Announcement of SYNENERGENE/iGEM Partnership

How could your iGEM team contribute to Responsible Research and Innovation?

We are happy to present iGEM teams with new opportunities for doing exciting work in Human Practices in collaboration with SYNENERGENE, a large European network of partner institutions aiming at Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in synthetic biology. SYNENERGENE intends to make major contributions to synthetic biology RRI, on the basis of public participation and mutual learning among a wide variety of stakeholders from science, industry, civil society, education, art, and other fields.

iGEM teams across the world already connect their work to important global challenges, contribute to public understanding and debate, and reflect on the societal implications of their work. In order to strengthen and develop these activities, the iGEM Foundation and SYNENERGENE are working together to support mutual learning between iGEM teams and partners from the SYNENERGENE network. Engaging in these activities will provide your team an excellent opportunity to do Human Practices work in close collaboration with partner institutions, and to enhance the overall quality of your project.

Opportunities for iGEM teams

We invite iGEM teams to undertake two types of work together with SYNENERGENE partners:

  1. Contributions, in which iGEM teams will contribute to occasional activities organized by a partner institution. For example, partners may organize science cafés, public debates, or other singular events to which an iGEM team might contribute. Partner institutions will offer open Invitations for teams to join them in this type of work. Participating members of your team will be eligible for some financial support from the organizing partner, to cover travel and accommodation costs. Partners will also offer intellectual support as your team develops its Human Practices work in the context of these activities.
  2. Grant-Funded Collaborations, in which iGEM teams will develop their work as part of a SYNENERGENE partner’s longer-term program of activities. Partner institutions will offer Calls for Proposals, and teams will be selected for Funded Collaborations based on the proposals they submit in response to these calls. Selected teams will receive grant funding of 5000 Euros to carry out the work of their collaborations.

Click here to see all currently active Invitations and Calls for Proposals. The first Call welcomes teams to collaborate in a series of "Real-Time Technology Assessments" to explore possible futures for synthetic biology. Proposals for this call are due May 15, 2015. Other calls and invitations may follow for different activities undertaken by other partners in the SYNENERGENE network. We have high hopes for what iGEM and SYNENERGENE can achieve together!

Randy Rettberg, iGEM Foundation
Laurens Landeweerd, Matti Sonck and Christopher Coenen, SYNENERGENE
Click the link above, and read the ideas that SYNENERGENE Partners have for collaborating with iGEM teams! Respond to an invitation or call that interests you! Apply now -- the first proposals are due May 15!

SYNENERGENE is a four-year mobilization and mutual learning action plan (MMLAP) supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The project aims to contribute to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in synthetic biology by establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning SynBio’s potential benefits and risks, and by exploring possibilities for its collaborative shaping on the basis of public participation. Please see their "About" page for more information.
  • For questions about a specific Invitation/Call, please contact the person listed therein.
  • For other questions, please contact:
    • Kelly Drinkwater, iGEM HQ (kelly AT
    • Randy Rettberg, iGEM HQ (randy AT
    • Matti Sonck, SYNENERGENE (M.M.Sonck AT
    • Kjetil Rommetveit, SYNENERGENE (kjetil.rommetveit AT
    • Christopher Coenen, SYNENERGENE (christopher.coenen AT