OpenPlant

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Plant Sciences

Abstract

An essential concept in Synthetic Biology is that genetic systems can be constructed using standardised, interchangeable parts. For example, functional DNA sequences such as promoters, ribosome binding sites and coding sequences can be used to develop synthetic gene systems that can be used to reprogram living systems in a systematic way. The prospect of large-scale reprogramming of living systems, will require access to relatively large numbers of components. This is in contrast to existing GM products that contain one or a few components. There is growing requirement for libraries of well characterized routine components that can be shared for the construction of a variety of systems, where small companies would be ensured freedom to operate. This is essential to foster the kind of innovation seen at the emergence of other new technologies such as microelectronics and software development.

Accordingly, a substantial part of the Synthetic Biology field has promoted open standards and sharing of data and resources, inspired by the open source software movement. The educational community has embraced the open source principle, and DNA parts are widely and freely distributed internationally as part of educational efforts like the iGEM community, and grows year-on-year. The BioBricks Foundation is a non-profit organisation which has roots in the academic community, and which has promoted a legal framework which would allow protection of Synthetic Biology applications and key activities, but which would facilitate sharing of parts.

Plant biotechnology is a good example of a field where current IP practices have led to a restriction of exchange and innovation, and this model is threatening to predominate in plant synthetic biology. For examples, one just has to look at restrictive licensing of basic technologies like transformation, selection markers and useful genes. We believe that the field needs to explore new "two-tier" intellectual property models that will protect investment in applications, while promote sharing of DNA components and freedom-to-operate for small companies in commercial applications of Synthetic Biology. As the speed and scale of biological assembly increases, this becomes more pressing.

As part of the OpenPlant initiative, we will establish open-source DNA registries across the UK for sharing information, and to join an international web of registries with plant specific parts. The technology is inherently low cost, renewable and has obvious applications for new sustainable technologies.

Technical Summary

Foundational technologies: As part of the OpenPlant initiative, we will (i) establish open-source DNA registries for sharing information, and join an international web of registries with the first plant specific parts. (ii) We will develop a major new plant chassis for Synthetic Biology, (iii) develop new DNA parts for the control and quantitative imaging of genetic circuits in plants, and (iv) genome-scale engineering in plants. (v) Software tools will be further improved for automated DNA assembly, modeling of synthetic gene circuits and cellular morphogenesis

Trait Engineering: The development of new foundational tools and parts will directly contribute to the engineering of new traits in plants, such as (i) altered photosynthesis and leaf structure, (ii) carbohydrate content, (iii) metabolic pathways, (iv) new forms of symbiosis and nitrogen fixation and (v) high level production of biomolecules by virus engines.

Open technologies for innovation: Current IP practices and restrictive licensing threaten to restrict innovation as the scale of DNA systems increases. We believe that the field needs to explore new "two-tier" intellectual property models that will protect investment in applications, while promote sharing of DNA components and freedom-to-operate for small companies in commercial applications of Synthetic Biology. We will create new forums and opportunities for open innovation in plant synthetic biology.

We will sponsor discussions in Cambridge on the potential impact of Synthetic Biology on sustainable practices in agriculture, bioproduction, land use and environmental conservation. This will bring together a wide range of engineers, scientists and policy developers to explore new technologies and possible models for sustainable agriculture, bioproduction and land use.

Planned Impact

A significant barrier to the ability of Synthetic Biology to have commercial impact in the UK is social acceptance of genetic modification. OpenPlant will engage with this issue scientifically by the development of precision gene technologies that can introduce desirable traits without the introduction of transgenes and by supporting research on traits such as nitrogen use that can significantly impact bioproduction. It will also engage through discourse on sustainable agriculture and land use and engagement with a variety of groups including conservationists, social scientists and policy developers.

The restrictive licensing of powerful technologies as well as the prohibitive cost of protecting IP for smaller enterprises threatens to impede the pace of research in plant synthetic biology. The OpenPlant centre aims to promote entrepreneurial activities though a framework that allows the exploration of open technologies and fixed-cost, non-exclusive licenses that can ensure that parts, techniques, libraries and materials have are available to facilitate both scientific exchange and commercial innovation.

Publications

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Carella P (2018) establishes tissue-specific intracellular infection structures in the earliest divergent land plant lineage. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Carella P (2018) establishes tissue-specific intracellular infection structures in the earliest divergent land plant lineage. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Delaux PM (2015) Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

 
Title Anxiety and Awe, a collection of poems by Norwich Scientists and Writers 
Description The 2015 NRP-UEA iGEM team worked with the Science and Writing Trust (SAW), to hold a workshop for established poets at the amazing Dragon Hall, a beautiful medieval building and home to the Norwich Writers Centre. At the workshop, we talked about our project, iGEM and bioengineering with established and published poets. We conducted writing exercises guided by the published poet, Esther Morgan in which we expressed our emotions, concerns and awe of science. This workshop resulted in a collaborative collection of poems by writers and scientists. The collection is published on our website (http://2015.igem.org/Team:NRP-UEA-Norwich/WritersWorkshop) and was presented at the iGEM Giant Jamboree, where it gained us a nomination for best communication. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The collection is published on our website (http://2015.igem.org/Team:NRP-UEA-Norwich/WritersWorkshop) and was presented at the iGEM Giant Jamboree, where it gained us a nomination for best communication. 
URL http://2015.igem.org/Team:NRP-UEA-Norwich/WritersWorkshop
 
Title Glowing oat seedlings 
Description Young oat seedling roots glow under UV due to the accumulation of the antimicrobial triterpene avenacins. Oats naturally produce avenacins exclusively within the root tip epidermal cells, which protects them from soil pathogens. Image supplied by researchers in the Osbourn laboratory at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Image placed on the Norwich Research Park image library, for free sharing and dissemination. 
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/imagedetails.aspx?imgid=229
 
Title Image of Nicotiana benthamiana 
Description Nicotiana benthamiana, a relative of the tobacco plant, is commonly used in plant research. Here, the leaf is used as a host organism to produce components of avenacin, a fluorescent antimicrobial produced by oat roots, which protects the roots from soil pathogens. A cluster of genes - the Sad genes - have been identified in oat as the instructions used to produce avenacin. The blue spots indicate the presence of parts of the avenacin compound introduced by inserting some of the Sad genes into the host plant. The other spots are controls to test the expression system. Image supplied by Aymeric Leveau, Osbourn laboratory. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Image placed on the Norwich Research Park Image Library, for free sharing and dissemination. 
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/imagedetails.aspx?imgid=103
 
Title OpenMTA Video 
Description A video describing the open material transfer agreement produced by the Biobricks Foundation in collaboration and featuring interviews with OpenPlant group leaders and others. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact The OpenMTA has not yet been officially launched so there are so far only 71 views on youtube. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt6b8_mY-i4
 
Description The OpenPlant initiative aims to promote innovation in plant synthetic biology, based on three main premises. (i) Plants underpin global, low-cost bioproduction at the gigatonne scale. (ii) Plants are genetically plastic, and improvements in plant metabolism or plant architecture will have far-reaching consequences for sustainable production and food security. (iii) Current IP practices, restrictive licensing and industry consolidation threaten to restrict innovation as the speed and scale of DNA engineering increases. We believe that the field needs to explore new "two-tier" intellectual property models that will protect investment in applications, while promote sharing of DNA components and freedom-to-operate for innovators in business and social enterprises. We are building new frameworks and collaborations to promote open innovation in plant synthetic biology.

We are coordinating these activities in three sets of workpackages. The first set of workpackages encompass the creation of open technical standards and resources for foundational work in plant synthetic biology. A second set of workpackages implement and test the use of standardised engineering systems for plant trait modification. The third set of workpackages are designed to exploit open technologies in order to promote better interdisciplinary exchange and international collaboration.

In each of these areas, OpenPlant is providing international leadership. OpenPlant comprises the largest cohort of plant scientists working on foundational synthetic biology. We have brought together leaders in the field to establish new technical standards for DNA part composition, assembly, materials transfer, Marchantia as a simple plant chassis and new frameworks for interdisciplinary exchange. OpenPlant technical standards, like Phytobricks, are being adopted widely in other research labs and by global communities like iGEM. It is likely that the Open MTA will become the defacto standard for release of materials into the public domain. The Biomaker Challenge is being adopted internationally as a template for building interdisciplinary exchange. These efforts feed into world-leading programmes to modify metabolic pathways, polymers, photosynthesis, N2 fixation and production of biologics in plants, supporting new investments of > £35M over the course of the initiative so far.

The UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap and the award of the Synthetic Biology Research Centre has allowed us to take advantage of a window for UK leadership in plant synthetic biology, at a time when international investment in plant bioengineering has been skewed by the different priorities of international major funding agencies such as the US Department of Energy, DARPA, Chinese government, and global agrochemical companies most concerned with mergers and vertical integration of their business.

We have taken the initiative to promoting new technical standards and community building for plant synthetic biology. Further, we expect that these initiatives will have growing international impact, as they take hold, DNA parts are shared, systems become ever better characterised and practical applications grow.

Synthetic biology and open-source applied biology tools that are pragmatic, safe and cost-effective have the potential to stimulate bioeconomic growth and address challenges in healthcare, agriculture, education and the environment in less well-developed countries.

OpenPlant is recruiting leading international experts to explore how the latest developments in synthetic biology, bioengineering and DIY biology, can contribute new training tools for students and future innovators, and practical opportunities for field applications in Africa and Latin America.
This effort has been started with support from the BBSRC and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5B UK fund dedicated to the support of challenge-driven research in developing countries. A workshop in Africa resulted in the publication of a report that canvassed the difficulties and opportunities  for promoting innovation in the emerging bioeconomy in Africa. To follow up, OpenPlant is coordinating an international programme for Open Curriculum development for biological education and knowledge transfer in low resource settings. (https://www.openplant.org/global-challenges)

The OpenPlant initiative has made possible a number of key advances that we think are continuing to pursue:
(i) Propagation of standardised and open tools for work in new crop chassis, including low-level DNA parts, vectors, low-cost instrumentation.
(ii) Development of standardised digital models and tools for analysis and modelling of physico-genetic behaviour from subcellular dynamics to organismal properties.
(iii) Development of integrated, self-organising modules for engineering morphogenic and metabolic traits in different plants.
(iv) Development of specialised non-food plants as platforms for bioproduction in the UK, such as an agronomically productive beet species.
(v) Development of tools for modification of food crops, focusing on cis-genic and genome editing techniques, and minimising introduction of genes from other non-food species.
(vi) Establishment of shared resources for education and training based on cell-free systems that are non-GMO and do not require maintenance of an expensive and potentially unreliable cold chain. We have recruited a powerful set of international collaborators to this already - drawn from senior scientists in the cell-free field, educators and experts in international development.
(vii) Sharing of simple technologies (such as transient plant expression) for capacity building and knowledge transfer in plant modification, especially for native African and Latin American crops.

Ever more precise and efficient methods for genome editing and reprogramming of plants and the development of new crop varieties will likely be required to deal with future challenges of world population growth, climate change, pests, declining water and soil resources and need for better sustainable farming techniques. Access to the new technologies will provide an increasingly sharp competitive advantage in future bio-based economies. There is an opportunity for OpenPlant to play a role in ensuring that the tools for the new technologies are open and accessible - both to promote innovation in the UK, and facilitate equitable access and capacity building in countries that may be rich in bioresources, but poor in technical infrastructure.

OpenPlant has developed research methods and engineering approaches for working with synthetic plant systems, ranging from DNA-based standards, recursive DNA assembly techniques, a new and simple plant as a testbed, new genetic tools and applications. These include the further development of the HyperTrans system for rapid prototyping and bioproduction in planta, and identification of novel enzymes and regulatory effectors for manipulating plant metabolites and polymers. OpenPlant scientists are tackling challenges such as that of refactoring photosynthesis in the leaf and implementing nitrogen fixation in cereal crops. The development of new technical approaches and their integration into grand challenges continues apace, with a focus on engineering the chloroplast, with small genome, extraordinary capacity for biosynthesis and access to energy, reducing power and biochemical precursors.

OpenPlant has engaged (and led) collaborative projects, including some large community efforts as evidenced by co-authored manuscripts e.g. published descriptions of Marchantia nomenclature, Marchantia genome, Common Syntax, Minimum information about a biosynthetic gene cluster, and a variety of collaborative research papers (see Outputs - Publications), including several collaborations with other SBRCs.

OpenPlant Fund projects included over 30 national/international partners from beyond OpenPlant institutes in the development and running of the projects (see OpenPlant Fund Summary). Projects included several that involved larger participation, for example:
• delivering bioinformatics training, with a synthetic biology unit, in a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, attended by 40 participants from 9 African countries
• Workshop "Open Innovation with Large Bioresources: Goals, Challenges and Proposals" which invited an international, cross-sector participation.
Our collaborative community efforts for synthetic biology/plant synthetic biology include the Bioengineering Horizon Scan, common syntax, Open MTA, Smith and Baulcombe labs contribution to the Chlamydomonas MoClo toolkit of DNA parts - a collaboration with several European labs to facilitate synthetic biology approaches in algae.

