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International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition

iGEM Foundation

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open community and collaboration.

Thank you to everyone who participated in iGEM 2018!

The 2018 competition results are now available



The Thomas F. Knight Matching Fund

We invite you to double your impact... Read more.

iGEM Statement on Gene Editing

In light of recent news... Read more.

Get Ready for iGEM 2019

Start your 2019 team... Read more.

A pioneer in engineering biology.

The iGEM Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open community and collaboration. This is done by fostering an open, cooperative community and friendly competition.

iGEM’s main program is the iGEM Competition. The iGEM competition gives students the opportunity to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by tackling everyday issues facing the world. Made up of primarily university students, multidisciplinary teams work together to design, build, test, and measure a system of their own design using interchangeable biological parts and standard molecular biology techniques. Every year nearly 6,000 people dedicate their summer to iGEM and then come together in the fall to present their work and compete at the annual Jamboree.

Our Focus

iGEMers are building a better world by solving problems with the help of synthetic biology. The iGEM Competition inspires nearly 6,000 students each year to work in teams to address unique challenges in their local communities. Browse through iGEM projects and learn how teams are solving real world problems.

We celebrate team achievements at the annual Giant Jamboree by showcasing projects from participating teams and awarding medals, prizes, and the grand prize, the BioBrick trophies.

We inspire responsible innovation through our efforts in biosafety, biosecurity and public outreach. Learn more by visiting Safety & Security and Human Practices.

iGEM sets the standard in synthetic biology with standardized parts. Learn more about the open source technology and browse through 20,000+ standardized genetic parts in the iGEM Registry.

Our Community

The iGEM community is made up of international trailblazers from over 45 countries around the world. Learn more about the iGEM Teams.

In 2017 iGEM launched the After iGEM program. This program supports over 30,000 iGEMers -- students and instructors -- who has gone through the competition since its inception in 2004. This global network is leading the field, taking what they learned in the competition and expanding it to continue to build a better world. Learn more about iGEM's global After iGEM community where members take what they learned and experienced in the competition and expand it to continue have an impact on the world.

The Thomas F. Knight Matching Fund

You may be surprised to hear that 90% of iGEM’s funding comes from the Competition. While that allows us to run the Competition, it does not support expansion or new programs. We want to do more: We have the vision, and we need your help to see it through.

We ask you now for your help to take iGEM to the next level. iGEM visionary and synthetic biology pioneer Tom Knight has already pledged his support, and today we are delighted to announce the creation of the Thomas F. Knight Matching Fund.

This is the first time iGEM has raised money with the help of a matching fund, and we would like to invite you to take this rare chance to double your impact if you donate by December 31, 2018. Learn more.

"iGEM is the world's largest genetic engineering competition. They have helped 30,000+ kids worldwide follow their passion in biology. If you are looking for an amazing org to donate to this year -- this is it! And your donation is doubled until EOY by Tom Knight :D"
- Jason Kelly, Co-founder Ginkgo BioWorks

" i am one of the 30,000+ kids. @igem was the single most influential program that helped me follow my passion for biology. the experience inspired the creation of ."
- Cindy Wu, Founder

"From introducing me to #Synbio & the wonderful iGEM/Synbio community to providing me an opportunity to be a part of @AfteriGEM & serves as an Ambassador, #iGEM has been one of the most important things to happen to me and many others like me."
- Hassnain Qasim, iGEM Ambassador to Asia

"This is a great way to invest in the future of our industry and promote science and STEM worldwide. Win win."
- Emily Leproust, CEO Twist Biosciences


Get ready for next year! Registration for iGEM 2019 will be opening soon but in the meantime save the date for the iGEM 2019 Giant Jamboree October 31st to November 4th. Stay tuned, more information will be available soon.

Experience iGEM

Welcome to iGEM

A message from Meagan Lizarazo, Vice President.
Visit the competition site to learn more.

Safety in iGEM

A message from Piers Millet, Director of Safety and Security.
Visit Safety @ iGEM and the Competition Safety Hub to learn more.

Human Practices at iGEM

A message from Megan Palmer, Director of Human Practices.
Visit the Human Practices Hub to learn more.

Experience iGEM

Experience the excitement of the iGEM Giant Jamboree.