properties of the biomolecular materials described in this report, such as biomolecular recognition and communication, structural and dynamic strength, and high information and energy content. To maximize the commercial potential of these properties, the specific products that demonstrate these properties must be carefully assessed. Advancing a technology to product development often requires an understanding of the mechanisms of action and interactions in complex systems as well as the product’s manufacturability. If they can meet a specific market demand, these systems will be commercialized.
Specific challenges for future commercialization efforts include translation to large-scale production and manufacturing (described earlier), increasing the long-term stability of products with biomolecular materials, and integrating the materials into devices and products (see Chapter 3). While long-term stability is not a problem for some materials, some biomolecules and their assemblies cannot be preserved easily or for long periods. The stability of other biomolecular materials (such as antibodies) can be lost through production methods. Further research and development in these three challenge areas are needed to fully realize the potential of biomolecular materials in commercial markets.
Public/private partnerships are one route to nurture commercialization efforts. The use of these enterprise zones to seed such efforts is warranted and should be encouraged. Careful attention to specific issues such as intellectual property and ways to increase its sharing and transfer should also be encouraged and used to evaluate the commercialization outcomes of these investments.