News and Events

  • EMBO | EMBL Symposium Enabling Technologies for Eukaryotic Synthetic Biology

    The symposium will provide a platform for interdisciplinary discussions on novel enabling technologies for synthetic biology in Eukaryotic cells and facilitate exchange of ideas and new multi-disciplinary collaborations.

    Date and Venue: 21 June to 23 June 2015, EMBL Heidelberg, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

    More information:

  • 6th Newsletter online

  • Judging synthetic biology risks

    Last month, the European Commission (EC) Scientific Committees issued a draft opinion on whether existing risk assessment methods are adequate for synthetic biology. This opinion, which was written by a Working Group of 20 experts from Europe and the United States,* could have a substantial impact on shaping European and global synthetic biology policy for years to come. It is open for public comment through 3 February 2015.

    All interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the preliminary opinion by 03 February 2015 in view of gathering specific comments, suggestions, explanations or contributions on the scientific basis of the opinion, as well as any other scientific information regarding the questions addressed, to enable Scientific Committees to focus on issues that need to be further investigated.

    More information:


    Synthetic Biology emerged in the USA around the beginning of the 21st century. Support for the first version of iGEM, the "International Competitive Student Design of Synthetic Biological Finite State Machines" was awarded in 2003 to bio-, computer- and electrical engineers Drew Endy, Gerald Sussman, and Tom Knight at MIT. It marks an important milestone in what would become a thriving discipline at the intersection of engineering and the biological and physical sciences aimed at applying engineering design principles to understand and harness thehidden potential of biology for making useful products in a sustainable manner. What spawned the field of Synthetic Biology remains debatable; but, it became clear early on that for Synthetic Biology to meet expectations, a convergence of science and engineering disciplines would be essential. More Information

  • Optimal Production of High Value Compounds – Dialogue between Fields for more Efficient Output Conference,10-12 November 2014, Berkeley, US

    Until now organic synthesis and synthetic biology have been parallel disciplines that compete in many aspects but rarely interact. However, there is great potential in combining the two fields with an overall aim of a more holistic approach and a more efficient output of high-value compound. The conference seeks to explore a new multileveled approach to speed up knowledge development and enter the fast track to optimal, large-scale and market-relevant production of high value compounds.
    Register here. Participation fee on 10 November only: 97 EUR, fee for all three days: 241 EUR including food/drinks.
    The conference is supported by funding through the Danish Council for Strategic Research, Citris, and Innovation Centre Denmark. More information

  • 5th Newsletter online

  • Strategic vision for European synthetic biology published by ERASynBio

    The Synthetic Biology ERA-NET (ERASynBio) is pleased to announce its strategic vision for European synthetic biology. This strategic vision represents the culmination of ERASynBio’s strategic activities. It sets out an ambitious vision for the future of European synthetic biology, highlighting major opportunities and challenges over the next five to ten years.
    The vision contains a series of targeted recommendations designed to empower national and international funding agencies, policy bodies and other stakeholders with the strategic framework to support this important research field. It will inform the development of future funding and policy activities from ERASynBio partner organisations as well as future international coordination activities.
    This jointly developed document describes ERSynBio’s vision for the role of world-leading and innovative European synthetic biology research in driving economic impact and addressing grand societal challenges. Furthermore, it describes the major enablers for this vision, namely networked, multidisciplinary and agile centres of excellence; a skilled, creative and interconnected workforce; cutting-edge and open underpinning technology; and a responsible and inclusive policy framework.
    The full vision is available here. Detailed information is also provided in the roadmap, which is a result of ERASynBio 1st strategic confrence.
    For any questions on the vision, please contact Dr Andy Boyce at:

  • 2015 Gordon Research Conference on Synthetic Biology

    This GRC will establish a regular, in-depth discussion forum among practitioners of the various fields underlying Synthetic Biology which is pivotal to pin-point the challenges, realistically assess the potential and pitfalls and to lay the basis for future developments and consolidation of the field towards fulfilling the envisaged - and ambitious - goals. The purpose of this conference is thus to set a basis for such a forum. The model of Gordon Research Conferences, providing forums for the presentation and discussion of frontier, multidisciplinary research, is ideal. Because of the lack of a common language among the scientists from so many different fields, longer meetings with large blocks of time dedicated to discussions, rather than series of presentations held at 'traditional' conferences, are favored for establishing such a forum.
    Date and Venue: 28 June to 3 July 2015, Sunday River Resort, Newry, ME, United States
    More Information