OpenPlant members have made many presentations at national and international synthetic biology conferences (e.g SB7.0, SEED, SBA and SBUK) as well as at numerous specialised conferences of differing scales, and presentations to governance groups (e.g. SBLC), and the Norwich Research Park 'Decoding and recoding biological systems' workshop, which brought together OpenPlant, UK and international scientists. In addition, we have hosted the OpenPlant Forum and OpenPlant international working groups on IP and curriculum development as a means to convene and engage the community.
Exploitation Route The key findings of the OpenPlant initiative have been in the areas of open technologies fro plant synthetic biology, and interdisciplinary exchange and responsible innovation for improvement of sustainable agriculture and conservation. These are enabling:

1. The latest generation of cell-free expression systems provide DNA programmable outputs from GMO-free components lyophilised on paper. This allows sophisticated experiments in low resource settings - simple to run, no requirement for refrigeration, no need for autoclaving. We have assembled a team of top scientists, educators and international development specialists in order to develop modular, open curriculum materials.
2. We have had expressions of interest from Australia and South Africa to adopt the Biomaker Challenge and explore open curriculum development. We are planning to introduce cell-free programmable systems in 2018, as well as DIY instrumentation, and document projects at www.hackster.io/biomaker to reach a much wider audience (>300,000).
3. OpenPlant Forum provides a forum for technical exchange with a theme of engineering for bioproduction in plants, and we continue to provide new tools for mis-expression and DNA editing of transcription networks in plants. This is in line with our interest in identifying a wider range of regulatory genes that can be used as effectors for reprogramming plant development and metabolism. We are taking a systematic approach to analysis of all transcription factors (398) in Marchantia polymorpha.
4. Chloroplasts are major sites for metabolic flux and biosynthesis in plants with a small genome (70-220 Kb). Chloroplast transformation and can result in hyperproduction of proteins, sometimes accumulating to a level of more than 50% of soluble protein in the plant. We have commenced the development of an engineering platform for building and testing synthetic chloroplast genomes in Marchantia.
5. The pending influx of thousands of new plant genome sequences provides an opportunity for efficient identification of metabolic enzymes and regulatory elements by bioinformatics. This will provide a toolbox for engineering the bioproduction of new high value products.
6. HyperTrans in planta expression and Cas9-mediated genome surgery will continue to undergo rapid development, especially as tools for testing gene circuits and introducing engineered traits into crop species.
7. Transient plant expression technology is proving to be a rapid and powerful means of prototyping candidate plant natural product biosynthetic genes and pathways predicted on the basis of genomics.  Building on our success to date, we are developing this platform in order to be able to systematically access 'designer' molecules and analogs for specific applications at preparative scale.
8. The simple genome and exposed nature of Marchantia development allows the prospect of assembling complete digital models of the simple plant. Whole organism models would bring together the genetic, physical and chemical processes of growth, at different scales. While an ambitious goal, even partial models would prove useful as testbeds for engineering experiments.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Education,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL https://www.openplant.org
 
Description OpenPlant has contributed to impact in a number of outreach and policy development areas: Science, Art & Writing (SAW) workshops The OpenPlant partnership with the SAW Trust delivers large and important aspects of our ethical, social and policy programme. To date, we have delivered six OpenPlant-themed workshops in primary schools, designed and delivered by research scientists in collaboration with SAW, influencing the educational approach to these topics. We engaged with the public by delivering inspiring interactive exhibits at the Cambridge and Norwich Science Festivals (2017 & 2017) with exhibits such as "Synthetic Biology and the Senses", and "Synthetic Biology Solutions". We also delivered science activities to engage Children in the Kids areas at Latitude Festival (mixed arts festival with around 10,000 visitors annually) with "The Power of Plants" and at Boomtown festival (music festival with around 50,000 visitors annually) with "George's Marvellous Medicines". This was the first time that the Boomtown kids' area has offered a science tent. In 2017, Dr Colette Matthewman and Dr Jenni Rant (SAW Trust) secured funding to create a machine to explain the processes of transcription and translation in a fun and interactive way. Working together with artist Molly Barrett and JIC researchers they designed DNA Dave the robot who was a huge hit at Cambridge and Norwich Science Festivals. Adults and children alike found this tool both informative, accessible and fun, and teachers claimed that they saw "lightbulb" moments where there pupils understood these complex scientific processes that were proving difficult for them to grasp in a classroom environment. We have had several requests from teachers for DNA Dave to be taken into their schools. The SAW Trust delivered a workshop for OpenPlant researchers as part of a focus day on responsible innovation, ethics, openness and society. The workshop introduced researchers to the SAW methodology and gave them a chance to experience this first hand, through creation of artwork and poetry based on their own OpenPlant science, enabling our researchers to reflect upon and explore their own science. Further to this, the SAW Trust has developed a workshop that trains scientists, artists, writers and teachers to use the SAW methodology. This workshop has been run at the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology Research (University of Edinburgh) and in China. In 2018, a conference established by the SAW Trust in collaboration with Norfolk County Council will share best practice in science learning between schools locally and internationally. In a collaborative project between OpenPlant, the SAW Trust, Social Scientist Dr Nick Lee (Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre) and the Writers Centre Norwich, we developed and ran a unique co-learning workshop with adults, called The Global Garden and based on the SAW method. Using practical science, art and poetry, as well as discussions of case studies led by social scientist, Nick Lee, the Global Garden explored cultural attitudes to societal problems, biotechnological solutions and issues arising from the use of plants as a source of natural products. This workshop explored biodiversity, traditional and modern uses of plants, access and benefit sharing and feelings on natural vs synthetic products and the use of these descriptors in different contexts. Katie Beckett, Access and Benefit Sharing Project Manager at Regulatory Delivery, participated in the workshop and said "To have the time and space to think creatively about the use of genetic resources and the key issues that face society, was an entirely refreshing experience. Creative language and art as communication tools is not something that has come up in my day job, but this workshop taught me the role they can play and of impact they can impart." Support for small-scale innovative research projects. To date, the OpenPlant Fund has supported 61 interdisciplinary and cross-institute projects (sixteen in Jul 2015; fourteen in Jul 2016; ten in Dec 2016; eleven in Jul 2017; eleven in Dec 2017). These projects range from DNA part development and testing, research method development, cell-free biology, open lab hardware, schools outreach, international capacity building, to IP policy, software and more. Half of all applicants are post-docs and over a third are PhD students, with a high number of new collaborations being developed to enable the projects, both between the institutes and with external partners. A number of the OpenPlant Fund projects have already openly shared their tangible outputs in the form of new technologies and publications. Support for open source hardware development and training. In 2017, we launched a new programme, called the Biomaker Challenge. This programme is co-funded by OpenPlant and the Isaac Newton Trust, and coordinated by OpenPlant, the Synthetic Biology SRI and CamBridgeSens. The Biomaker Challenge is a four-month programme challenging interdisciplinary teams to build low-cost sensors and instruments for biology. Successful applicants receive a Biomaker Toolkit and a discretionary budget for additional sensors, components, consumables and 3D-printing worth up to £1000. The challenge has been established to encourage frugal, open source and DIY approaches to biological experiments. There was a huge amount of interest in the Challenge, and we funded 40 projects in this first year. All teams exhibited their devices at a Biomaker Fayre on Saturday 21 Oct 2017 as part of Cambridge Open Technology week. In several cases, the development of technologies by the teams has progressed particularly well. Outputs from the OpenPlant Fund and Biomaker Challenge projects are now being published to the website www.biomaker.org. This website brings together information and outcomes of projects from the OpenPlant Fund, Biomaker Challenge and the previous Cambridge Synthetic Biology Fund. We have also established a Biomaker web channel at https://www.hackster.io/biomaker for simpler and more accessible documentation of projects. Policy Development 1. Bioengineering Horizon Scan (2017) - Regulation & Governance - International Members of OpenPlant co-organised and were involved in a horizon scanning exercise led by the University of Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. The group convened at a one day workshop to rank the top 20 emerging issues in biological engineering. This led to a publication in eLife, a press briefing at the Science Media Centre in London and an appearance on BBC Radio 4 Inside Science by Dr Jenny Molloy (UCam). Publication: Wintle BC, Boehm CR, Rhodes C, Molloy JC, Millett P, Adam L, Breitling R, Carlson R, Casagrande R, Dando M, Doubleday R, Drexler E, Edwards B, Ellis T, Evans NG, Hammond R, Haseloff J, Kahl L, Kuiken T, Lichman BR, Matthewman CA, Napier JA, ÓhÉigeartaigh SS, Patron NJ, Perello E, Shapira P, Tait J, Takano E, Sutherland WJ. (2017). A transatlantic perspective on 20 emerging issues in biological engineering. Elife; 6. pii: e30247. doi: 10.7554/eLife.30247. 2. Design goals for an Open Material Transfer Agreement (2015-2016) - Legal & Tech Transfer - International OpenPlant convened an international IP Working Group consisting of over 20 attendees who laid out the challenges and opportunities for open approaches to material transfer and the design goals for an Open MTA. This led to a report that is available via the OpenPlant website (https://www.openplant.org/openmta/) and the development of the OpenMTA (see below). 3. Development of the Open Material Transfer Agreement (2016-2017) - Legal & Tech Transfer - International The OpenMTA was developed as a legal tool for sharing biological materials such as plasmids with no restriction on redistribution or commercial use. The agreement and implementing letter are now available online along with video case studies of use (http://www.openmta.org). OpenMTA has been presented and published in technology transfer forums and at international and institutional meetings e.g. SB 7.0, NIAB Innovation, AUTM, Praxis Unico Blog, La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, MIT, Stanford, University of Tasmania, Global Community Biotechnology Summit. The authors have also engaged in numerous discussions with researchers, institutions and funders on openness, sharing and the practicalities of implementation of the Open MTA. Publication: Kahl L, Molloy J, Patron NJ, Matthewman C, Haseloff J, Grewal D, Johnson R, Endy D (2018) Expanding options for material transfer via the OpenMTA. In review 4. Opinions on Synthetic Biology: GM foods and the application of the precautionary principle in Europe (2017) - Regulation & Governance - International Prof Dale Saunders and Dr Colette Matthewman coordinated the submission of written evidence submitted by the John Innes Centre for the European Commission's consultation. 5. Plant Genetic Resources and Sustainable Development Goals (2016) - International Development - International Dr Nicola Patron contributed to a workshop funded by the Rockefeller Foundation that engaged with policy, non-profit and civil society groups to draft a report on the intersection between plant genetic resources and the SDGs. Publication: Marden E, Welsch E, Mozaferi J, Deera J, Halewood M, Sabran M, Patron N, Mooney P, Kersey P, Wenzl P, Kurtz B, Sackville-Hamilton R, Bastow R, Dorius S, Foston S, Dias S, McCouch S, Chiurugwi T, Powell W, Micheals F (2016) Plant Genetic Resources and Sustainable Development Goals: Needs Rights and Opportunities, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Nov 2016 6. Global Gardens workshop (2017) - International development - International Prof Anne Osbourn (JIC), Dr Colette Matthewman (JIC), Dr Jenni Rant (SAW Trust) and social scientist Dr Nick Lee (Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre) designed and delivered an interdisciplinary workshop to explore issues around global genetic plant resource sharing.  The workshop, which was held at the John Innes Centre, was advertised to the public. Participants took part in a practical science exercise to extract chemicals from plants. They discussed case studies that illustrated the history, sourcing and use of high value products from plants (drugs, sweeteners, flavourings). Following that, they extracted DNA from plants and learned about the genetic code. They then reviewed and responded to the theme creatively by writing poetry and generating artwork. Participants commented that discussions "stretched my thinking about the ethics of biopiracy" and "changed my view of plants". A write-up of this workshop, at which Katie Beckett (Access and Benefit Sharing Project Manager for the UK) was also present, is being prepared for submission to an international science journal, and further workshops with different audiences are being planned in other locations across the UK and internationally for 2018/19. 7. Contributions to Synthetic Biology Scoping Study for the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (2017) - Regulation & Governance - International Prof Anne Osbourn, Prof Jim Haseloff, Dr Nicola Patron, Dr Colette Matthewman and Dr Jenny Molloy participation in interviews by Margo Bagley (Emory University), Eric Welch (ASU) and Todd Kuiken (North Carolina State University) on behalf of the UN International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Synthetic Biology Scoping Study. This had with a focus on how de-materialization and digitization of data may affect the structure, function and viability of the Treaty and will be reported back to the UN in a final report to inform future policy. 8. Contributions to Proportionate and Adaptive Governance of Innovative Technologies (PAGIT) project (2017) - Regulation & Governance - International Dr Colette Matthewman (JIC) contributed to workshops as part of the Proportionate and Adaptive Governance of Innovative Technologies (PAGIT) project. Based on several activities, including the workshop discussions, the PAGIT project published of a report: Tait J, Banda G, and Watkins A (2017) A Framework to Guide Policy and Regulatory Decision Making. http://innogen.ac.uk/reports/1222 9. Hosting UK-Canada discussions on synthetic biology and public policy (2015) - Governance - International OpenPlant researchers at the John Innes Centre hosted a visit by a mission of Canadian authorities and researchers. The work of OpenPlant was presented and the delegates discussed UK-Canada Synthetic Biology Collaborations, New Horizons for Synthetic Biology Research, Public Policy and Industry. 10. Contributions to UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council (2012-present) - Governance - National Prof Dale Sanders (JIC) is a member of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council which is the  co-ordinating body for the UK's interests in the rapidly developing field of synthetic biology. In 2016 the SBLC developed the SynBio Strategic Plan, Biodesign for the Bioeconomy which will inform future national policy and funding. This followed an extensive consultation period with the support of the SynBio Special Interest Group, the research councils and Innovate UK. 11. Contribution to Developing a Research Agenda for Extreme Bio-Risks (2017) - Regulation & Governance - International Dr Jim Ajioka (Ucam) and Prof Jim Haseloff (UCam) attended an international workshop hosted by the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk in Cambridge. The workshop designed a research programme which seeks to develop a systematic approach to analysing potential extreme risks arising from developments in synthetic biology, which will inform realistic and timely regulatory and policy development. 12. Contributions to the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Science and Technology Subgroup (2015 - present) - Governance - National Prof Anne Osbourn (JIC) and Prof Jim Haseloff (UCam) are active members of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Science and Technology Subgroup, which monitors, enhances and integrates work and facilities across the UK. The Subgroup reports to the SBLC and therefore informs government funding and policies in a range of areas. 13. Contributions to the BBSRC Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy Strategy Board (2016 - present) - Industrial Strategy - National Sarah O'Connor (JIC) is a member of the BBSRC Industrial Biotechnology Strategy Board, which provides BBSRC with external and independent input to the development of strategy in the IBBE research area. 14. Putting synthetic biology on the Agenda for the Royal Society of Chemistry (2017) - Research Policy - National Prof Rob Field (JIC) has been working to put synthetic biology on the agenda for the Royal Society of Chemistry. For example, Prof Pam Silver (Harvard) has been invited to speak at the Chemistry-Biology Interface Division annual meeting in May 2018. 15. GCRF Workshop in South Africa (2017) - Research, Education & International Development - International OpenPlant and the Earlham Foundry co-organised a public workshop in Pretoria 'Practical Synthetic Biology: fast, frugal and open technologies for education and sustainable development'with 100 attendees including government representatives, which led to the Director of Biotechnology presenting on the South African Bioeconomy Strategy  at OpenPlant Forum 2017. An invitation only session followed, attended by over 20 researchers, NGOs and a policy maker from the UK, Southern, East and West Africa and Latin America. Discussion on challenges and opportunities for synthetic biology in Africa resulted in a report that was sent to BBSRC to inform future GCRF funding calls for synthetic biology 'Capacity building for the bioeconomy in Africa: harnessing fast, frugal and open technologies for education and sustainable development'. It is available online at https://www.openplant.org/global-challenges/ 16. Working Group on open curriculum development for cell-free synthetic biology (2017) - Education - International The OpenPlant working group 2017 focused on curriculum development and teaching resources for fast and frugal biotechnology. A workshop was held in July 2017 featuring a range of key player, including researchers at the cutting edge of cell-free technology, educationalists and outreach experts. The working group laid the groundwork for assembly of open and modular curriculum components that could be combined into different teaching frameworks across multiple disciplines, drawing on existing work from organisations such as BioBuilder, the National Centre for Biotechnology Education, Science and Plants in Schools and Raspberry Pi. A report is forthcoming. 17. European Forum Alpbach (2017) - Governance - International European Forum Alpbach is  is an interdisciplinary platform for science, politics, business and culture that addresses current socio-political questions with an audience of European policy makers, researchers and entrepreneurs. Dr Jenny Molloy (UCam) presented on OpenPlant's approach to intellectual property as a facet of responsible research and innovation on a panel at the Forum's Political Symposium entitled 'Genome editing: governing on the cusp of uncertainty'. This was organised in cooperation with Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 18. Open Innovation with Large Bioresources: Goals, Challenges and Proposals (2015-2016) - Innovation & Legal - National This workshop, co-organised or attended by Dr Jenny Molloy (UCam), Dr Colette Matthewman (JIC), Dr Nicola Patron (EI) and Prof Jim Haseloff (UCam) took an interdisciplinary look at open innovation and open sharing of bioresources, comparing the approach of OpenPlant and synthetic biology with the genomics and biobank communities. Representatives from Genomics England, the UK civil service and NHS attended and the resulting report was shared widely. Publication: Liddicoat, J. and Liddell, K. (2016). Open Innovation with Large Bioresources: Goals, Challenges and Proposals. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2888871 19. Promotion of OpenPlant Fund as a best practice model for innovation (2016) - Research Practice - National Dr Colette Matthewman (JIC) was invited to present the OpenPlant Fund model for open and interdisciplinary innovation at the Synthetic Biology for Growth meeting and the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Open Meeting (Nov 2016). 20. Science Art and Writing projects for primary school pupils (2016 - current) - Education - International The Science Art Writing (SAW) Trust has delivered six projects in schools on OpenPlant themes that enable children with different interests and abilities to explore scientific research concepts. These projects will form the basis for the development of lesson plans on plant science and synthetic biology that will be shared with teachers nationally and internationally. 21. Science Art Writing Trust training workshops for adults using Plant Natural Products (2016 - current) - Education - International Using plant natural products as the theme, the Science Art Writing Trust has developed a workshop that trains scientists, artists, writers and teachers to use the SAW methodology to create new projects to run in schools. Following trialling at the John Innes Centre, this template has been used to deliver workshops in Edinburgh through the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology Research for the last two years, leading to uptake of the SAW approach in schools in Scotland. Plans are in development to take the training workshop to the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre. A training workshop for teachers has also been delivered in China. 22. Science Art Writing Trust  and Norfolk County Council's International Collaborative Learning Conference (2017 - current) - Influencing Education - International The Science Art Writing Trust have teamed up with Norfolk County Council's International Schools Programme to work in partnership on sharing best practice in science learning between schools locally and internationally.  As part of this collaboration we are hosting an International Collaborative Learning conference on the 21st March 2018 in Norwich, where educators from around the world will come together to present and exchange ideas on innovation through cross-disciplinary learning with teachers locally. 23. Publication of case-study on plants as biofactories for A-level teachers' resource (2015) - Education - National Dr Eva Thuenemann and Prof George Lomonossoff wrote a case study about the use of plants as biofactories for publication in the OCR and Edexcel A level Biology Teacher Resource Packs. Published in Pearsons; ISBN 9781447977452; ISBN 9781447977414. 24. Workshop and report for the CBD on the Nagoya Protocol and Synthetic Biology (2016) - Access and Benefit Sharing - International In November 2016, OpenPlant co-funded and participated in a workshop with the Engineering Life project at Edinburgh University. The workshop was on "Genetic resources in the age of the Nagoya Protocol and gene/genome synthesis" and a report is being compiled to present to the Conference of the Parties (COP) at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description BBSRC IBBE Strategy Panel
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact The Strategic panel provided advice and guidance for the setting up of the Networks in Industrial Biotechnology & Bioenergy (NIBBs), which aim to foster increased awareness and interaction between academics and industrialists in the bioeconomy. It was also important for the thinking behind the IB Catalysts, joint with Innovate UK & EPSRC. Many of the grants and proof-of-concept awards are aimed at increased sustainability through the use of IB solutions
URL http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/filter/networks-in-industrial-biotechnology/
 
