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Issue 4: March 2022

From the Director

Welcome to our first SynBio Connect newsletter for 2022.

In this issue I’m pleased to share with you a fantastic explainer piece from our researchers on precision fermentation - a capability that could underpin the growth of a sustainable bioeconomy in Australia. We also meet Dr Xiaoqing Li, who was the recipient of the ABARES Young People in Agriculture Award. Also catch up on our latest publications, including a piece on the critical role BioFoundries can play in strengthening pandemic preparedness.

Our SynBio Celebrating Science Symposium, held 24-25 March 2022, was a huge success. It marked the final meeting of the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBio FSP) network and it was great to bring together our SynBio community to reflect on our achievements. I'd like to thank Alison Rice, Lauren Dale, Larissa Sherman, Sophie Schmidt and our event managers, ASN Events for their help in pulling the Symposium together.

The Symposium was a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the enduring legacy of the SynBio FSP, particularly through the eyes of the early- and mid-career researchers who we have helped to support during the early stages of their careers. We also heard about the SynBio infrastructure that we built, and the substantial changes in the SynBio community of practice that we've seen over the last five years, including the emergence of a vibrant start-up community. We'd like to thank everyone involved in the SynBio community—the Executive team past and present; Paul Bertsch, the Operations Team and everybody who has contributed to the FSP over the last five years.

Building on the successes of the SynBio FSP, CSIRO will launch a new FSP called the Advanced Engineering Biology (AEB) FSP. The AEB FSP is intended to accelerate the delivery of SynBio-supported biotechnologies. It will enable the delivery of new technologies rapidly and at scale. A global search is also underway for the new Director of the incoming Advanced Engineering Biology FSP.

In other news, the FSP Program Manager Emily Knauth has commenced a new role as Research Projects Manager for the Valuing Sustainability FSP and we wish her all the best. Emily will still be with the SynBio FSP until its closure and we are grateful for the continued support.

Dr Colin Scott

Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform

Latest news from the FSP

SynBio opportunities

Applications now open for the 2022 UNSW Founders SynBio 10x Accelerator program

UNSW Founders has partnered with the RNA Institute and UNSW's School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABS) to offer a unique national startup accelerator program. Whether it's engineering microbes to produce sustainable chemicals, creating next generation therapeutics or designing cutting-edge diagnostics, SynBio 10x will give you the ability to validate your inventions with six months access to PC2 lab space and the shared scientific infrastructure offered at UNSW.

Latest publications