A SMART Map for Synthetic Biology
The first draft of the Synthetic Biology SMART Map is one of three reports, each aimed at guiding the responsible development of game-changing technologies in Europe, impacting the medical and environmental sectors. This SMART Map is the outcome of two workshops that took place during the first half of 2017, one in Manchester, UK, the other in Budapest, Hungary.
Sally Randles from Manchester Metropolitan University is the leader of the task dedicated to synthetic biology. In this short video, she outlines some of the peculiarities of this technology, compared to the other two fields explored in SMART-map.
Click here to download the SMART Map
Synthetic Biology in Europe
A joint opinion of three scientific committees of the European Commission emphasises the role of design and engineering approaches by stating that synthetic biology is ‘the application of science, technology and engineering to facilitate and accelerate the design, manufacture, and/or modification of genetic materials in living organisms’. Hence, synthetic biology goes a significant step beyond genetic modification techniques associated with GMO (genetically modified organisms), and in contrast aims to systematically de-code in order to programme (and accurately build) biological entities from their constituent genetic elements.
These technological developments have been supported and accelerated through financial investment, from both public and private sources across the world, such as a range of Federal agencies in the US, European Union projects (such as ERASynBio 2014) and Chinese programmes. Financial investment in R&D and intellectual property acquisition has been boosted by investments from large multi-national corporations in the pharmaceutical, agriculture, chemical, and fast moving consumer goods sectors.