Description Invited submission to the ad hoc technical expert group (AHTEG) on digital sequence information on genetic resources of the the Convention on Biological Diversity
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://www.cbd.int/abs/dsi-gr/ahteg.shtml#submissions
 
Description Nuffield Council on Bioethics: A workshop to discuss "The Culture of Research in the UK"
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL http://nuffieldbioethics.org
 
Description Plant bioengineering and global climate change summit
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Scientific Advisor to Synthetic Biology Project, Woodrow Wilson Institute, Washington DC, USA
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://www.synbioproject.org
 
Description Submission to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture ( ITPGRFA) on access and benefit sharing of digital sequence information
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Agri-Inno: Stimulating Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Egypt's Agricultural Sector
Amount £28,520 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 01/2017
 
Description BBSRC GCRF IAA
Amount £9,500 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description BBSRC High Value Chemical from Plants Network Proof of Concept Funds
Amount £57,099 (GBP)
Funding ID POC-OCT15-03 (OSBOURN) 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 11/2016
 
Description BBSRC Responsive Mode
Amount £459,425 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P010490/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description Bio-cosmetics from Lithops
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Bioinformatics and Biological Resources (BBR) Fund
Amount £603,560 (GBP)
Funding ID BBS/E/T/000GP076 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Business Interaction Voucher
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID PHYCBIV-23 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Department Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBB)
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 10/2018
 
Description EPSRC GCRF Diagnostics, Prosthetics and Orthotics
Amount £1,541,002 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R014000/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 02/2021
 
Description ERA CoBioTech
Amount € 1,643,000 (EUR)
Funding ID BB/021554/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2021
 
Description Follow on Fund Innovation Fellow Funds - PI Anne Osbourn
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 05/2020
 
Description Genome to Natural Products Network Award
Amount £5,500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID U101GM110699 
Organisation National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 08/2015 
End 04/2020
 
Description H2020 Grant: Building the product pipeline for commercial demonstration of plant molecular factories
Amount £631,808 (GBP)
Funding ID 774078 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2017 
End 10/2021
 
Description Implementing Algebra guidelines to risk assessments of scale-up of non-native species
Amount £9,500 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 10/2017
 
Description Institute Strategic Funds: Starch analysis on high-amylose potatoes
Amount £5,316 (GBP)
Organisation John Innes Centre 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 03/2018
 
Description Metabolic characteristics of terrestrial algae and plants in Antarctica - research visit to Antarctica
Amount £74,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Antarctic Survey 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2014 
End 03/2015
 
Description OpenPlant-Earham Foundry GCRF Workshop for Practical Synthetic Biology in Africa
Amount £39,250 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Playground to Polar - how do we measure Antarctic and UK biodiversity?
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 06/2018
 
Description Regulation of polyphosphate metabolism in Chlamydomonas and potential for exploitation as phosphorus sink in nutrient recovery systems
Amount £65,772 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 10/2019
 
Description Research Fellows Enhancement Award: Early Land Plant mechanisms to accommodate filamentous microbes - Sebastian Schornack
Amount £92,500 (GBP)
Funding ID RGF\EA\180002 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description Responsive Mode: Exploiting the power of heterologous expression in plants to discover new virus structures
Amount £563,036 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R00160X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description Science Outreach Grant: The Transcription-Translation Machine
Amount £940 (GBP)
Organisation Biochemical Society 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Shuttleworth Fellowship
Amount $261,000 (USD)
Organisation Shuttleworth Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country South Africa
Start 03/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Strategic Research Initiative for Synthetic Biology
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 10/2016
 
Description Super Follow on Fund: Engineering Quillaja saponin biosynthesis pathways for bio-production of QS-21. 2018-2020 - Prof Anne Osbourn
Amount £1,538,805 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R005508/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 05/2020
 
Description Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative
Amount £165,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 10/2019
 
Description Targeted gene knockouts in crops using RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease
Amount £603,560 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/N019466/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2019
 
Description UK Vaccine Network Project
Amount £1,988,841 (GBP)
Funding ID 16-107-04 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 08/2018
 
Description UKVRDN Grant
Amount £1,988,841 (GBP)
Funding ID GHR Project:16/107/04 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 08/2018
 
Description Undiscovered High Value Products from Polar Algae.
Amount £19,961 (GBP)
Organisation Unilever 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 03/2015
 
Description University of Cambridge Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty Research Group Award
Amount £1,500 (GBP)
Organisation Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2018
 
Description University of Cambridge EPSRC GCRF Workshop Grants
Amount £500 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description University of Cambridge SRI/SRN Small Grants
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department Isaac Newton Trust
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 10/2018
 
Description University of Cambridge SRI/SRN Small Grants
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department Isaac Newton Trust
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 12/2017
 
Description University of Cambridge SRI/SRN Small Grants
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department Isaac Newton Trust
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 06/2017
 
Description University of Cambridge Wellcome Trust ISSF Workshop Grant
Amount £4,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Department Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description University of Cambridge-JIC iGEM 2016 team
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation iGEM 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 06/2016 
End 11/2016
 
Description Wellcome Trust ISSF Junior Interdisciplinary Fellowship
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Department Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2018
 
Description Wellcome Trust ISSF Junior Interdisciplinary Fellowship
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Department Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description iGEM2014
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 11/2014
 
Description iGEM2015
Amount £45,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 11/2015
 
Title In planta cytometry 
Description Published method for in vivo quantification of plant gene expression in vivo, using combined ratiometric fluorescence measurement and microscopic segmentation. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Published as Federici F, Dupuy L, Laplaze L, Heisler M & Haseloff J. Integrated genetic and computation methods for in planta cytometry. Nature Methods, 9:483-485 (2012). Forms the basis for a number of new approaches. 
 
Title Loop Assembly 
Description High efficiency methods for DNA assembly are based on sequence overlap between fragments or Type IIS restriction endonuclease cleavage and ligation. These have enabled routine assembly of synthetic DNAs of increased size and complexity. However, these techniques require customisation, elaborate vector sets and serial manipulations for the different stages of assembly. As part of a collaboration between the University of Cambridge, Earlham Institute and the Universidad Católica de Chile. Bernardo Pollak and Fernan Federici have devised a new method for gene assembly based on two Type IIS restriction endonuceases, BsaI and SapI. Loop Assembly allows rapid and efficient production of large DNA constructs, is compatible with widely used Level zero (L0) DNA parts such as Phytobricks, and can be easily automated. Alternate use of two Type IIS restriction endonucleases and corresponding vector sets allows efficient and parallel assembly of large DNA circuits. Plasmids containing standard Level 0 parts can be assembled into circuits containing 1, 4, 16 or more genes by looping between the two vector sets. The vectors also contain modular sites for hybrid assembly using sequence overlap methods. Loop assembly provides a simple generalised solution for DNA construction with standardised parts. The cloning system is provided under an OpenMTA license for unrestricted sharing and open access. A preprint has been published: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/01/15/247593 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The method is being developed for automation of DNA Assembly at the Earlham Institute and for building constructs for the OpenPlant Marchantia distribution, impacts are expected to increase during 2018 particularly following peer-reviewed publication. 
URL https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/01/15/247593
 
Title Measurement of intrinsic properties of promoters 
Description Combined software and technical approach to reducing noise and providing accurate estimations of promoter properties in microbial systems, based on multi-parameter measurement and use of integrated models of cell proliferation and gene expression. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Being used to evaluate gene circuit components prior to assembly of elaborate circuits, e.g.: Grant PK, Dalchau N, Brown JR, Federici F, Rudge TJ, Yordanov B, Patange O, Phillips A, Haseloff J. Orthogonal intercellular signaling for programmed spatial behavior. Molecular Systems Biology 12:849-861, (2016). 
 
