Team:TU Eindhoven/Society/RIVM


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iGEM Team TU Eindhoven 2014

iGEM Team TU Eindhoven 2014

RIVM Workshop on Synthetic Biology

Figure 1. The stand of iGEM Team TU Eindhoven 2014
during the information market

We and the other Dutch iGEM teams were contacted by the Dutch Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and asked to play a central role in their workshop on synthetic biology. This workshop covered a whole afternoon and was held on the 17th of September. The day started with an open information market during lunch hour at the RIVM, this meant all employees were able to come by and take a look at our projects. Here general introductions were given about the projects as well as projects from previous years.

Figure 2. Photo taken during the preliminary introduction into
synthetic biology

The second part consisted of three presentations by experts in synthetic biology. The first was a general introduction into synthetic biology by Mark van Passel from the RIVM. Professor Oscar Kuipers from the University of Groningen (RUG) then gave a presentation on his research on antibiotics. Lastly, Roel Bovenberg of DSM talked about what DSM is doing in the field of synthetic biology and the possible future of the bio-based economy.

Figure 3. Discussion with
policy makers held by iGEM Team
TU Eindhoven 2014

Next, the audience was divided over the four iGEM teams for a discussion on synthetic biology. We were interested in how our click coli system would be received by policy makers, but since we have a general tool we used two of the scenarios developed for the Synenergene project. The general consensus of the group of experts was that the responsibility for using the tool lay with whoever manufactured a product with it.

Figure 4. Panel of experts during the closing discussion

The final part of the day was reserved for a general discussion based on input from the smaller previous discussions. Questions were asked by the audience and answered by a panel consisting of the first three speakers. This gave a nice quick overview on how synthetic biology was seen and could develop itself within society.

The official report of the RIVM on the debate ‘Responsible approach to synthetic biology’ that took place on this day is available here.

iGEM Team TU Eindhoven 2014