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A bridge between universities and industry

A new UK center for innovation in synthetic biology


The main aim of the SynbiCITE Centre will be to provide a bridge between academia and industry to speed up the development of new technologies in synthetic biology. This is a field of science where researchers re-engineer cells to develop microscopic devices that can be used to address a range of global challenges such as producing low-carbon fuel, reducing the cost of industrial raw materials and producing new pharmaceuticals.

SynbiCITE will also be a national resource, involving researchers from a further 17 universities and academic institutions across the UK as well as 13 industrial partners, including the research arms of Microsoft, Shell and GlaxoSmithKline.

The Centre will be based at Imperial and led by Professors Richard Kitney, from the Department of Bioengineering, and Paul Freemont, from the Department of Life Sciences.

“The UK is a global leader in synthetic biology and we hope the establishment of SynbiCITE will help us to capitalise on our research success. The centre will also act as a hub, providing a valuable resource for researchers across the UK,” said Professor Freemont.

SynbiCITE receives £10 million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board. A further £14 million has been promised by industry.

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