Title Phytobricks 
Description Help to establish a common syntax for plant DNA parts, allowing rapid assembly of gene circuits via Type IIS restriction enzyme cloning. The Phytobrick standard (RFC-106) has been established in the iGEM community and widely propagated within the professional plant biology community. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Establishment of the first publicly distributed Phytobricks in the iGEM Synthetic Biology competition, and establishment of the Plant Track and Prize in 2016. 
URL https://www.openplant.org/dnaparts/
 
Title pUAP1 plasmid vector 
Description We have constructed, a "clean" plasmid vector (pUAP1) suitable for cloning of Level zero DNA parts. Further, we have constructed two families of Loop plant transformation vectors, based on pCambia and pGreen backbones, respectively. These differ in replication origins and copy number in bacterial hosts. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None 
URL https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/01/15/247593
 
Title Marpodb.io 
Description DNA parts- centric database for the description of genome resources from Marchantia polymorpha - a synthetic biology database 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Marpodb is providing a framework for design and characterisation of synthetic gene parts in Marchantia (http://marpodb.io/query) 
URL http://marpodb.io
 
Title S. elongatus circadian clock model 
Description Dr Bruno Martins and Dr James Locke (both UCam) developed S. elongatus constructs for examining the circadian clock and its outputs at the single cell level. This software model was published in Molecular Systems Biology and made available in Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) format. Publication: Martins et al. (2016). Frequency doubling in the cyanobacterial circadian clock. Molecular Systems Biology 12(12):896. doi: 10.15252/msb.20167087. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None 
URL http://msb.embopress.org/content/12/12/896
 
Description An improved bioproduction system for proteins and small molecules 
Organisation John Innes Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Lead applicant on joint funding proposal
Collaborator Contribution Co-aplicants on joint funding proposal
Impact Funding Award BB/P010490/1
Start Year 2017
 
Description An improved bioproduction system for proteins and small molecules 
Organisation Leaf Expression Systems
PI Contribution Lead applicant on joint funding proposal
Collaborator Contribution Co-aplicants on joint funding proposal
Impact Funding Award BB/P010490/1
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with Cambridge Glycoscience 
Organisation Cambridge Glycoscience Ltd
PI Contribution We have jointly investigated the production of novel carbohydrates from plant cell walls.
Collaborator Contribution The company has attempted scale up of products
Impact We have obtained collaborative grant awards.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Developing resources for science activities in schools 
Organisation Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Off the back of two OpenPlant Fund projects, a new collaboration has been formed to exchange knowledge, resources and tools for integrating multidisciplinary activities, learning and research projects into schools. The collaboration is with both the Open Science School (http://openscienceschool.org/) and the EU-funded project, doing it together science (DITOs; http://togetherscience.eu/) both based at the Centre Recherches Interdisciplinaire (CRI) in Paris. We have exchanged expertise and ideas to support their projects and once ready will share tools and resources developed by OpenPlant, for use in France and beyond.
Collaborator Contribution The DITOs project have contributed a number of practicals for use in UK schools, and their learning from developing and testing these together with teachers.
Impact A visit to paris to present on OpenPlant projects in outreach and engagement. A plan for an extension of one of the DITOs practicals. The nature of the collaboration is to develop multidisciplinary teaching resources in the context of synthetic biology. To date, disciplines include biology, design, chemistry, maths, electronics, and information technology.
Start Year 2016
 
Description ENGINEERING SMALL RNA-BASED GENE REGULATION PATHWAYS IN THE PRIMITIVE PLANT Marchantia polymorpha 
Organisation University of Veracruz
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have helped to construct a series of knock-out mutants of Marchantia polymorpha for genes expected to interfere in small RNA metabolism
Collaborator Contribution Mario Arteaga's group is characterising the above mutants. We expect to produce modified plants that have dual use for studying natural RNA metabolism and plant chassis that will have application for transgenic work in synthetic biology.
Impact Scientific reagents, protocols and plant lines
Start Year 2015
 
Description Investigating carbon flux between lignin and chlorogenic acid biosynthetic pathways 
Organisation State University of Campinas
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supervision of visiting FAPESP graduate fellow
Collaborator Contribution Sponsor of FAPESP graduate fellow
Impact Sucessful FAPESP graduate fellowship for Nathalia Volpi, who spent six months in the UK progressing this project. Co-publications.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Mint Genome Project 
Organisation Michigan State University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are collaborating with the Mint genome project group which includes Robin Buell, Doug and Pam Soltis and Natalia Dudareva. Post-doc Benjy Lichman has discovered and s developing new enzymatic tools from the sequence data generated in this collaboration. http://mints.plantbiology.msu.edu
Collaborator Contribution We are collaborating with the Mint genome project group which includes Robin Buell, Doug and Pam Soltis and Natalia Dudareva. Post-doc Benjy Lichman has discovered and s developing new enzymatic tools from the sequence data generated in this collaboration. http://mints.plantbiology.msu.edu
Impact Two manuscripts are currently submitted.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Promoting algae for industrial biotechnology 
Organisation Rothamsted Research
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have been very active in promoting the idea of using algae as industrial biotechnology (IB) hosts. This has led to a successful BBSRC sLoLa award, and also contributed to the debate about how to cement the rather fragmented algal expertise in the UK. Ultimately the introduction of the BBSRC networks in IB (NIBBs) were borne out of this debate, and these include Phyconet, which is specifically algal biotechnology. In addition several other NIBBs consider using algae as source of novel products, pathways, genes (NPRONet, HVCfP), or as platforms for community based metabolism (ADNET)
Collaborator Contribution Research and development collaborations with colleagues in the algal biotechnology field, but also in metabolic engineering and SMEs in algal biotechnology
Impact sLoLa Several BBSRC NIBBs, with Phyconet as specific one on algal biotechnology IB Catalyst award
Start Year 2009
 
Description Promoting algae for industrial biotechnology 
Organisation University College London
Department Division of Biosciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have been very active in promoting the idea of using algae as industrial biotechnology (IB) hosts. This has led to a successful BBSRC sLoLa award, and also contributed to the debate about how to cement the rather fragmented algal expertise in the UK. Ultimately the introduction of the BBSRC networks in IB (NIBBs) were borne out of this debate, and these include Phyconet, which is specifically algal biotechnology. In addition several other NIBBs consider using algae as source of novel products, pathways, genes (NPRONet, HVCfP), or as platforms for community based metabolism (ADNET)
Collaborator Contribution Research and development collaborations with colleagues in the algal biotechnology field, but also in metabolic engineering and SMEs in algal biotechnology
Impact sLoLa Several BBSRC NIBBs, with Phyconet as specific one on algal biotechnology IB Catalyst award
Start Year 2009
 
Description Promoting algae for industrial biotechnology 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have been very active in promoting the idea of using algae as industrial biotechnology (IB) hosts. This has led to a successful BBSRC sLoLa award, and also contributed to the debate about how to cement the rather fragmented algal expertise in the UK. Ultimately the introduction of the BBSRC networks in IB (NIBBs) were borne out of this debate, and these include Phyconet, which is specifically algal biotechnology. In addition several other NIBBs consider using algae as source of novel products, pathways, genes (NPRONet, HVCfP), or as platforms for community based metabolism (ADNET)
Collaborator Contribution Research and development collaborations with colleagues in the algal biotechnology field, but also in metabolic engineering and SMEs in algal biotechnology
Impact sLoLa Several BBSRC NIBBs, with Phyconet as specific one on algal biotechnology IB Catalyst award
Start Year 2009
 
Description Sustainable Bioproduction of Pheromones for Insect Pest Control in Agriculture 
Organisation National Institute of Biology
Country Slovenia 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Co-applicant on funding application
Collaborator Contribution Co-applicant on funding application
Impact Sucessful funding application (ERA-CoBioTech).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Sustainable Bioproduction of Pheromones for Insect Pest Control in Agriculture 
Organisation Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Department Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology
PI Contribution Co-applicant on funding application
Collaborator Contribution Co-applicant on funding application
Impact Sucessful funding application (ERA-CoBioTech).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Sustainable Bioproduction of Pheromones for Insect Pest Control in Agriculture 
Organisation Technical University of Darmstadt
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co-applicant on funding application
Collaborator Contribution Co-applicant on funding application
Impact Sucessful funding application (ERA-CoBioTech).
Start Year 2017
 
Title CellModeller 
Description High performance software tool for modelling cellular behaviour in large populations, that provides a physico-genetic model. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2010 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Cell modeller allows precise description of fractal-like cell buckling and cohort behaviour in biofilms: Rudge TJ, Steiner PJ, Kan A and Haseloff J. Cell shape-driven instability generates self-organised, fractal patterning of cell layers. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2:705-714, (2013). Rudge TJ, Steiner PJ, Phillips A and Haseloff J. Computational modeling of synthetic microbial biofilms. ACS Synthetic Biology, 1:345-352, (2012). The software has also been used to model plant cell growth and dynamics: Dupuy, L., Mackenzie, J. and Haseloff, J. Coordination of plant cell division and expansion in a simple morphogenetic system. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:2711-6 (2010). 
URL http://haselofflab.github.io/CellModeller/
 
Title DNA Dave 
Description Dr Jenni Rant (SAW) and Dr Colette Matthewman (JIC) secured funding from the Biochemical Society to work with designer Molly Barratt to design and build a "Transcription-Translation machine" for education and publica engagement. The outcome was DNA Dave, an interactive robot to explain how proteins are made using instructions encoded in DNA. DNA Dave has been a great success with general public and school groups at the 2017 Cambridge Science Festival, the JIC 50th Anniversary open day, and Norwich Science Festival. Teachers are keen to take DNA Dave into the classroom, so we are now exploring possible routes to make the robot available to schools. 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Teachers have commented that the description of the processes of DNA transcription and translation to make proteins is very difficult to put across in the classroom, but when DNA Dave was used to explain these processes, they could see the lightbulb moments in their pupils where they suddenly understood and engaged with the process. Subsequently we have had enquireys about loaning DNA Dave to schools. 
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/2017/3/23/cambridge-science-festival-stand-20-improved-design
 
Title DocuBricks 
Description DocuBricks is an open source documentation tool for open hardware. The DocuBricks editor helps to easily create documentation that is modular and explained. The DocuBricks format is designed to enable modular sharing, better readability and community quality management. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact The platform is the preferred option for documenting hardware published in the new Journal of Open Hardware (Ubiquity Press) and has seven projects already documented. 
URL http://docubricks.com/
 
Title MarpoDB 
Description Software framework for an open registry of Marchantia polymorpha genetic parts 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact MarpoDB is a gene-centric database developed for genetic engineering and synthetic biology. This is the result of dealing with highly fragmented genomic data (from a non-sequenced organism, Marchantia polymorpha) and compiling it into an accessible resource for sequence exploration and retrieval. The database framework, however, can be used with any type of genetic data and can be set up locally. 
URL https://github.com/HaseloffLab/MarpoDB
 
Title One-click installation of JBEI ICE DNA registry 
Description A simple method for the one-click installation of a DNA database has been implemented. In collaboration with Nathan Hilson (JBEI), we have compiled a public OSX based version of the ICE DNA registry. The resulting IceApp is available and documented as an open source project on Github (https:// github.com/fathomlabs/IceApp) and provides a platform for compilation and distribution of the ICE in app form, for individual and local use as a one-click installation for the DNA database. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact None 
URL https://github.com/fathomlabs/IceApp
 
Title Open Pi-Image: A low cost-open source plant growth imaging and analysis platform 
Description OpenPi is a near infrared image capture system based on a Raspberry Pi computer and PiNoir camera and custom 3D printed parts. This runs an extensible and modular open source software suite we developed called Open Pi Image that controls automated image capture and spawns image analysis. The Pi software can be accessed on any external system (e.g. a laptop) via a web server running on the Pi and the system can be embedded in inaccessible places. Open Pi Image is designed to incorporate new user provided scripts for analysis and can be easily extended and customised. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2016 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Software is still in testing phase in a small number of labs 
URL https://github.com/TeamMacLean/install_opimage/blob/master/README.md
 
Title Open Source Autonomous Imaging Station 
Description An open source fluorescent imaging system that integrates low-cost and open-source hardware, software and genetic resources. The project was published in PLOS and was the Editor's Pick on the PLOS Open Source Toolkit Channel in Dec 2017. All hardware designs, software and protocols are openly licensed and shared. Publication: Nuñez, I., Matute, T., Herrera, R., Keymer, J., Marzullo, T., Rudge, T., & Federici, F. (2017). Low cost and open source multi-fluorescence imaging system for teaching and research in biology and bioengineering. PLOS One, 12(11), e0187163. Project Lead: Fernan Federici (UCam and PUC) 
Type Of Technology Systems, Materials & Instrumental Engineering 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact None 
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187163
 
Title Plant electro-mechanics hardware 
Description Project is developing an affordable, open source, hardware-software "sandbox" to allow plant scientists to explore the possibilities of in-vivo experimentation with plant electrophysiology. Built based on the existing Plant SpikerShield* system, which consists of electrodes (positioned on the plant by means of a 3d printed "manipulator") whose signal is amplified by a custom made electronic circuit which then is sent to a computer via an Arduino microcontroller. We have built a number of 3D manipulators prototypes for the positioning of electrophysiology probes, and the control boxes that allow controlling them via a cheap Playstation 2 controller. The micromanipulators plans are available on the project's github repository, which contains also all the schematics and software for building all the tools we developed (https://github.com/calugo/OpenPlant-Electrophysiology ). Intructions and more specific details about assembling the kits are or soon will available in the project's website (http://calugo.github.io/OpenPlant-Electrophysiology/ ). 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The hardware and software is still undergoing development. It will be used by the researchers involved in this project and be made openly available for others wishing to use the product. 
URL http://calugo.github.io/OpenPlant-Electrophysiology/
 
Title Plant-ProChip 2.0 
Description Development of on-chip encapsulation and analysis of protoplasts isolated from the emergent plant model Marchantia polymorpha at processing rates of >100,000 protoplasts per hour. The technology demonstrated on-chip sorting of droplets containing YFP-expressing protoplasts from wild type cells using dielectrophoresis force and opens the door to droplet-based microfluidic analysis of plant cells for applications ranging from high-throughput characterisation of DNA parts to single-cell genomics. Publication: Yu, Z., Boehm, C. R., Hibberd, J. M., Abell, C., Haseloff, J., Burgess, S. J., & Reyna-Llorens, I. (2017). Droplet-based microfluidic analysis and screening of single plant cells. bioRxiv, 199992. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact None 
URL https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/10/08/199992
 
