Highlights from SYNBEE day

On the 9th of April the SYNBEE consortium of which TWB is part of organized SYNBEE day at the European Research Executive Agency in Brussels.

The event was livestreamed all day long and is still available on Youtube.


Here are some of the highlights of the day you can catch up on

Victoria Sassoon from Synonym presented the report she wrote in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group on “Breaking the cost barrier in biomanufacturing”. She highlights the opportunities in the sector and the roadmap to scale biomanufacturing.

[https://www.youtube.com/live/w-7MKYQR9Hg?si=1K51SOH0cWeqOLrw&t=2500] Stéphane Lemaire, Founder and Director of Paris Biofoundry presents different projects coming out of the institution with a positive climate impact such as Biomemory a project to use DNA for data storage. He also presents the current challenges of bio-refineries and how synthetic biology could provide solutions to the current challenges.

The panel discussion on startup creation in Synbio brought together Marcel Wittmund, Director of iGEM Startups, Thomas Landrain, Co-Founder and President of Jogl, Bouke de Jong, Chief Technology Officer, Planet B.io at TU Delft, and Olivier Tomat, Executive Director Entrepreneurship and Acceleration at Genopole. They discussed the barriers founders are facing, and the support needed in the ecosystem for scientists who want to commercialise their research. The founders’ insights on the challenges of patenting their technology, finding customers and the right people to build your business were a highlight of this panel.

Prof. Vitor B. Pinheiro of KU Leuven presented the limitations of Synthetic Biology. While biology offers the possibility to solve problems that chemistry can’t, scientists and innovators need to assess if biotech can be used for each situation.

The panel discussion on Regulatory aspects in Synthetic biology brought together Ana Atanassova from BASF Agricultural Solution, Bouke de Jong from Planet B.io and Hördur Haraldsson from the Swedish Environmental protection agency. They discuss precautionary principles in the European Union and how the laws are designed to handle risks and protect the safety of EU citizens.

The panel discussion on Access to public funding for synthetic biology in Europe brought together Patrick Rose from SPRIND, Francesco Matteucci from the European Innovation Council and Andy Kerr from Climate-KIC. They discussed the challenges startups face when they are ready to scale-up and start production and the role the public sector should play to help them overcome these challenges.

The pitch competition showcased nine exciting startups from around Europe presenting their technology using synthetic biology. Each pitch is accessible directly in the video description.