Synthetic biology can be defined as “the artificial design and engineering of biological systems and living organisms for purposes of improving applications for industry or biological research”. In other words, it consists in synthetically creating organic molecules and matter to replace or edit biological and organic materials. Situated at the intersection of biotechnology, ICT and nanotechnology, this field has the potential to transform the industrial landscape and lead to more sustainable manufacturing. But public acceptance is essential for its commercial and societal viability: here comes the SMART-map.
The Synthetic Biology Dialogue will be hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester (UK) and will take place on 9-10 March. There will be representatives from industries, universities and research centres, but also from regulatory institutions, governance and civil society organisations.
The event will follow the Industrial Dialogue format, which has been refined after the previous events thanks to the feedback given by the participants. The two-day workshop will be an occasion to discuss RRI challenges and opportunities for industries that work in this field.
The Manchester Industrial Dialogue marks the end of the first round of Dialogues: in the second phase, there will be mirror events on the same topics in different cities. The second Dialogue Event on Synthetic Biology will be held in June in Budapest. The next dialogue will focus on precision medicine and will take place in April in Valencia (Spain).