The application of engineering tools and principles to design and engineer novel biologically based parts, devices and systems that do not exist in the natural world, as well as the redesign of existing natural biological systems for useful purposes.
This area encompasses the application of engineering tools and principles to design and engineer novel biologically based parts, devices and systems that do not exist in the natural world, as well as the redesign of existing natural biological systems for useful purposes.
This research area has developed substantially through targeted investments seeking to increase the UK’s competitive advantage. It remains of strategic importance, with EPSRC playing a vital role in ensuring that synthetic biology’s potential can be realised. We will look to capitalise on existing investments and infrastructure with a view to exploiting the manufacturing and scale up potential.
A continued focus will be to ensure that engineers in particular, along with mathematicians and physical scientists, are fully engaged and play a leadership role in developing the future of synthetic biology. Research in this area is central to addressing current and future national challenges related to sustainability and resource efficiency.
Standards, metrology and responsible research innovation are three areas of significant importance to growing the potential of synthetic biology, due to their importance in transforming research into viable industrial technologies. The community should have embedded them into research practices as standard.
As this research area develops, the technology becomes more mature and moves closer to application, process engineering aspects (for example scale up) will become increasingly important. We will work with the community to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration with the process and manufacturing communities, and will encourage the community to tackle these challenges, to exploit any potential opportunities that arise.
We will also work with the community and other important partners to identify suitable challenges and areas of strategic importance within the portfolio as they arise.