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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S001859/1
Title: SynbiCITE 2.0
Principal Investigator: Kitney, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Freemont, Professor PS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Bioengineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 October 2018 Ends: 30 September 2023 Value (£): 3,058,262
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Synthetic biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Healthcare
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 Feb 2018 IKC - SynbiCITE Phase 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Synthetic biology is a new and exciting research field that brings together biological scientists and engineers with the aim of developing new ways to build and alter biological systems and cells.

Biological cells can perform a vast array of activities driven by instructions, which are encoded by DNA. This DNA makes up the cells genome, which act as a blueprint for different types of cells and is composed of four complementary chemical building blocks called nucleotides (G, C, A and T) linked together in a sequence. The beauty of DNA is that these building blocks pair up specifically (G-C and A-T) thus the DNA template can be easily copied and replicated. The instructions encoded in DNA are translated specifically into an array of large molecules called proteins which act as the engines of the cell performing all the necessary functions for cells to live divide and grow e.g. the conversion of food sources like sugar into energy. Over the last 20 years advances in our ability to 'read' DNA has rapidly improved so that today DNA can be read rapidly, accurately and inexpensively. The DNA sequences are the basic instruction set for a particular cell to instruct it to produce specific entities, such as proteins. Advances in the chemical synthesis of DNA have resulted in the increasing ability to 'write' DNA. Synthetic Biology/Engineering Biology provides an engineering framework that allows researchers to design and write synthetic DNA tailored to specific applications - such that the synthetic DNA sequences can be placed in cells to perform specific human defined functions. The basic technology, that can be applied across a range of applications, is called platform or foundational technology. Application areas include: health, bioenergy, crops and soil, fine and bulk chemicals, bio remediation, biosensors and biomaterials.

UK centre for the industrial translation of synthetic biology (SynbiCITE) are supported start-ups and SMEs in the field, as well as working on projects with a range of multinational companies. SynbiCITE

provides support in three principal ways: (a) by providing and channelling scientific and technical expertise; (b) acting as a conduit for funding - particularly private sector funding; and (c) providing business education. These are seen as key components in the industrial translation of the science base. The practical implementation of the strategy is via three hubs of activity within SynbiCITE:

- The BioDesign and Applications Hub - supports design, and supports and manages proof of concept and development projects

- The Business and Outreach Hub - supports and manages an Investor Consortium and an industrial club, as well as providing business education and training through a four-day MBA and a business growth accelerator.

- The Facilities Hub - provides facilities and expertise in support of companies, including expertise in data analysis and learning, design automation protocol developments and more general projects and company support.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk