Synthetic Biology Life Sciences Minister, George Freeman MP, visited SynbiCITE at Imperial College London, the UK innovation and knowledge centre for synthetic biology, to announce the release of the UK Synthetic Biology Strategic Plan 2016 — Biodesign for the Bioeconomy.
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Why the UK is a Great Place to Start a Synthetic Biology Company

Synthetic biology companies have chosen to startup in the UK due to encouraging new business through planning, education, and continued substantial investment. Since 2011, the Rt. Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, guided and initiated investments in research in synthetic biology, and subsequent commercialization based on the UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap. The initial UK strategic roadmap in 2012 looked forward to this new business as economically vibrant, diverse and sustainable, with clear public benefit, and cutting edge science and methods.

The first roadmap made 5 recommendations to:

  1. Establish a SynBio Leadership Council
  2. Invest in a network of multidisciplinary research centres to establish an outstanding UK SynBio resource
  3. Create a skilled, energized and well-funded UK-wide SynBio community
  4. Invest to accelerate technology responsibly to market
  5. Assume a leading international role

In 2016, the SynBio Strategic Plan seeks translation of  proven research results into viable businesses by:

  1. Accelerating industrialization and commercialization
  2. Maximizing the capability of the innovation pipeline
  3. Building an expert workforce
  4. Developing a supportive business environment, and
  5. Building value from national and international partnerships

London has resources which remain hard to beat on an international level. The spirit of entrepreneurship encourages new ventures. Many programs will assist your start-up now, and have it operating with 3 to 6 months. Dr. John Collins, Commercial Director of SynbiCITE at Imperial College, holds a 4-Day MBA for Future Biotechnology Leaders, to inspire you to startup and launch your own company, network, and avoid business pitfalls and minefields not considered from the science perspective. Bio-start offers accelerator programs, lab space, mentoring, legal services, and cash infusions to start your company transitioning your viable IP into helping mankind.

For those who prefer a less urban work environment, Scotland provides great resources. The natural resources include timber, offshore petroleum, and farming, while long time industries in fermentation continue traditions, as well as innovation. Scotland supports and encourages the highest educated population in Europe, with many graduates in the biotech and synthetic biology fields. While London has SynbiCITE, Scotland’s IBioIC’s role specializes in the Industrial Biotechnology (IB) sector, designed to stimulate the growth and success of the IB industry in Scotland by networking industry, academia and government. It represents all four colors of IB, facilitating collaborations and guiding organizations from concept to research to industry adoption.

Now take action: take your synthetic biology IP and add value and help humanity by starting your company in the UK this year. Avail yourself of the myriad opportunities provided by academic partnerships and VC investors via UK roadmaps for developing synthetic biology.


John Cumbers

John Cumbers is the founder of SynBioBeta. John is passionate about education and on the use and adoption of biological technologies. He has received multiple awards and grants from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences for his work in the field. John has been involved in multiple startups such as those producing food for space, microbes to extract lunar and martian resources, and hoverboards! John is an active investor through the DCVC SynBioBeta Fund and his synthetic biology syndicate on AngelList.

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