Guest Blog | SynbiTECH 2019


SynbiTECH 2019

June 24-25th, QEII Centre, London


SynbiTECH 2019 is the only international forum focused on synthetic biology, taking place in the UK in 2019. The event will address the opportunities and challenges associated with building a multibillion-dollar synthetic biology industry that will underpin the fast-growing bioeconomy. The event is designed for senior business leaders from start-ups to multinationals, investors and policy makers.


A comprehensive programme will showcase the trends emerging across the synthetic biology industry including the latest commercial developments, policies impacting the future of product development and a glance at some of the companies which should be high on your watch list as potential investment opportunities.  


Presentations will be delivered by panels of world-leaders, sharing not only the facts, but their views on where and how synthetic biology is set to change life as we know it!


Opening Keynote by Jason Kelly, CEO, Ginkgo Bioworks – First synthetic biology unicorn!

Day 1 (June 24th) begins with Dr Jason Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder of Ginkgo Bioworks – a Boston-based start-up out of MIT that has grown to become the first unicorn company in synthetic biology.


Policy Making Power:

In the UK, a recent important development has been the publication of the Government’s bioeconomy strategy. Dr Lionel Clarke (co-chair of the UK’s Synthetic Biology Leadership Council) will chair a panel that includes Lord Henley, the UK Government Minister responsible for synthetic biology developments, and Dr Steve Bagshaw, lead author of the UK Government’s “Growing the bioeconomy” report.


A truly unique opportunity to hear first-hand their vision, view of the future and the challenges that must be tackled in order to realise synthetic biology’s true potential.


Technology and innovation – driving the synbio industry

A second panel discussion will address the technology and innovation driving the industry today. Chaired by Dr Richard Johnson, a leading expert on synthetic biology developments in the US and internationally, who will be accompanied by Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation, and Dr Tim Fell, one of the Founders of Synthace.


Scope to transform major industries

The positive yet disruptive impact of synthetic biology on a number of key industrial sectors will be covered in several sessions that address different application areas and opportunities. Dr Andrew Phillips, Microsoft, will share his insights into the biodesign software that Microsoft has created and its applications; Dr David Tew, GSK, will discuss applying synthetic biology to optimise research and development; Dr Roel Bovenberg, DSM, will demonstrate applications for synthetic biology in industrial scale biomanufacturing, and finally, Dr Jason Vincent, Syngenta, will describe efforts in imbedding synthetic biology tools into agritech applications.


Watch list: Start-up’s and SME’s making waves in the UK

The UK is one of the world’s leaders in synthetic biology, with a thriving start-up and SME community comprised of over 130 companies.

SynbiTECH will bring to the stage over 30 of these companies to provide a snap shot of the key technologies being developed and strategies being deployed to catapult these businesses to global success.


A new world of biodesign

Another exciting area is the application of synthetic biology to biodesign and the need to establish a more sustainable fashion industry. This will be covered in two sessions. The first is a panel discussion chaired by Helene Steiner, COO and Co-Founder of Cell-Free Technology and Biomaterial Platform Lead, Royal College of Art. Panel members include: Claire Bergkamp, Innovation Director, Stella McCartney; Zowie Broach, Head of Fashion, Royal College of Art; and Sarah Mower, Chief Critic, Vogue.


The fashion industry is one of the biggest in the world and has a significant impact on the environment.  Most materials are unsustainable if we are to continue to consume them at the current rate. These panel members are at the forefront of future proofing and embracing the power of synthetic biology to create opportunities that enable restorative, regenerative design – the potential of which is huge. 


Opportunities to improve the changing world by harnessing synthetic biology will be addressed by Thomas Meany, Open Cell; Natsai Audrey Chieza, Faber Futures; and Pierre-Yves Paslier, Skipping Rocks Lab.


Responsible Research Innovation

Responsible Research Innovation is an important area in synthetic biology. Sir Roland Jackson, former CEO of the British Science Association and now a Research Associate at UCL, will explore the need for effective societal engagement and the approaches required as the new industry of synthetic biology emerges. Other panel members include: Hilary Sutcliffe, Director, SocietyInside; Philip Shapira, Professor of Innovation Management, University of Manchester, and representatives from large companies and SMEs.


Investor Insights

Investment is fundamental to the emerging synthetic biology ecosystem. High-impact investment opportunities in synthetic biology, what works and what doesn't and the continuing need for de-risking early stage technology innovations, will be presented by several senior members of leading investment companies including: Irina Haivas, Atomico; George Katzaros, Farm Street Partners; and Melya Hughes Crameri, Ventac Partners.


The opportunities to network with companies and people of influence goes without saying. With a reception at the close of each day and several opportunities throughout the days, the programme has been kept to a single stream to make sure those attending can utilise their time in the way that works optimally for them.


Synbio unplugged

“Synbio Unplugged” sessions are one to one conversations with major thought leaders and technology innovators. For this first ever SynbiTECH event, we have an impressive line-up:  Hermann Hauser, Founder and Director of Amadeus Capital Partners; and Hagan Bayley, Founder Oxford Nanopore Technologies and OxSyBio.


What more needs to be said?


If you’re looking to hear world leaders’ perspectives on the factors that are influencing the transformation of SynBio from a multimillion, to a multibillion-dollar industry, then SynbiTECH 2019 is not to be missed. ‘Building the bioeconomy’ is the key theme, and the brightest and the best will be challenging the greatest expansion and economic growth factors propelling the bioeconomy to billion-dollar status.


Venue:  QEII centre, Westminster, London. Apologies in advance but owing to venue size, places are limited and therefore tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis. 


20% discounted tickets, only £600 for the full conference, are available until March 29th. Click here to reserve your place



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