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Development and Coordination of Synthetic Biology in the European Research Area

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Prime time for synthetic biology

An EU project supported and coordinated European synthetic biology research. Results included: two ERA-NET calls that ultimately funded 15 projects; a transnational research agenda; and guidelines for responsible research.

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Synthetic biology is a fusion of biology and engineering. The discipline adapts organisms or biological processes for use in industry, information-technology, or research. The EU-funded ERASYNBIO (Development and coordination of synthetic biology in the European Research Area) project was a coordination effort. The venture strengthened collective European research in the subject through structuring, coordinating and funding Europe's various national efforts. Project members implemented two joint ERA-NET calls, each offering funding of up to EUR 16m. Such calls yielded funding for 15 transnational projects. The consortium developed and published the subject's first European transnational research agenda. The document integrated aspects of infrastructure- and data-management. Related activities included collective development of a strategic vision. Other outcomes involved integrating aspects of responsible research and innovation via calls and networking. The group also implemented researcher-support in the form of workshops and twinning activities. Researchers promoted topical summer schools, and supported student competitions. The consortium additionally developed numerous resources for public promotion of the subject. ERASYNBIO's work fostered separate national efforts in synthetic biology, while also integrating and strengthening the research Europe-wide.


Synthetic biology, coordination, ERA-NET, funding, research agenda

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