Title Synthetic gene expression system in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii 
Description A platform was developed by Dr Francisco Navarro and Dr Marielle Vigouroux that allows testing of the the expression of fluorescent reporters in different strain backgrounds. It includes the first Chlamydomonas-specific MoClo DNA parts following the common syntax for gene assembly in plant synthetic biology co-authored by many members of OpenPlant. Some of these parts are already being used by other researchers of the Plant Sciences department of the University of Cambridge, who have since contributed new parts to the repertoire available for Chlamydomonas research. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact None 
URL https://www.biomaker.org/projects/new-codon-optimization-tools
 
Title Whiskeroscope: rodent whisker inspired sensor for use in analysis of plant tissue structure 
Description Understanding mechanical properties of plant biomass is crucial for multiple industries, including building construction and production of lignocellulosic biofuels. Current methods to analyse mechanical properties of biomass are slow and provide little accuracy. The aim of the project was to develop a prototype of a novel type of mechanical sensor which addresses challenges outlined above. The device is inspired by rodent whiskers and relies on two inputs, obtained using thin steel rod, to quantify stiffness. During each measurement the primary, macromotion, dataset is obtained by analysing the extent to which the whisker bend during the contact with the material. Additional information is obtained by overlaying the macromotion data with the impact of the whisker contacting the material on its micro-oscillation. The instrument successfully discriminated between materials with unlike mechanical properties (steel and foam) and differently aged stem samples from willow. Whiskeroscope was also applied to study Arabidopsis thaliana stems with altered composition of secondary cell walls. The project and the background information on plant cell walls were demonstrated to the wider public as a part of the Open Plant's contribution to the Cambridge University Science Festival. 
Type Of Technology Detection Devices 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact No further use currently. 
URL https://github.com/Cyberius/Whiskeroscope
 
Title smFISH for imaging single RNA molecules at the cellular level in Arabidopsis thaliana tissues and the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha 
Description Improvements to current smFISH technology allowed researchers to image three, rather than two, RNA targets simultaneously and led to amplified signals which were compatible with confocal imaging. RNA could also be visualized in more differentiated root cells than previously possible, e.g. root hairs. LGC are now promoting the technique at conferences and have made Dr Susan Duncan an expert collaborator. Publications: Duncan, S., & Rosa, S. (2017). Gaining insight into plant gene transcription using smFISH. Transcription, 1-5. Project Lead: Susan Duncan (EI) 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Posters describing smFISH work were presented at the 2016 RNA Society conference in Kyoto and OpenPlant Forum in Norwich. Whilst in Japan, Susan gave invited smFISH seminars to plant scientists at Kobe University, the University of Tokyo and RIKEN Institute in Yokohama Following invitations, details of the existing method have now been submitted to the open platform Bio-Protocol (http://www.bio-protocol.org) and the smFISH probe manufacturers, LGC (http://www.biosearchtech.com). Once published online, these versions of the protocol will increase open access options for researchers wishing to find out more about this technology. In addition to extending the existing smFISH method to the Haseloff lab in Cambridge, ongoing support has been provided to other groups interested in this method - most notably to labs led by Prof. Anne Osbourn (JIC) and Prof. Fujiwara (University of Tokyo). In recognition of her ongoing efforts to promote plant smFISH, LGC has made Susan an expert collaborator. The company will present posters at both the Plant and Animal Genome Asia and Asia Plant Genomics and Gene Expression conferences to explicitly promote Susan's method. There are ongoing discussions for Susan to organise an LGC funded workshop that would enable researchers to visit Norwich and gain hands-on experience of smFISH and Susan presented her smFISH work at the Norwich Single Cell Symposium at the Earlham Instute in May. 
URL https://www.biomaker.org/projects/advancing-the-ability-to-image-single-rna-molecules-at-the-cellula...
 
Company Name Leaf Systems International 
Description Leaf Systems® International Limited is a new contract development business specialising in the expression and production of proteins, metabolites and complex natural products for research and bio-medical applications using a proprietary, transient expression technology. Leaf Systems uses the proprietary Hypertrans® expression technologies developed by Prof.George Lomonossoff at the John Innes Centre, UK. The Hypertrans system allows for the simultaneous production of multiple gene products in a controlled and coordinated manner within the tissues of plants. Using gene synthesis and modular vectors, new products can be developed, validated, scaled and produced very quickly. Leaf Systems is employing state of the art containment facilities to produce and engineer its feedstock plants and has industry standard downstream processing capabilities to ensure production quality and bio-security. Leaf Systems works with companies as a contract development organisation to develop and scale the production of their products or intermediates. We also work alongside academic scientists to translate their science into scalable processes or to develop new enabling technologies, including as a collaborator on grants. Leaf Systems has SME status and is available to participate in translational research and development consortia, including EU framework programs. 
Year Established 2016 
Impact As it is less than a year old, it is too soon for Leaf Systems to have had an impact yet.
Website http://leafsystems.com
 
Description 2017 Youth STEMM Gold Awards 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation on synthetic biology followed by a practical workshop on designing genetic circuits. Sudents then presented their ideas, asked technical questions and discussed the potential impacts of synthetic biology and biotechnology on society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ysawards.co.uk
 
Description PBVAB Conference Presentation 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation "Combining transient expression and high resolution cryo-electron microscopy to produce novel virus-like particles" by Walden M., Meshcheriakova Y., Marsian J., Hesketh E., Ranson N., Lomonossoff G. P. PBVAB 2017, Albufeira, Portugal, ,5-7th June 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2014,2017
 
Description A Horizon Scan of Bioengineering Issues 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jim Haseloff, Nicola Patron, Jenny Molloy, Benjamin Lichmann and Colette Matthewman from OpenPlant joined an international working group to participate in a 'horizon scanning' exercise organised by Bonnie Wintle from the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) in Cambridge. The aim of the exercise was to identify new and emerging issues in bioengineering and to gain a better understanding of current and future risks and opportunities in the field. A paper summarising and analysing the emerging issues has been written collaboratively between all working group members and submitted for publication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description A visit to the Vavilov 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A short article in the International Society for Plant Molecular farming (ISPMF) newsletter describing a visit to the Vavilov Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia by George Lomonossoff and Ian Gibson , Jul 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Agritech Sixth Former Course 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In 2016 we ran a pilot course for sixth formers to give them an insight into careers in the Agritech sector. The students spent one day at the John Innes Centre learning about academic research into crops with lots of hands-on practical work and a second day at Easton & Otley agricultural college to learn how research is applied and the innovations in precision agriculture.
The course was funded by Robert Carter, Royal Norfolk Show president of 2015, who came to JIC to open the first day and also commissioned a video of the course. We presented the results to the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association trustees and are currently fund raising to run another course this year for a larger number of students in collaboration with the University of East Anglia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2tX0hct-CoZLUVWN0gzX1REeEU/view?pref=2&pli=1
 
Description AlgaeEurope 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation of research into algal synthetic biology to the principle conference in Europe aimed at supporting and developing the algal biotechnology sector. About half the participants were from industry (including large multisector, SMEs and startups)and 10% or so policy makers and officials eg from EU. The aim was to inform this group about the potential of synthetic biology in developing algal industrial biotechnology, providing the impetus to consider algae as production platforms for high value products as well as simply for biomass production. As a result, a consortium has been formed of academic colleagues who will share best practice and resources in SynBio.

I also described our recently opened Algal Innovation Centre (AIC), where it is possible to carry out pilot-scale algal cultivation, including of GM algae. As a result of the talk several contacts have been made with companies who are interested in the AIC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description BBSRC Exploring Innovation Workshop - Progress in intellectual property rights for plant science and crop breeding 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact OpenPlant Case Study was presented by Jenny Molloy "OpenPlant and a two-tier model for IP and open innovation".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://members.niab.com/sites/default/files/civicrm/persist/contribute/files/IPR%20A4%20programme%2...
 
Description BBSRC NIBB IBCarb, Cambridge UK - September 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presented a talk at BBSRC NIBB IBCarb Event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description BBSRC Taiwan partnering award meeting 23-24 March, 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact BBSRC Taiwan partnering award meeting 23-24 March, 2015. I gave a 20 min presentation on metabolic pathway engineering in the Osbourn group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Big Algae Open Experiment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Big Open Algae Experiment team were funded by OpenPlant Fund to help enhance algal knowledge by performing the biggest parallel algae experiment in history. They are inviting universities and citizen scientists to participate in an open-source data collection experiment on outdoor microalgal growth. During the OpenPlant Fund project, low-cost bioreactors, the website and app were constructed (http://bigalgae.com/about). In this last two years we have been running the "Big Algae Experiment" and have interacted with school groups at Latitude Festival, the New Scientist Festival, Rugby School and through events in Cambridge. Big Algae was showcased at the CRI, Paris and at the Open Source Tech conference in Santiago, Chile. As part of UCL Engineering's programme of CPD activities for teachers, we have also organised sessions with STEM teachers to demonstrate the bioreactors and train them in how to run the experiments. The concept is being developed into an 'Algaegotchi' pet with the Iaac Advanced Architecture Group in Barcelona.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Bioengineering Horizon Scanning Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Several members of OpenPlant took part in a one day horizon scanning exercise organised by the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. This has resulted in a submitted publication and a follow up workshop is planned with a focus on biorisk and biosecurity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Bioinformatics training in kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The OpenPlant Fund supported a bioinformatics training From 30th November to 5th December 2015 for 37 students from nine African countries. The course was held at ICIPE in Nairobi, Kenya and involved six days of theory and practical work, starting from the principles of Unix and programming, through to advanced scientific programming and visualisation. Towards the end of the week students worked on specific analysis methods in various areas of genetics and genomics, with a special focus session on synthetic biology delivered by Richard Smith-Unna. An ongoing student-led study group, coordinated online, will help the students keep the momentum from the course going and the course was also repeated with a new cohort in 2016. The course materials were made freely available online.
Dr Jelena Aleksic explained why such courses can have such an enormous impact in Africa "In an environment where all scientists above undergraduate level are expected to lecture regularly, the impact of advanced training courses quickly goes beyond the original participants. All our students hold Masters qualifications or above and work at African research institutions. We estimate that each of our course attendees will have the chance to pass on some of those skills to an additional 200 colleagues within the first year alone, and many more on an ongoing basis from there."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Bioluminescence display 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Collaboration between Bernardo Pollak and Anton Kan (Haseloff lab, Cambridge) and Victoria Geany (Royal College of Arts) to create a bioluminescent dress design. This resulted in public displays as part of the eLuminate Festival in Cambridge, and Display at the RCA, London - followed by a photo essay in Wired UK magazine in January 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Biomaker Challenge and OpenPlant Fund Mixer - June 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This event, held in Cambridge, provided an opportunity for participants to discuss ideas for OpenPlant Fund proposals for innovative and interdisciplinary projects in plant synthetic biology or prototyping projects for the Biomaker Challenge. Several researchers traveled from Norwich to join the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/events-calendar/2017/6/14/biomaker-challenge-and-openplant-fund-mixer
 
Description Biomaker Fayre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Forty interdisciplinary teams exhibited their prototypes for the 2017 Biomaker Challenge at the Department of Engineering. Projects covered everything from spectrometers for measuring the colour of penguin guano, microfluidics for tissue culture, to ultrasonic systems for measuring plant height and 3D printed modular microscopes. Each group was given a £1000 grant and four months to turn their big ideas for open source and DIY research tools into reality and over 100 people came along to the final event.
The Challenge and Fayre aimed to show the value of open, low-cost and DIY technologies as convening points for interactions between biologists and engineers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.synbio.cam.ac.uk/news/biomaker-fayre-showcases-40-open-source-low-cost-biological-instru...
 
Description Biomaker.org website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We established this new website to host project information and outcomes from the OpenPlant Fund and Biomaker Challenge funding schemes. There are now over 100 projects documented on the website, and we have had around 4,000 independent visitors to the site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.biomaker.org
 
Description Built new image library for the Norwich Research Park 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact To help raise awareness of the high quality research carried out across the Norwich Research Park, we developed an open access image library to showcase images of NRP science accompanied by accessible legends suitable for a general audience. The image library has the potential to attract new traffic to the NRP institute websites and research group homepages and will allow groups such as the media, schools, the general public and other researchers to gain a glimpse of the great depth and diversity of research that is being carried out in Norwich. Although all the images are freely available to download and use, people are required to sign up to use the library and are asked to enter information at the time of download about their intended use of the image. This helps to capture who is using the library and where the images are being used. So far images have been downloaded 582 times and have been used in presentations, publications, on websites, for education and advertising. We ran an image competition to raise awareness across the NRP site and then assembled a judging panel to select the top 12 images which were used to create an NRP calendar for 2016. The calendar was sent to politicians, business leaders, industry and academics at institutions in the UK and internationally. The competition featured in the local paper, the Eastern Daily Press and an overall winner was picked and used to make a large canvas which is hanging in the new Centrum building. We have received many positive comments about the libraries ease of use for finding good quality, copyright free images to use in presentations from fellow researchers across the site. In October 2016 we put on a two-week, large scale image exhibition at the Forum in Norwich as part of the first Norwich Science Festival. The images attracted a lot of interest and several artists have been in touch with scientists whose research images were on display to set up new collaborations using science to inform artistic practice. We will post outcomes of these endeavours onto the image library website to widen our exposure to new audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/
 
Description CPSC PhD course: SYNthetic BIOlogy, From pro- to eukaryotic SYStems (SYNBIOSYS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Delivered lecuryres and workshops as part of the University of Copenhagen's CPSC PhD course: SYNthetic BIOlogy, From pro- to eukaryotic SYStems (SYNBIOSYS)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://cpsc.ku.dk/calendar/2017/cpsc-phd-summer-course-2017-synbiosys/
 
