Synthetic biology (SynBio) offers huge potential for applications in energy, health and the environment. It also brings with it various challenges such as regulatory issues of biosafety, biosecurity and intellectual property rights, as well as potential environmental and socio-economic risks in developing countries. As yet, however, there is scant public knowledge about the technology. It is thus essential to establish an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning SynBio’s potential benefits and risks and to explore possibilities for its ‘collaborative shaping’ on the basis of public participation. SYN-ENERGY will organise a wide range of mobilisation and mutual learning processes relating to these challenges. Besides a number of well-established European and international networks, the consortium encompasses and can mobilise a wide variety of stakeholders from science, industry, civil society, policy, education, art and other areas. Learning processes will contribute to a better understanding of SynBio research and innovation and to enhanced public engagement, while at the same time stimulating reflection on novel approaches to an inclusive governance framework that is capable of fostering responsible research and innovation. The processes will involve citizens and specific publics through well-established and innovative means of engagement, and will support the convergence of stakeholders and perspectives. Activities will be structured by four platforms, highlighting SynBio’s future, public, cultural and research & innovation perspectives. The iterative mutual learning process within SYN-ENERGY will be open to change in order to accommodate the dynamics of an emergent field. By dint of its approach, design and consortium, SYN-ENERGY will be a Science in Society activity with significant impact, raising public awareness of SynBio and yielding benefits for involved stakeholders, public discourse and European policy making in an international context.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCSA-SA - Support actions
NR2 3HT Norwich