The consortium will provide the critical mass and synergy necessary to address a range of synthetic biology research and its translation to industry.
Synthetic Biology can be defined as a field that "aims to design and engineer biologically based parts, novel devices and systems, as well as redesigning existing natural biological systems" (The Royal Academy of Engineering Synthetic Biology Inquiry Report. May 2009). It is a rapidly developing field which, it is now recognised, will have major relevance to enhancing the UK's industrial base. Britain, like much of the rest of Europe, has limited natural resources. The exception to this is high quality human resources - which have resulted in the UK being second only to the US in terms of our scientific research base.
Synthetic biology is a field which naturally lends itself to the creation of new knowledge industries - and to enhancement of existing industries.