Description Cafe Synthetique Synthetic Biology Graduate Student Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Cafe Synthetique is an informal monthly pub meeting for Synthetic Biology in Cambridge. In July 2017 it highlighted graduate student work in synthetic biology including algae, arsenic testing and automated labs. Algal synthetic biology featured heavily as Aleix Gorchs Rivera, Stefan Grossfurthner and Patrick Hickland from Prof Alison Smith's Lab, in the Department of Plant Sciences, presented different approaches to engineering algae to generate valuable products, such as pigments and medicinal compounds. Jan Lyczakowski (Department of Biochemistry) from Prof Paul Dupree's lab described his efforts to engineer the structure of the plant sugar xylan in order to extract more biofuel from woody biomass. Tess Skyrme represented the Sensors Centre for Doctoral Training (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology), where 12 students have spent the summer designing and prototyping an arsenic biosensor. Clayton Rabideau (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) provided an introduction to the current state of the art in machine learning and automation in synthetic biology. Another event will be run in 2018 following popular demand and one of the speakers went on to curate their own Cafe Synthetique meetings, giving valuable networking opportunities and organisational experience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cafe Synthetique: Towards Engineering Circadian Rhythms 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Pub meeting in Cambridge with talks to 25 people by OpenPlant PDRA Lukas Muller (Department of Plant Sciences) on "Approaches to investigate the circadian system in Marchantia" and John O'Neill (MRC-LMB) on "Circadian Rhythms - Everything you always wanted to know about jet lag (but were too tired to ask)". There was excellent discussion after the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cambridge Biomakespace 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Set up a community bio lab in the ex-MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology building in Cambridge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://biomake.space
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Designed and ran interactive activities at the Cambridge Science Festival to show what synthetic biology is and how we can apply this to plants to use either
to gain deeper understanding about biological processes or to design new applications of benefit to society. The stand invited people to play games that generated different ideas for using synthetic biology in plants which created a great starting point for discussions around responsible innovation. Our stand won an award from the Cambridge BID (Business Improvement District) Awards following some 'mystery shoppers' evaluating stands across the Cambridge Science Festival.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/2016-event-recordings
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge UK - March 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Particiapated in the Cambridge Science Festical at the Department of Chemistry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cambridge-JIC iGEM Team (iGEM Giant Jamboree) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact OpenPlant sponsored the Cambridge-JIC iGEM 2015 team. The team recruited 10 undergraduate students from across disciplines to the new iGEM Hardware Track, focusing on software-controlled electronic, optical, mechanical and chemical interfaces with biological systems.

The team chose to build an ultra low-cost 3D-printed motorised web-streaming autofocus microscope for synthetic biologists,. This allows researchers to tailor the microscope to their needs - allowing imaging on any lab-bench, in the incubator, fume-hood or the field using remote access and battery power, or use many OpenScopes for parallel rapid preliminary screening. The microscope offers fluorescence imaging for schools and laboratories with small budgets, based on low-cost (£200 in its most expensive set-up) and easily sourced components.

In addition to developing hardware and software for OpenScope, the team authored a guide on open hardware licensing for other iGEM teams and open teaching materials for use with high school students and undergraduates, including a 'Learning to Program with Arduino' pack. They visited the NRP-UEA team in Norwich and maintained useful contact with other teams in the UK and internationally during the competition.

OpenScope was awarded a gold medal at the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston, where >2500 people attended, many of whom saw the project and poster. They were nominated by the judging team for four awards:
? Best Hardware Project
? Best Software Tool, Undergrad
? Best Applied Design, Undergrad
? Best Poster, Undergrad

A working set-up of OpenScope and the software was demonstrated to huge interest from other teams and supervisors. A number of team supervisors mentioned that they were considering using OpenScope as an alternative to commercial microscopes in their teaching laboratories, both to reduce costs and as setting up the microscope would be an educational experience in itself.

OpenPlant and the Synthetic Biology SRI in Cambridge are providing a funding mechanism to follow up collaborations. The iGEM students have founded a Synthetic Biology Student Society and are continuing to develop OpenScope with support from the Cambridge SynBio Fund. There are plans to collaborate with Norwich students and potentially apply for further OpenPlant funding.

As part of broader engagement of OpenPlant with the iGEM competitions, a cross-track prize for plant projects has been established by a team including two OpenPlant PIs. The Cambridge-JIC 2016 team will again be supported by OpenPlant and will work with plant systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://2015.igem.org/Team:Cambridge-JIC
 
Description Canadian Mission to UK SynBio Centres 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of OpenPlant to a Canadian delegation of 10 participants from academia, industry, funding bodies and policy making organisations as part of their mission to to provide a better understanding of the global impact of the Synthetic Biology; to explore/enhance international collaborative opportunities (including research, funding and investment); strengthen collaborations with UK synthetic biology research centres; and to influence/inform Canadian policy makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Case study to be used as A-level resource for teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Lomonossoff G. P., Thuenemann E., Bushell C."Plants as biofactories" - Case study to be published by Pearson in A-level text book
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk
 
Description Cell-Free workshop and presentation at Community Biotechnology Summit (MIT Media Lab) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Jenny Molloy and Dr Fernan Federici presented the work of the OpenPlant Curriculum Development working group and ran an accompanying practical workshop at the Community Biotechnology Summit at MIT Media Lab in Oct 2017. This reached >200 people from community organisations, artists, researchers, makers, engineers, media professionals and more. There was positive follow up with several groups leading to new collaborations and an invitation to run the workshop at Genspace, New York which will take place in April 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cereal engineering workshop: 3 min talk and participation to the debate on synthetic biology technics applied for cereal engineering. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Cereal engineering workshop: 3 min talk and participation to the debate on synthetic biology technics applied for cereal engineering. Held at MIT in Boston on the 8th and 9th of June 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Co-lab OpenPlant 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact OpenPlant teamed up with the Open Science School at the Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire (CRI), Paris to deliver a series of three "Co-Lab" workshops where scientists, designers, artists and makers came together to learn from each other and design project proposals. Several of these projects were supported further to create prototypes at a big Making Weekend. A report on the workshop methods and outcomes has been produced and will be distributed. The project has fostered a longer term collaboration between organisers from the Open Science School, Cambridge University and the John Innes Centre who are working together to develop synthetic biology teaching tools and information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://openscienceschool.org/
 
Description DITOs/OSS Leadership Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman presented on OpenPlant, the Synthetic Biology for Schools project and the SAW Trust to a group of french secondary school biotechnology teachers in Paris as part of the Doing it together science (DITOs) EU project and the Open Science School.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://togetherscience.eu/
 
Description Decoding and recoding Biological Systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Norwich Research Park Industrial Biotech Alliance event "Decoding and recoding Biological Systems" was a one day symposium that involved several OpenPlant researchers from both Norwich and Cambridge. The aim of the workshop was to bring together scientists working across interdisciplinary interfaces spanning genomics, computational and synthetic biology and to provide a forum for enhanced interactions and collaborative research opportunities. Jim Haseloff, Nicola Patron and George Lomonossoff all gave scientific talks on their research. Anne Osbourn hosted the event and Colette Matthewman helped with the organisation and chaired the poster presentations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nrp.ac.uk/decoding-and-recoding-biological-systems/
 
Description Development of an Open Source Autonomous Imaging Station for Distribution in High Schools, Universities, and Emerging DIY Scientific Communities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The advent of easy-to-use open source microcontrollers, off-the-shelf electronics and customizable manufacturing technologies has facilitated the development of inexpensive scientific devices and laboratory equipment. The team developed and published (Nuñez et al., 2017) an imaging system that integrates low-cost and open-source hardware, software and genetic resources. The multi-fluorescence imaging system consists of readily available 470 nm LEDs, a Raspberry Pi camera and a set of filters made with low cost acrylics. This device allows imaging in scales ranging from single colonies to entire plates. The team have used these resources in workshops in high schools, community spaces and cultural centres; and implemented advanced practicals to teach in vitro synbio, DNA fab and microbiology. The open source and low cost nature of the resources has allowed citizens to better understand the principles behind gene expression analysis and modelling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ERA-SYNBIO/BBSRC OPENPLANT Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A summer schools at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK designed to provide participants with 'An introduction to synthetic biology in plant systems' in conjunction with OpenPlant, a collaborative plant-focussed Synthetic Biology Research Centre linking the University of Cambridge, John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.13433/abstract
 
Description Festival of Plants at Cambridge Botanic Garden on the 16th of May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helped Jenni Rant to hold a stand describing the scientific research ongoing at JIC, at the Festival of Plants at Cambridge Botanic Garden on the 16th of May 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/Event.aspx?p=27&ix=597&pid=2718&prcid=0&ppid=2718&edit=n
 
Description Festival of Plants, Botanical Garden, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibit at the Festival of Plants (was called Fascination of Plants in 2012) in Cambridge University Botanic Garden. It provided basic information about algae, showcased our scientific work, and then explained how we were using this in collaboration with companies to carry out remeidation of waste water. There were activities such as viewing microalgae with microscopes and observing algae phototaxis. Children could handcraft their own algae using pipe cleaners or take part in an interactive algae quiz to win prices. Several members of the public asked for additional information.

Interest from several visitors about how to incorporate algal growth in their activities, eg anaerobic digestion or green energy generally
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015
URL http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/Event.aspx?p=27&ix=351&pid=2718&prcid=0&ppid=2718
 
Description Food Matters Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Eugenio Butelli gave a presentation entitled "synthetic biology to design novel healthy foods" at the Future Nutrition Seminar at Food Matters Live, November 2016, including presenting OpenPlant research from the Martin lab.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.foodmatterslive.com/
 
Description GAP Summit, Cambridge 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I was part of an expert panel designed to promote Leadership in Biotechnology. The meeting took place on 05/04/16 in Trinity College, Cambridge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.cambridgeahead.co.uk/2016/02/gapsummit-2016/
 
Description GARNET-OPENPLANT CRISPR WORKSHOP 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CRISPR technology is fast emerging as the breakthrough technology for precise genome editing in a range of experimental systems. In order to highlight the current developments and future potential for using this technology in plants, Nicola worked with Colette Matthewman (OpenPlant) and Geraint Parry and Ruth Bastow (GarNET) to organise a workshop including a day of seminars as well as a hands-on workshop on day 2.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://plantmethods.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13007-016-0104-z
 
Description Genetic resources in the age of the Nagoya Protocol and gene/genome synthesis 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jim Haseloff, Jenny Molloy, Orr Yarkoni and Colette Matthewman participated in a one-day workshop, part-funded by an OpenPlant Fund award and organised by Dominic Berry and Deborah Scott from the Engineering Life project, University of Edinburgh. The aim of the workshop was to collect information on current developments, share views, highlight potential areas of concern, and establish grounds upon which to build better understanding of the interactions between and implications of the Nagoya Protocol and gene synthesis for collection, circulation, and use of genetic resources. A report will be prepared and published on this event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.stis.ed.ac.uk/engineeringlife
 
Description Genome Editing Reflection Afternoon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman supported a Genome Editing Reflection Afternoon at Norwich High School. There she talked about the work of OpenPlant, supported debate amongst the students on social and ethical questions related to genome editing in humans and participated in a panel discussion with student representatives of each discussion group. Here she reflected on the science process, ethical practices and regulations and commented on some existing research in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Great British Bioscience Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We were successful in a winning a BBSRC science communication award to develop a new science stand called 'Nature's Factories' to run at local events and as part of the BBSRC's Great British Bioscience Festival showcasing the best of British bioscience in its 20th anniversary year.
Human evolution is tightly linked to our use of plants for food, building materials, fuel, medicines etc., and we continue to look for innovative ways to use natural resources to provide us with sustainable solutions that support our lifestyles. Scientific research is enabling us to discover and develop new plant products that improve our lifestyles by creating better medicines, healthier foods and greener technologies whilst also demonstrating the importance of protecting plant species diversity and ecosystems.
The Nature's Factories stand was designed to enable the public to find out how science is exploring and exploiting the valuable variety of chemicals made by plants as well as making natural remedies to take away and pick leaves from our fact-tree.

We took the stand to the Science in Norwich Day at the Forum in Norwich (1st June 2014), to the Cambridge Botanic Gardens (19th August 2014) and on the 12th November 2014 used the stand for a training workshop for EU scientists to learn how to create interactive displays for public events. On 14-16 November 2014, our exhibit headed to Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London to be showcased at BBSRC's Great British Bioscience Festival. The festival, delivered in partnership with London Science Festival was open to the general public and free to attend.
Since then the exhibit has featured at the Bury St Edmunds family science festival (21st March 2015), the Fascination of Plants day at the John Innes Centre (14th May 2015), the Festival of Plants at Cambridge Botanic Gardens (16th May 2015) and at the Youth Stem Awards (13th January 2016). We plan to use the exhibit throughout 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/engagement/exhibitions/gb-bioscience-festival/
 
Description HVCfP ABS/Nagoya workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman gave a presentation on Synthetic Biology and the Nagoya Protocol at a 1-day workshop on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and the Nagoya Protocol, run by the High Value Chemicals from Plants NIBB.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://hvcfp.net/events/sharing-natures-genetic-resources-implementing-the-nagoya-protocol-on-acces...
 
Description Hackster.io biomaker collection 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Design files for twenty six projects, mostly funded through the Biomaker Challenge scheme, have been documented on the hackster.io website. This website enables a user friendly documentation style for maker projects. A biomaker collection has been established to tie these projects together.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.hackster.io/biomaker/projects
 
Description High Value Chemicals from Plants- Harnessing the potential of synthetic biology for industrial biotechnology. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact High Value Chemicals from Plants- Harnessing the potential of synthetic biology for industrial biotechnology. 13-14 July 2015, Dunston Hall, Norwich. I delivered a 20min talk about the use of the HyperTrans system in goldengate vectors and its benefits for metabolic engineering.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description High Value Products from Plants conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation of algal synthetic biology approaches to help support algal industrial biotechnology. This was at a Network in Industrial Biotechnology & Bioenergy (NIBB) meeting organised by the High Value Compounds from Plants NIBB. Interest was sparked amongst researchers to consider using algae, as well as plants, and production platforms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Inside Synthetic Biology 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A one-hour interactive workshop exploring synthetic biology as part of a three-day course for 17 gifted and talented pupils from years 11-13. Three activies explored standards in plant synthetic biology, gene circuits and natural product engineering using synthetic biology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description IntoBiology resource 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A final year undergraduate student in Plant Sciences produced a webpage describing work on algae in Plant Sciences and Biochemistry. The webpage is part of the programme established by IntoBiology, aimed at encouraging school children to consider studying plant biology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://intobiology.org.uk/unlocking-the-potential-of-algae-how-the-green-stuff-in-your-pond-might-go...
 
