Frequent Asked Questions
BioRoboost is a Coordination Support Action (CSA) project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement N820699). The main purpose of BioRoboost is to set up an international collaborative network on SynBio Standards through a series of different actions and activities, including: the definition of consensus and building a reference on standardisation, the organization of networking and workshop events, the communication with industry and stakeholders, and the analysis of societal ramifications and cultural reactions to standardized biology.
BioRoboost is NOT:
- Just another EU project on standards
- Simply money for networking
- A project for wetlab work
- A project without conclusion and tangible results
- A just-meetings project
Synthetic biology is a multidisciplinary, emergent field, evolving so fast that it still lacks a consensus definition. It has been described as the discipline of engineering application-driven biological functionalities that were not evolved by nature (Xie and Fusseneger, 2018). A more complete definition, by a NEST (New and Emerging Science and Technology) high level expert group (European Commission, http://www.synbiosafe.eu/uploads///pdf/EU-highlevel-syntheticbiology.pdf) states that SB is “the engineering of biology: the synthesis of complex, biologically based (or inspired) systems which display functions that do not exist in nature. This engineering perspective may be applied at all levels of the hierarchy of biological structures – from individual molecules to whole cells, tissues and organisms. In essence, synthetic biology will enable the design of ‘biological systems’ in a rational and systematic way”.
Xie M, Fussenegger M (2018). Designing cell function: assembly of synthetic gene circuits for cell biology applications. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 19:507–525. doi: 10.1038/s41580-018-0024-z
The benefits of improving standardisation of biological systems are overwhelming, as, despite the different visions, there is a clear consensus on the dramatic boost even a moderate improvement in standardisation would have in the establishment of the bio-economy and the 4th Industrial revolution at large. Nevertheless, there are both historical and technical difficulties to reach this ambitious goal. On the former, the very crossroad nature of SB, involving mainly biologists/biotechnologists and engineers, tends to create tensions and different views on the extent standardisation of living can accomplish (Delgado and Porcar, 2013). On the latter, the intrinsic features of the living compared to standardisation of the non-living (mutation, emergent properties, fitness biases, variability and, of course, evolution), constitute a phenomenal obstacle for standardisation to be accomplished.
Delgado A, Porcar M (2013). Designing de novo: interdisciplinary debates in synthetic biology. Syst Synth Biol. 7(1-2):41-50. doi: 10.1007/s11693-013-9106-6
The BioRoboost consortium is composed of a unique combination of 27 prime research laboratories, social scientists, companies and biotech-related experts from Europe, Asia and the US (21 European entities and 6 non-European). The consortium has built a well-suited and well-balanced group of dedicated scientists, committed to the tasks assigned to them, chosen for their rigorousness, their enthusiasm, their entrepreneur quality and their willingness to combine their own specialty into a large collaborative effort of tackling the scientific and technical challenges associated with the exploitation of SB for different types of Biotechnological applications.
BioRoboost began on the 1st October 2018, and will finish on the 30th September 2021. Nevertheless, the consortium is born with an aim to maintain a longstanding collaboration beyond the end of the project, and ultimate ambition of BioRoboost is to create, maintain and develop the largest crossroad of standardization in biology in terms of networking, conceptual developments and shared tools of all kinds.
If you would like more information or have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several ways. The “Results and outcomes” section on our project website will be continuously updated with all the results and outcomes of the project. You can also check our social media accounts (Twitter @BioRoboost, Facebook @bioroboost) for up to date information on the project’s events and other standardisation and synthetic biology advances.