News, events and publications:

European vision for synthetic biology published

European vision for synthetic biology published - 23 April 2014. iStock
News from: Synthetic Biology ERA-NET (ERASynBio)

A European vision for synthetic biology has been launched today.

The Strategic Vision (see downloads), coordinated by BBSRC, represents the culmination of the strategic activities of the Synthetic Biology ERA-NET (ERASynBio) - a project which aims to develop and coordinate synthetic biology in the European Research Area.

The document sets out an ambitious vision for the future of European synthetic biology, highlighting major opportunities and challenges over the next five to ten years. It 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.

Synthetic biology is already offering new, more effective, methods for the manufacturing of fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biofuels and has demonstrated great potential for use in regenerative medicine, novel sensors and many other applications. However the long term potential of this emerging field can only be realised through strategic international cooperation.

The vision will inform the development of future funding and policy activities from ERASynBio partner organisations as well as future international coordination activities. BBSRC is a major contributor in ERASynBio, highlighting its commitment and progress towards the UK building its leading international role in synthetic biology.

For more information, visit the ERASynBio website at www.erasynbio.net.

Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC's Science Director, said: "This European strategic vision for synthetic biology galvanises knowledge and resources across national boundaries, which is essential if the field is to realise its full potential. BBSRC's coordination of this vision highlights our commitment to ensuring the UK plays a central role in the development of national and international synthetic biology."

Lionel Clarke, Chair of the UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, said: "The UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap is already delivering positive impact in the UK and so I am delighted that there is now a European vision to align research efforts in synthetic biology towards common goals. Collaboration, strong networks and increased European capacity in this area will enable us all to benefit from its potential."

ENDS