Description John Innes Centre Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The John Innes Centre opened its doors to the public in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the centre's move to the current site. This included a host of interactive exhibits and activities to engage visitors with the science of the centre. The Osbourn and Lomonossoff labs teamed up to put on an exhibit about using plants as production systems. Visitors could infiltrate Nicotiana benthamiana plants (with water), design their own protein piece to be added to a growing virus like particle, extract a natural product from oat roots which glows under UV light, and learn about the science behind these activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/news-and-events/blog-copy/2017/09/open-day/
 
Description Latitude Festival OpenPlant Exhibit, 14-17.07.16 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Latitude Festival

Led by Jenni Rant from the SAW Trust, Michael Stephenson, Colette Matthewman, Marc Jones and Dorota Jakubczyk (JIC) worked with Paolo Bombelli, Katrin Geisler (Cambridge University), Brenda Parker (UCL) and Marin Sawa (Imperial) to deliver a 3-day OpenPlant exhibit entitled "The Power of Plants" in the wildlife, weird science and adventure area at the Latitude Festival, Suffolk, from 14-17 July 2016. The exhibit showcased the potential applications of synthetic biology in plants in a hands-on and accessible way. The first day was dedicated to hosting organised school groups where children spent 40 minutes with us experimenting with a variety of plants to learn how scientists are using them in new and novel ways. The second and third day were run as a drop-in style to cater for family groups giving opportunities to engage with children and adults. Visitors were very interested to see science research straight from the labs and amazed by new innovations being developed through synthetic biology. The event was very tiring but the opportunity to work as a team with members from different institutes on a shared science theme was very enjoyable and rewarding whilst also expanding our understanding of each others work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.latitudefestival.com/stage/wildlife-weird-science-adventure
 
Description Live television interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Live television interview with 'The World', international news and current affairs show (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Received multiple enquiries and comments from academics and general public following broadcast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-26/the-year-of-crispr:-scientists-celebrate-new/8213772
 
Description Ludham Primary School SAW workshop 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact OpenPlant teamed up with the Science Art Writing Trust to run a workshop at Ludham Primary School for 34 pupils age 9-11 in which they explored DNA, genetics, mendelian genetics, trait inheritence, Marchantia as a model plant organism and Synthetic Biology through science practicals, writing and art. The poetry that the pupils created showed a very impressive understanding of the science covered. At the beginning of the day, most pupils said they did not consider science as an interesting career option, but by the end of the day most all of the class said they would like to be scientists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.sawtrust.org/sawtrust/in-schools/openplant-saw-project-at-ludham-primary-school/
 
Description Marvellous Medicines at Boomtown Festival Kidztown 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact OpenPlant and SAW teamed up this year to deliver a science tent for exploration of "Marvellous Medicines" in Kidztown at Boomtown festival (Aug 2017), which attracts over 50,000 people each year. This was the first time that the kids' area offered a science tent. The interactive exhibition included a natural products periodic table filled with different plants for extracting colours, scents, and citric acid. Kids could choose a selection of plants to make a potion from, which would change colour, fizz and give off a scent as the experiment progressed. Throughout, the children learned about a plant's ability to make different compounds that define their features such as colour, scent and taste. They extracted the colour pigment themselves and used other natural extracts to complete their potions, observing how we can use things that plants make for our own products. The older children also learned about pH and colour indicators, a classic chemistry practical they will no doubt carry out in secondary school. A further use for plants was discovered in the art stand: the plant materials could be used as 3D elements to decorate the potion bottles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/2017/9/14/boomtown-fair-august-2017
 
Description Meeting on Norwich Research Park 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation "Transient expressions of synthetic biology in plants" at Earlham Institute, Norwich Research Park, Meeting "Decoding and Recoding Biological Systems", 19/05/17
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Metabolic Engineering: From Model Plants to Medicinal Plants OpenPlant Forum, Cambridge, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Yang Zhang, Eugenio Butelli and Cathie Martin gave an oral presentation "Metabolic Engineering: From Model Plants to Medicinal Plants" on 29.07.2015 at the OpenPlant Forum, Cambridge, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description NRP DTP Summer Conference 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact NRP DTP Summer Conference 2015 held in the assembly house in Norwich. 15 min talk: Pathway engineering using the GoldenGate MoClo system.

Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Partnerships
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/
 
Description NRP-UEA 2015 iGEM Team (iGEM Giant Jamboree, Science in Norwich, Norwich Writers Centre Workshop) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Instructed an undergraduate iGEM team that presented at the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston, MA. The team also interacted with various audiences at Science in Norwich public outreach event, a workshop for scientists and poets at the Norwich Writers Centre, and to large numbers of students at the iGEM Giant Jamboree. The team also collaborated with other teams in Spain and the Netherlands. The project took different approaches to increase butyrate levels in the colon to protect against colonic cancer and also interacted with Cancer charities to discuss preventative measures to combat cancer and the use of bioengineering to make healthy foods and medicines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://2015.igem.org/Team:NRP-UEA-Norwich
 
Description NanoBioMater 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lectured on "Plant viruses and virus-like particles as building blocks for bionanotechnology" at the NanoBioMater summer school, Bad Herrenalb, Germany, 22/06/15
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Norwich Bio Makers 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Involvement by GP Lomonossoff in Norwich Bio Makers "Building Nanostructures in Plants", St. Andrews Brew House, Norwich, UK 13 Dec 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Norwich Biomakers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Norwich Biomakers brings together an interdisciplinary network of people from across NorwichCity and the Norwich Science Park that share an interest in the cross-over of biology with design, technology, engineering, electronics, software, art etc. This group meets monthly at a variety of local spaces for events including talks, training in the use of technologies and to shape project plans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.meetup.com/Norwich-Biomakers/
 
Description Norwich Science Festival 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our exhibit on plant natural products at the 2017 Norwich Science Festival was so popular that we had a constant queue of people waiting for their turn to try out the activities. These included extracting plant pigments, making "potions" using these pigments which changed colour under acid and alkali conditions, and then creating a volcano effect due to the reaction of the acid and alkali together. We also had displays about different plant natural products that are already readily used by society, and some that are less well known but are being researched by scientists. We provided a handout that children and parents could take home to experiment further at home.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Norwich Science Festival John Innes Centre Exhibit 22.10.16 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Norwich Science Festival.

The interactive 'Power of Plants' stand from the Latitude Festival made another appearance at the first Norwich Science Festival with Katrin Geisler coming over from Cambridge University to join JIC scientists Michael Stephenson, Hannah Griffiths, Colette Matthewman, Zhenhua Liu, Nadiatul Radzman, Dorota Jakubczyk, Don Nguyen, Miriam Walden, Jenni Rant and Roger Castells-Graells for two days as part of the Norwich Research Park's 'solving problems with science' weekend. A new addition to the stand was developed by Roger who introduced visitors to the structure of viruses through his challenge to build a giant virus particle. Plants are being used to produce virus particles for use as vaccines and so for visitors this deeper look at viruses in combination with a hands-on experience of mock infiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana plants with water enabled the scientists to explain the techniques involved and exactly what is being made by plants in this system. People were very interested in the variety of science on display and asked lots of questions. It was good to showcase our research at the first Norwich Science Festival and to show people locally how far reaching the work taking place in essentially a rural county can be in terms of impact to societies across the globe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/
 
Description Norwich Science Festival Schools Week 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Following the creation of DNA Dave, a robot made using funding from a Biochemical Society grant to explain how DNA is transcribed and translated into protein, we were asked by the organisers of the Norwich Science Festival if they could borrow Dave for the schools week of the festival. We delivered Dave to the Forum in Norwich and gave a group of volunteers some training in how Dave works and how to use him while explaining the processes to the public. Dave then spent a week meeting groups of school children and helping them understand this fundamental principle. Teachers feedback highlighted how effective DNA Dave had been in getting students to piece together the various steps they had learned in school but not quite grasped. We have since been asked if Dave could make visits into classrooms to help with teaching this concept.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Norwich Single Cell Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman presented on the OpenPlant Fund and Biomkaer Challenge opportunities at the Norwich Single Cell symposium. The Norwich Single Cell Symposium aimed to bring researchers curious about single cell genomics together with external speakers presenting advanced single cell research, to highlight the developing single cell capabilities available at Earlham Institute and to act as a platform to catalyse future development and application of single cell genomics approaches in the region. At least two OpenPlant Fund projects were proposed and funded as the result of this activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.earlham.ac.uk/norwich-single-cell-symposium
 
Description Open digital tools and infrastructures in biology workshop (Newcastle) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The thematic focus of the workshop was on open digital tools and infrastructures in biology. The discussions was organized in three sessions: The two first sessions presenting tools and infrastructures that have been developed by different communities in a out of institutional settings -with a special focus on the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) and DIYbio projects. The third and last section will be a collective discussion. Jenny Molloy presented on OpenPlant activities in relation to open science.

There were around 25 attendees and requests and follow up contact was made with two people, who continue to look for ways to collaborate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description OpenPlant All-hands meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman organised and facilitated a 1-day meeting on 6th may 2016 to bring together OpenPlant researchers from across the entire programme to discuss cross-cutting topics such as methods for sharing information, data, tools and technologies, research synergies and opportunities for increasing impact. Among other things, this event led to the identification of several new synergies, the establishment of an online discussion forum for OpenPlant researchers, and open sharing of a collection of protocols on protocols.io
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.protocols.io/groups/openplant-project
 
Description OpenPlant Exhibit at SynBioBeta London 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The 6 UK SBRCs shared an exhibit space at SynBioBeta London 2016. A new banner and leaflet about OpenPlant were developed for this event, and Colette Matthewman manned the exhibit and talks to a wide range of people at the event. This was felt to be a very useful exercise and as a result the SBRCs are planning to repeat this together with the UK Foundaries at SynBioBeta London 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://synbiobeta.com/conferences/synbiobeta-london-2016/
 
Description OpenPlant Forum 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 2015 OpenPlant Forum provided a focus point for gathering members of the OpenPlant consortium and others in the field of plant (and broader) synthetic biology, open technologies and exchange. The event was held as part of Open Technology Week in Cambridge which included activities for developing fundamental tools for synthetic biology and beyond, including a Maker Faire, Open Technology Workshop, Pitches for the OpenPlant Fund and a meeting of the OpenPlant working group that is informing the development of the OpenMTA, a key focus of OpenPlant's aims to promote freedom to operate. All these activities fed into the theme of the OpenPlant Forum, which focused on access, openness and enabling technologies and attracted a strongly interdisciplinary, intersectorial group of ~90 participants. A SynBioBeta Activate! Event "Reprogramming Life with Synthetic Biology" provided a networking event with local, national and international industry during the Forum. The event was instrumental for showcasing the work of OpenPlant to a broader audience and engaging with the synthetic biology community and external experts that will add value to the OpenPlant programme.

Feedback from attendees, including the OpenPlant Scientific Advisory Board, was positive and various discussions were seeded that shaped plans for OpenPlant Forum 2017 and interim activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://openplant.org/openplantforum/
 
Description OpenPlant Forum 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 2016 OpenPlant Forum was based on the theme of "Reprogramming Agriculture", with invited keynote talks from Allan Green (CSIRO, Australia), Johnathan Napier (Rothamsted Research) Patrick Jarvis (AB Sugar, Wissington), Dominic Berry (University of Edinburgh), Spencer Adler (Bioeconomy Capital), Tom Knight (Ginkgo Bioworks), Peter Murray-Rust (ContentMine, Cambridge), commentary from Monique Simmonds (Kew Gardens), Wieke Betten (University of Amsterdam) and industry perspectives from Leaf Systems, NCG:Earlham Institute, OxSyBio, Cambridge Consultants, Rainbow Seed Fund/Midven, and Plant Bioscience. The event was held at the John Innes Conference Centre and included an industry showcase, a variety of talks from OpenPlant researchers and invited speakers, panel discussions, and poster sessions. Around 130 people participated and engaged with the Forum across the three days intiating discussions and sparking ideas that have fed into subsequent activities. Feedback was very positive, including that of the OpenPlant Science Advisory Board.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/blog/2016/09/openplant-forum-2016-reprogramming-agriculture-with-synb...
 
