Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology
News Jul 15, 2013
The IKC, to be called SynbiCITE, will be based at Imperial College London and led by Professor Richard Kitney and Professor Paul Freemont. Its main aim will be to act as an Industrial Translation Engine that can integrate university and industry based research in synthetic biology into industrial process and products.
SynbiCITE is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research (BBSRC) and Technology Strategy Board. It will receive initial grant funding of £5M, with a further £5M to be awarded over the next two years.
The Centre will be a national resource and involve researchers from a further 17 universities and academic institutions across the UK, as well as 13 industrial partners, including the research arms of Microsoft, Shell and GlaxoSmithKline.
Announcing the funding at the SB6.0 Conference David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said "Synthetic biology has huge potential for our economy and society in so many areas, from life sciences to agriculture. But to realise this potential we need to ensure researchers and business work together. This new Innovation and Knowledge Centre will help advance scientific knowledge and turn cutting edge research into commercial success."
Professor Richard Kitney, co-academic of SynbiCITE from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial, says: "Synthetic Biology could be the next 'industrial revolution' for the UK, where tiny devices manufactured from cells are used by us to improve many facets of our lives. From producing new, more sustainable fuels to developing devices that can monitor or improve our health, the applications in this field are limitless."
Many researchers, policy makers and governments are anticipating that synthetic biology will provide a range of benefits to society in sectors such as human health; agriculture and food production; environmental protection and remediation; bioenergy and chemical production.
It has been identified by David Willetts as one of the Eight Great Technologies that the UK needs to prioritise and the 2012 Autumn Statement announced significant investment in the field. Establishing the IKC was one of the recommendations of the UK Roadmap for Synthetic Biology, published in July 2012.
Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "BBSRC invests in synthetic biology due to its huge potential in addressing some of the major challenges of the 21st Century. This IKC will help to realise this potential by aiding the translation of science into beneficial applications."
Professor David Delpy, EPSRC's Chief Executive, said "Synthetic Biology is an EPSRC priority area. This new Innovation and Knowledge Centre, the seventh we have co-funded, will link universities to industries and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the factory."
SynbiCITE is the seventh IKC with the aim of commercialising emerging technologies through creating early stage critical mass in an area of disruptive technology. IKCs are able to achieve this through their international quality research capability and access to companion technologies needed to commercialise research. Based in a university they are led by an expert entrepreneurial team. While continuing to advance the research agenda, they create impact by enhancing wealth generation of the businesses with which they work.
Scientists at McGill have found the answer to a question that perplexed Charles Darwin; if natural selection works at the level of the individual, fighting for survival and reproduction, how can a single colony produce worker ants that are so dramatically different in size – from “minor” workers to large-headed soldiers with huge mandibles – especially if they are sterile?
Scientists have developed a successful method to make truly personalized predictions of future disease outcomes for patients with certain types of chronic blood cancers. The study combined extensive genetic and clinical information to predict the prognosis for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms.
For centuries, gardeners have attempted to breed blue roses with no success. But now, thanks to modern biotechnology, the elusive blue rose may finally be attainable. Researchers have found a way to express pigment-producing enzymes from bacteria in the petals of a white rose, tinting the flowers blue.
2nd International Conference on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
May 17 - May 18, 2019
2nd World Congress on Genetics & Genetic Disorders
May 13 - May 14, 2019