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We are a major partner in the ERA-Net in synthetic biology (ERASynBio).

Visit the ERASynBio website

ERASynBio is a three year project, starting in January 2012, from the seventh Framework Program that aims to develop and coordinate synthetic biology in the European Research Area.


  • To promote the robust development of synthetic biology by structuring and coordinating national efforts and investment
  • To develop a strategic research agenda/white paper, which will support the emergence of national synthetic biology programmes and which will lay the ground for transnational funding activities via joint calls
  • To tackle the interdisciplinary nature and immaturity of the synthetic biology field by offering training and educational possibilities, establishing an interdisciplinary advisory board and inviting observers of other funding organisations
  • To encourage collaboration between academia and industry while at the same time ensuring adherence to ethical, legal and societal aspects, and tackling technical issues like standardisation and infrastructure development


ERASynBio has 16 partners from 14 countries and two observers:

  • BBSRC – UK
  • NWO – The Netherlands
  • RCN – Norway
  • DASTI – Denmark
  • AKA – Finland
  • LAS – Latvia
  • FZJ and BMBF – Germany
  • FFG – Austria
  • MHEST – Slovenia
  • GSRT – Greece
  • KTI – Switzerland
  • MICINN – Spain
  • FCT – Portugal
  • CNRS and ANR – France
  • NSF – USA (observers)
  • EPSRC – UK (observers)


ERASynBio is divided into 7 work packages:

  • WP1 – Mapping and strategy
    • To agree on a common working definition and scope of synthetic biology for the project course
    • To map and analyse the European synthetic biology landscape
    • To develop a strategy for supporting research and related activities in synthetic biology
  • WP2 – Governance and society
    • To further societal dialogue and stakeholder engagement
    • To trace, examine and integrate efforts on governance (including science in society) and other regulatory framework conditions
    • To develop recommendations and a common position statement on regulatory requirements and process them into the white paper
    • To support the integration of social sciences and synthetic biology research
  • WP3 – Community building
    • To integrate and strengthen the European scientific community in synthetic biology
    • To build a critical mass in this emerging area
    • To enhance career options in synthetic biology
    • To overcome fragmentation by networking at all levels
  • WP4 – Training and education
    • To trace, examine and integrate efforts on education and training needs
    • To develop a common position statement on education and training needs
    • To overcome fragmentation by supporting advanced training summer schools
    • To overcome fragmentation by supporting trainee competition at a very early stage of education
    • To promote and support mobility of early-career researchers
  • WP5 – Data and infrastructure
    • To trace, examine and integrate efforts on data management and infrastructure needs
    • To develop a common position statement and process the statement into the white paper
    • To establish a link to ESFRI
  • WP6 – Funding activities
    • To prepare, implement and monitor transnational joint research calls
    • To develop suitable instruments, mechanisms and processes
    • To reinforce and support the coordination/development of national research programmes and member states' research efforts
    • To enhance the exchange of knowledge and know-how
  • WP7 – Communication and management
    • To ensure timely and qualitative achievement of project results
    • To provide timely and efficient coordination of the project and to meet contractual commitments
    • To establish an efficient management and collaboration structure
    • To establish an effective communication infrastructure between partners and stakeholders
    • To support trans- and international cooperation on synthetic biology

BBSRC leads WP1 and WP5 with the FZJ in Germany responsible for overall coordination.

Joint calls

The partners are planning two transnational calls on synthetic biology during the project. These will support collaborative research projects between the scientists in participating countries.