A Synthetic Biology Roadmap for the UK has been produced by a coordinating group commissioned by the Department for Business and Skills and it has been published on their behalf by the Technology Strategy Board.
Synthetic biology is the design and engineering of biologically based parts, novel devices and systems as well as the redesign of existing, natural biological systems. It could deliver important new applications, including biosensors to identify infections and disease, more personalised medicines, improved waste treatments, and more effective renewable fuels and chemicals.
The technology is still at a very early stage but its potential to address many of society’s challenges and deliver economic benefit is widely considered to be high.
The UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap Coordinating Group was made up of individuals from industry, academia, government, the research councils and Technology Strategy Board. Its key recommendations include: investing in a network of multidisciplinary centres; building a skilled and well-funded UK-wide synthetic biology community; investing to accelerate technology responsibly to market; the UK to assume a leading international role; and the establishment of a leadership council.
Lionel Clarke, chairman of the coordination group, said: ‘Synthetic biology has the potential to increase prosperity and address some of the major challenges facing our planet – but much work needs to be done, and it has to be done responsibly.
‘Engaging the synthetic biology community in shaping this roadmap has also contributed a first step towards its realisation, through making new connections and building a shared vision.’
The full report can be viewed here Synthetic Biology Roadmap