|Purpose||Supporting synthetic biology in industry|
|Headquarters||Imperial College London|
|Affiliations||Innovate UK, EPSRC, BBSRC|
SynbiCITE is the UK's national Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) founded to promote the adoption and use of synthetic biology by industry. SynbiCITE's stated aim is to inspire innovation in synthetic biology through collaboration. It acts as a nucleating centre for new business that it can incubate in its labs and offices and also by providing business accelerator programmes to help grow businesses. These programmes include funding, training and mentoring.
SynbiCITE was created in 2013 after a UK-wide competition between potential IKC-host universities to find the most suitable host with the best strategic plan. SynbiCITE was deemed to have shown that it had the most potential to develop and grow the UK bioeconomy with global reach through synthetic biology. SynbiCITE is funded by government and other partners to run for five years in the first instance, with the intention that it will become self-sustaining by 2018.  In April 2016, SynbiCITE opened the Synthetic Biology foundry, a Research Councils UK funded facility providing remote gene design, construction and validation services using laboratory robotics. Based on a similar facility at MIT, it is the first commercial facility using laboratory automation to provide on-demand services explicitly for synthetic biology in the United Kingdom.
SynbiCITE's aim is to accelerate science commercialisation and the emerging technologies encompassed by synthetic biology into new products, tools, processes and services, through a network of interacting partners from academia, industry and business.
SynbiCITE also offers funding opportunities for Proof of Concept, Development of Prototype and Development of Pilot-Scale projects. It actively promotes and progresses the development of Responsible Innovation best practices throughout academia and industries that use synthetic biology.
The centre is directly aligned with the UK's Bioeconomy Strategy. The UK is seeking to grow the bioeconomy sector to a one trillion pound industry and defines the bioeconomy as including agriculture, cosmetics, consumer goods, medicine and healthcare. SynbiCITE launched SynbiTECH, a conference on Synthetic_biology featuring a large focus on industry.
SynbiCITE is closely aligned to the Imperial Innovation Hub at White City Campus, London which opened in 2016. In 2019 the DNA Foundry opened at Imperial College London's White City Campus. The goal is to enable the outsourcing of DNA manufacture, design and testing for businesses and accelerate development of DNA based technologies in the UK. SynbiCITE has also supported the development of OpenCell, which provides affordable biotechnology labs using shipping containers in White City.
SynbiCITE is headquartered at Imperial College London. Funding is from a public-private partnership between the EPSRC, BBSRC, Innovate UK, industry, academia and private investors. It is run and managed by a Board consisting of two Co-Directors - Professor Richard Kitney and Professor Paul Freemont - with CEO Dr Stephen Chambers and Commercial & Operations Director Dr John Collins.
The activities of SynbiCITE are overseen by a Steering and Advisory Board composed of independent advisors and observers from the main funding bodies.