Synthetic biology landscape in the UK

Georg K A Wachter, Olivia Gallup, James Bayne, Louise Horsfall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The UK is home to a vibrant and diverse synthetic biology community. Many of its successes in research innovation and technological commercialisation can be attributed to a strong base of dedicated academics, investors, industrial leadership, and policymakers. Here, we give an overview of the organisations making up the network that have been key to these successes and the roles that they play within the different levels of the community. We start with a brief history of synthetic biology in the UK and continue by describing the progression of the societies and institutions that were set up, with particular focus on the UK’s active student and entrepreneurship scene, as well as centres of research. We then contextualise the UK’s growing bioeconomy, detailing government trajectories of planned innovation and how these coincide with research translation. The path to commercialisation for researchers is put into comparison to that of the US, the world leader in synthetic biology and its translation, highlighting aspects that differentiate the UK globally. Finally, we conclude with a bright outlook on the current velocity of progress and the state of the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalBiotechnology Notes
Early online date9 Aug 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • SynBioUK
  • bioeconomy


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