you again soon.

Andrew Gray:

Awesome.

Updates and Collaborations at Colabs
Exploring Community-Led Education and Innovation Initiatives
Education and Innovation in Civic Science
Exploring the Concept of the Bioeconomy