UK Academic Synbio Landscape

Jon Marles-Wright & Sarah Richardson

In the face of talk of continued austerity from both sides of the political spectrum the UK science community—and the synthetic biology community in particular—we must present a strong case for investment in science and its social and economic benefits. Looking at the potential applications and markets for synthetic biology from a UK academic perspective, the Synthetic Biology Roadmap provides a clear overview of the opportunities and challenges for the field over the next ten years. The Roadmap was conceived and produced by the UK government with stakeholder groups from academia, industry, and policy groups. It sets out a vision for the development of SynBio in the UK, makes a series of recommendations for additional investment in the field, and identifies technologies and application areas where the field has the potential to make significant impacts.