SynBio SIG

Synthetic Biology - one of four identified emerging technologies 

Synthetic biology has been chosen as an area of investment by the Technology Strategy Board’s Emerging Technologies and Industries (ETI) Programme, which aims to help turn the emerging technologies of today into the growth sectors of tomorrow for UK business. 
An ETI meeting held in 2011 identified four initial priority areas where synthetic biology could have an impact:

  • Bioenergy/biofuels
  • Speciality chemicals
  • Sensors and diagnostics
  • Medicine and healthcare

The impact of Synthetic Biology is not limited to these four sectors, and other areas such as the Agri-Food sector could also benefit from this technology.

The Synthetic Biology Special Interest Group

The Synthetic Biology Special Interest Group (SynBio SIG) is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The SynBio SIG is hosted and coordinated by the Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network (BKTN), in partnership with other relevant KTNs such as HealthTech and Medicine; Nanotechnology; Electronics, Sensors and Photonics; Chemistry Innovation; Environmental Sustainability; Information & Communications Technologies.

The SynBio SIG aims to build on the UK’s bioscience and engineering expertise to develop a world class synthetic biology research community, and establish strategic partnerships with UK industry to ensure the translation and development of this knowledge for business benefit. The SynBio SIG role will be to ensure opportunities to use synthetic biology approaches in commercial applications are realised to enhance future business performance.

SynBio-SIG activities
  • Networking between research-base and industry of relevant sectors to build a world class, growing and profitable synthetic biology community in the UK;
  • Implementation of recommendations identified through UK strategic Roadmap for Synthetic Biology (led by BIS and chaired by Lionel Clarke, Shell);
  • Support for project applications to various funding available, such as the Feasibility Studies Competition in Synthetic Biology that the Technology Strategy Board will be launching in partnership with other funders in autumn 2012, or European Community FP7 collaborative R&D calls, which will be officially made available mid-July.
  • Support for University-led applications for a Synthetic Biology Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) and assistance with the identification of industry partners

Learn more about Innovation and Knoweldge Centre on the EPSRC webiste.