SynbiTECH forum in London to explore potential of synthetic biology

SynbiTECH 2019 forumImage: The QEII centre will host the two-day SynbiTECH 2019 forum. Photo: courtesy of Jordiferrer/Wikipedia.org.

Synthetic biology experts from the UK and across the world will come together at the QEII centre in Westminster, London, in June for a two-day forum called SynbiTECH.

A host of start-ups, business leaders, investors and policymakers are expected to take part in the international forum, which aims to explore how synthetic biology can transform society.

The forum on 24-25 June will also have an objective to fast track the expansion of the rapidly growing bioeconomy and work ways to create a multi-billion-dollar synthetic biology industry.

SynbiTECH 2019 will highlight the emerging trends in the synthetic biology industry. Included in these will be the latest commercial developments, policies affecting the future of product development, and a look at some of the firms that could represent prime investment opportunities.

The forum will have sessions on key areas that include policy making, technology and innovation, biodesign, applications, responsible research innovation and investment.

SynbiTECH is expected to provide opportunities to network with firms and influential people. The programme will be confined to a single stream to ensure that the participants can use their time in a manner that works best for them.

Its co-presidents Professors Richard Kitney and Paul Freemont are said to be two prominent personalities in UK synthetic biology. The duo founded SynbiCITE at the Imperial College, which has so far helped launch more than 100 SMEs that make up a big part of the UK’s bioeconomy.

Kitney said: “The Government is expecting small companies to really make a big push in the bioeconomy. And I think that that’s quite exciting.”

However, Kitney said that additional government investment will be required to make that happen.

Apart from the latest innovators, SynbiTECH will see speakers from biotech majors such as GSK, DSM, Ginkgo Bioworks and Microsoft. SynBioBeta’s John Cumbers will also speak at the two-day international forum.

Freemont said: “Sustainability and environmental issues are still high on the agenda in mainland Europe.

The SynbiTECH co-president wants the design world to share certain “big consumer realities” showing that people can purchase sustainable, high-performance products that are not only good for the world, but also work better in comparison to their petroleum-based forerunners.

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