BioRoBoost - Fostering Synthetic Biology: standardisation through international collaboration
About the project
Synthetic Biology is an engineering research field aiming at (re)designing biological circuits for applied purposes. As any other engineering field, it strongly relies on the use of well-defined, universal and robust standard components. The outstanding success of synthetic biology in the last years should not hide the difficulties in defining biological standards.
There are both historical and technical difficulties to reach that ambitious goal. On the former: the crossroad nature of synthetic biology involving mainly biologists/biotechnologists and engineers, whose views on the standardisation of living beings tend to differ; among the latter: the intrinsic features of live (mutation, emergent properties, fitness biasses, variability and, of course, evolution).
BIOROBOOST proposes to finally overcome cultural issues and to dramatically advance in solving technical difficulties by i) gathering the most relevant stakeholders of all the aspects of standardisation in biology in Europe in a co-creation scenario; ii) by empirically testing cultural (lab-centric) standardisation practices and by promoting a consensus conceptual and technical redefinition of biological standards; and, finally, iii) by fostering a realistic and flexible toolbox of standard biological parts, including a reduced set of specialised chassis for specific applications as well as a renewed conceptual framework to inform policy makers, scientific and other societal actors.
Project activity at TIK
The TIK Centre is responsible for coordinating work package 5 on Standards, ownership and reusability. Associate professor Ana Delgado will lead the work at TIK.
Background and funding
BioRoBoost is coordinated by UNIVERSITAT DE VALENCIA, and there are in total 20 European and 5 international partners. The project is funded by the EU Horizon2020 Research & Innovation Programme.