A strategic roadmap for synthetic biology was published in July 2012 with the key purpose of developing 'a roadmap that defines the likely timeframe and actions required to establish a world leading Synthetic Biology industry within the UK.’ The roadmap, produced by an independent panel of experts for the government's Department for Business Innovation and Skills, sets out a shared vision for realising the potential of synthetic biology in the UK.
Five core themes for the roadmap emerged from this work:
1. Foundational science and engineering: the need for sufficient capabilities for the UK to maintain a leading edge
2. Continuing responsible research and innovation: including the need for awareness, training and adherence to regulatory frameworks
3. Developing technology for commercial use
4. Applications and markets: identifying growth markets and developing applications
5. International cooperation
To achieve this, the roadmap outlines five key recommendations:
1. Invest in a network of multidisciplinary centres to establish an outstanding UK synthetic biology resource.
2. Build a skilled, energised and well-funded UK-wide synthetic biology community [via the Synthetic Biology Special Interest Group].
3. Invest to accelerate technology responsibly to market.
4. Assume a leading international role.
5. Establish a leadership council
The roadmap report and an A3 schematic representation of the timelines are available online, after registration at: https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/guest