Round Table on standards in SynBio: views of the BioTech industry

The “BioRoboost Round Table: views of the BioTech Industry” took place on October 1st. Participants were able to discuss many topics, including the most urgent standardisation needs of the BioTech industry. The event was divided into two main sessions.

During the first part, the project coordinator shared an introduction of the BioRoboost project, followed by some talks on current standardisation initiatives such as:

ISO TC 276. The scope of this Committee on Standardization in the field of biotechnology processes includes the following topics: terms and definitions; biobanks and bioresources; analytical methods; bioprocessing; data processing including annotation, analysis, validation, comparability and integration; and metrology. Find out more in the Strategic Business Plan. 
SEVA (Standard European Vector Architecture 3.0) is a web-based resource and a material clone repository to assist the choice of optimal plasmid vectors for de-constructing and re-constructing complex prokaryotic phenotypes. It is a resource for implementation of a standard for physical assembly of vector plasmids and for their non-ambiguous nomenclature.
SBOL (The Synthetic Biology Open Language) is an open standard for the representation of in silico biological designs. It provides a data format composed of genetic vocabulary terms (SBOL Data), as well as schematic glyphs to graphically depict genetic designs (SBOL Visual). Also, SBOL standardises data used by synthetic biology practitioners, from users to software developers to wet lab biologists.

The first session was finalized with a talk about how standards can help the industry, given by the chairperson of the session, Dr Ariel Hecth from Ginkgo Bioworks.

The second part was aimed at promoting debate. One of the conclusions reached is that one of the most urgent standardisation demands from the BioTech industry is related to DNA quality (both synthesis and sequencing), data exchange, and traceability of strains & genetic constructs (related to IP issues). These, however, can differ from main needs in academia environments. It is also remarkable how cultural differences seems to impact standards’ evolution and implementation. 

In order to continue with these interesting discussions among a broader community, we will soon be uploading all of the discussed topics on our Discussion Forum. Stay tuned!


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