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New ERA for synthetic biology

13 July 2012

A Europe-wide project has been launched to coordinate and enhance research opportunities in synthetic biology. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is one of 16 funding agencies behind the new ERA-NET for Synthetic Biology (ERASynBio) - a project aimed at encouraging organisations and scientists from different countries to network and share resources.

The emerging field of synthetic biology, which applies engineering principles to biological research, has the potential to shape the future of new medicines, industrial compounds and biofuels, as well providing exciting insights into fundamental biological mechanisms.

To help maximise the impact of synthetic biology a consortium of 16 funding agencies from 14 European countries have joined forces through the ERA-NET - a European Commission scheme designed to enhance scientific research in strategically important research areas.

€2M has been awarded to the consortium which will be used to support the development of synthetic biology through mapping and strategy development, community building, training, addressing data and infrastructure needs and coordinating joint research funding. As part of this an ERASynBio website has also been launched.

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "Synthetic biology is a field that holds huge potential for addressing some of the major challenges of the 21st Century. Freely sharing knowledge and resources across national and international boundaries, is vital if the field is to realise this potential. ERASynBio will aide this by encouraging collaboration, strengthening networks and building capacity across the European research base."

Further information on ERASynBio including a full list of partners and a breakdown of planned activities is listed on the ERASynBio website, visit:


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