Description OpenPlant Forum 2016, JIC, Norwich 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I delivered a talk entitled "Making all kinds of everything - The joy of plant-based transient expression" at OpenPlant Forum 2016, JIC, Norwich on 26th July 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.openplant.org
 
Description OpenPlant Fund Mixer - Nov 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This event was a mixer for the winter 2017 OpenPlant Fund call. It provided an introduction to the opportunities offered by the OpenPlant Fund, a chance to present initial project ideas and to meet potential collaborators, a team-based activity emphasising the importance of effective documentation of projects, and a brief training on communication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.openplant.org/fund
 
Description OpenPlant Fund Mixer Dec 2016, Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A mixer event for the OpenPlant Fund was held in Cambridge on Monday 21 November, together with the Cafe Synthetique evening on microfluidics. A group of participants joined from Norwich. The mixer initiated several new collaborations across the two sites and contributed to the development of 10 applications pitched for OpenPlant Funds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.meetup.com/Cambridge-Synthetic-Biology-Meetup/events/235487332/
 
Description OpenPlant Fund mixer activity at NoCaSS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Norwich-Cambridge Student Symposium for Plant and Microbial Sciences is organised by and brings together postgraduate students across Norwich and Cambridge. Jenny Molloy and Colette Matthewman participated in the 2017 symposium, which was held at the John Innes Centre, Norwich. They presented on the OpenPlant Fund and Biomaker Challenge funding shemes, and ran a mixer activitiy during the lunch break which was designed to build bridges between Norwich and Cambridge students, generate new ideas, and help the students to undestand the role of these funding schemes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://nocass.org/
 
Description OpenPlant Fund mixer event, Cambridge 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A mixer event aimed at post-graduate students and post-docs, to present the OpenPlant Fund and set up new multidisciplinary project collaborations between Norwich Bioscience Institutes and Cambridge University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description OpenPlant Fund mixer event, Cambridge 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A mixer event run in Cambridge but with participants from both Norwich Bioscience Institutes and Cambridge University, aimed at post-graduate students and post-docs, to present the OpenPlant Fund and set up new multidisciplinary project collaborations between Norwich Bioscience Institutes and Cambridge University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description OpenPlant Fund mixer event, Norwich 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A mixer event run in Norwich with participants from both Norwich Bioscience Institutes and Cambridge University, aimed at post-graduate students and post-docs, to present the OpenPlant Fund and set up new multidisciplinary project collaborations between Norwich Bioscience Institutes and Cambridge University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description OpenPlant Fund presentation, BBSRC SynBio for Growth meeting, Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman gave a presentation at the BBSRC-EPSRC Synthetic Biology for Growth meeting in Edinburgh in November 2016. There was a lot of interest in the funding scheme which led to other SBRCs considering similar schemes, and an invitation for Colette to present at the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council open meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.openplant.org/fund/
 
Description OpenPlant Intellectual Property Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Twenty four experts were recruited to the first OpenPlant working group on the topic of IP solutions for OpenPlant and the wider SynBio community, specifically an open Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) that would allow materials such as DNA parts to be exchanged between institutions with a standard contract that allows for redistribution and commercial use. A meeting of the IP Working Group took place on 30 July 2015. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together academic researchers, technical experts, and legal practitioners to explore the challenges and solutions for creating and sustaining an international platform of open technologies for plant synthetic biology. A report on the meeting was drafted and will be made available online along with the draft OpenMTA Linda Kahl from the BioBricks Foundation is compiling. Decisions and refinement of this draft was a direct outcome of the meeting. The working group had regular teleconferences following the meeting and BioBricks Foundation and University of Cambridge have recently entered the Wellcome Trust/NIH/HHMI supported Open Science Prize for additional funding to continue this collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description OpenPlant Twitter account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The OpenPlant twitter channel is used as a wide-reaching route to share and exchange information about events, opportunities, methods and tools, and research and other outcomes relevant to OpenPlant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL https://twitter.com/_openplant
 
Description OpenPlant Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The OpenPlant website is a central information point for those on the OpenPlant programme and those interested in it. The website contains information about the programme, upcoming events and opportunities, and blogs commenting on events that have happened. We are currently looking at expanding the website audience base by setting it up to host information for the general public, teaching resources and outcomes and resources generated by OpenPlant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.openplant.org
 
Description OpenPlant Working Group on Open Curriculum Development for Cell-Free Synthetic Biology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In 2017 an OpenPlant working group was established which focuses on curriculum development and teaching resources for fast and frugal biotechnology, specifically cell-free synthetic biology. The first meeting of the working group took place on Thursday 27 July 2017, after the annual OpenPlant Forum. A range of key stakeholders and influencers were invited, including researchers at the cutting edge of cell-free technology, educationalists and outreach experts. The working group focused on the educational opportunities offered by cell-free systems and freeze-dried components to provide a platform for teaching synthetic biology at low-cost and without use of GMOs. The first meeting lay the groundwork for assembly of open and modular curriculum components that could be combined into different teaching frameworks across multiple disciplines, drawing on existing work from organisations such as BioBuilder, the National Centre for Biotechnology Education, Science and Plants in Schools and the ARM Education Programme. There was a high level of interest in continued activities and plans include: includ
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Outreach at Botanic Gardens Festival of Plants 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Outreach at Botanic Gardens Festival of Plants - Paul Dupree
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description PAGIT Project: Synthetic Biology/Gene Editing Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman participated in a workshop for the BSI/ESRC PAGIT Project: Proportionate and Adaptive Governance of Innovative Technologies, on Synthetic Biology/Gene editing. The workshop presented an updated version of the PAGIT Framework and discussed proposals for implementation of a more proportionate and adaptive approach to governance of syntheric biology/gene editing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pagit-project-synthetic-biologygene-editing-workshop-tickets-3109292878...
 
Description PAGIT workshop on the role of standards in shaping SynBio regulation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Proportionate and adaptive governance of innovative technologies (PAGIT) project is a collaborative project led by the Innogen Institute and the British Standards Institution. Colette Matthewman participated in the PAGIT Project: Synthetic Biology/Gene Editing Workshop on the role of standards in shaping regulation and supporting innovation. Discussions from this workshop will form the basis of a report aimed at influencing decision-makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/uk-national-standards-body/BIS-Exploring-new-areas-with-gov...
 
Description PHYCONET (BBSRC NIBB) Meeting: "UK Microalgal biotechnology, creating a unified vision" Cambridge February 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A workshop of academia, funders, policy makers and industry, aimed at identifying ways to augment and support the UK microalgal business. As a result of the meeting, we made links with several companies and have obtained two Business Interaction Vouchers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.phyconet.org.uk/document_category/uk-microalgal-biotechnology-creating-a-unified-vision
 
Description Phyconet (BBSRC NIBB) Annual Meeting, Plenary speaker 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The talk was aimed at showing that the potential exploitation of algae for industrial purposes needs to be underpinned by fundamental biological understanding. Several industrial colleagues agreed, saying they recognise the need for better algal taxonomy and physiology to support their activities and ensure their IP can be protected.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.phyconet.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/PAC17_programme.pdf
 
Description Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I presented a talk on the potential uses of algae for bioenergy production as part of the Pint of Science festival in Cambridge, where scientists engage with people having a drink in a local pub. This takes place in London, Cambridge, Bristol and other university towns each year. As result of my talk and questions afterwards, although most people were not aware initially what algae were, nor how they could be used to generate energy, their opinions became more positive and optimistic towards biofuels generally. Pint of Science was awarded "Points of Light" by the Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2015 and the founders were interviewed about it on London Live TV.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
URL https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pint_of_Science
 
Description Pint of Science Festival 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentations by R Castells-Graells and G.P. Lomonossoff at Pint of Science Festival Norwich - Medicinal Viruses: From Foe To Friend, 16 May 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/medicinal-viruses-from-foe-to-friend
 
Description Pint of Science: 20,000 Leagues Under the Microscope: Viruses & Nanomachines 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact PhD Student and OpenPlant Fund holder Roger Castells-Graells presented to a sell out audience at the Norwich 2017 Pint of Science Festival. Roger's presentation '20,000 Leagues Under the Microscope: Viruses & Nanomachines' took the audience on a journey into the nano world of viruses. During the entertaining talks, the audience took part in various activities such as making a virus molecule out of pipe cleaners and creating virus inspired sketches on beer mats. To help the audience engage with the research, Roger used 3D printed models of viruses produced through his OpenPlant Fund project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/2017/11/23/openplant-scientists-take-part-in-norwich-pint-of-science-...
 
Description Pint of Science: Finding Drugs in The Garden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Anne Osbourn presented to a sell-out audience at the 2017 Norwich Pint of Science Festival. Anne took to the stage at the St Andrews Brewhouse to present on 'Finding Drugs in The Garden'. Anne's talk invited people into the plant kingdom to hear about its very own chemistry toolkit. She presented her teams current work harnessing the DNA that encodes the pathways to these chemicals and using them to produce designer molecules for medicinal, agricultural and industrial applications. The talk was followed by a lively discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/2017/11/23/openplant-scientists-take-part-in-norwich-pint-of-science-...
 
Description Pint of Science: Just Eat Your Greens - A New Way of Vaccinating? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor George Lomonossoff gave a talk to a sell out audience at the Norwich Pint of Science Festival. George's talk was entitled 'Just Eat Your Greens - A New Way of Vaccinating?' and took place at the York Tavern. It covered the use of a highly efficient transient expression system developed in his laboratory. This Hypertrans® system allows for the relatively quick and cheap production of large quantities of virus-like particles in plants, which have been proven to be effective as experimental vaccines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/2017/11/23/openplant-scientists-take-part-in-norwich-pint-of-science-...
 
Description Pitch in a Punt 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Applicants for the 2015 OpenPlant Fund round were invited to attend the Pitch in a Punt workshop to learn about pitching for money, prior to their short pitches for OpenPlant funding. Most of the participants had not been exposed to this method of presenting their ideas and proposals and so found the course very useful for improving their skills.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://openplant.org/fund/
 
Description Plant Genetics Resources and the Sustainable Development Goals: Needs, Rights, and Opportunities. Rockefeller Bellagio Center, Bellagio, Italy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 18 experts from a range of disciplines were hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation at its Bellagio Center in Italy to discuss how plant genetic resources relate to and can be instrumental in meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The group had three objectives, which were to:
• Advance the ongoing global dialogue about how science, technology, data, and digital information about plant genetic resources (PGR) may impact and potentially help agriculture adapt to the changing climate and augment food and nutritional security, particularly in the developing world
• In the context of the SDGs, explore the interaction between emerging R&D opportunities (emanating from scientific and technological advances and increased data sharing capability) and the current policy framework related to access, use, and benefit-sharing of PGR and related information.
• Identify pathways for harmonizing the PGR policy framework with rapid developments in science and information technology to ensure safeguards and enhance opportunities to address the SDGs.
The group agreed to pursue three outputs, to be completed in the next six months:
• As a group, the participants will develop a comprehensive meeting report for public distribution. This report was initiated during the meeting and will be completed early in 2017.
• During the meeting, participants from the Diversity Seek Initiative (DivSeek) gathered input for their response to an invitation by the Secretary of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) "to report on the implications for the objectives of the Treaty of the technologies underlying the DivSeek initiative" (as per paragraph 6 of Resolution 3/2015 of the Sixth Session of the Treaty Governing Body). This outcome can be used by the Secretariat to compile a synthesis on this report for consideration by the Governing Body of the Treaty at its Seventh Session in 2017. Participants agreed to provide additional input on the draft submission to the Treaty upon request from DivSeek.
• Finally, at least one scholarly article will be published as a result of this meeting describing the issues discussed and exploring potential solutions and bottlenecks to progress. The group agreed that it would be ideal to aim to develop a balanced treatment such that all participants would be happy to be identified as authors or contributors where their expertise was relevant to the subject matter. Participants also discussed how best to communicate the results with other audiences and agreed to consult with one another if any developed blog posts or articles related to the meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Plant Synthetic Biology Hackathon at TGAC (Norwich) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The hackathon engaged technologists and users from diverse scientific backgrounds to build on and use ContentMine tools to liberate synthetic biology scientific literature. The workshop centered on novel methods for discovering information about plants from the existing literature ("Content Mining"). Peter Murray-Rust and 3 other colleagues from Cambridge prepared ContentMine software specifically for the workshop on the basis that "anyone can run it and get useful results".

The hackathon took place over 2 days, with the first day comprising talks and demos from the ContentMine team, alongside an afternoon of splitting into groups based on skills and/or interests gleaned from the morning, and installing the software on whatever operating system they commonly used. The second day saw the groups continuing to work on developing and improving ContentMine functionality, fixing software bugs, and using the tools to gather papers and facts from synthetic biology terms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Plants in iGem Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Workshop on Plants in synthetic biology held at the iGEM Giant Jamboree every year since 2014. Members of many international iGEM teams, industry and civil society representatives, as well as the iGEM executive team attend. The workshops comprise short talks followed by discussion (with audience participation) and information-sharing about plant synthetic biology tools and techniques.
these workshops, together with other activities have resulted in
- The establishment of a Plant Committee at iGEM
- The acceptance of parts in the Common Plant Syntax in the iGEM Registry
- The establishment of a Special Award for excellence in Plant Synthetic Biology in the iGEM competition (from 2016 onwards)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://2016.igem.org/Resources/Plant_Synthetic_Biology
 
Description Posdoc talk at the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminar - Gonzalo Mendoza 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Plant Metabolism Group member and OpenPlant-funded postdoc Gonzalo I Mendoza-Ochoa, gave a 25-minute talk to postgraduate students and postdocs within the Department. During the seminar, he talked about his previous and current research work and expertise. The aim was to present himself as a new member of the department and to seek interactions and collaborations with his colleagues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/82681
 
Description Presentation at BrisSynBio 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact On 22/02/17 I visited BrisSynBio in Bristol to talk to people working there and to tour the facilities. I also delivered a lecture entitled: Transient expressions of synthetic biology in plants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2017
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/brissynbio/
 
Description Presentation for Norwich Research Park Industrial Biotech Alliance 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented OpenPlant industrial biotech case studies to the Industrial Biotechnology Alliance Science Advisory Board
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation on Responsible Governance at PAGIT workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Proportionate and adaptive governance of innovative technologies (PAGIT) project is a collaborative project led by the Innogen Institute and the British Standards Institution. Colette Matthewman gave a presentation entitled "How standards can contribute to responsible governance of innovation: a perspective from synthetic biology" at the PAGIT Project: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Workshop on delivering 'responsibility' in the development of innovative technologies through standards. Colette also contributed to discussions which will form the basis of a report aimed at influencing decision-makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/uk-national-standards-body/BIS-Exploring-new-areas-with-gov...
 
Description Programmable biology for diagnostics: impacting global health and development (as part of BB/GCRF-IAA/04) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This activity was funded by IAA grant BB/GCRF-IAA/04. On 16 March 2017, we gave a workshop titled Programmable biology for diagnostics: impacting global health and development. Around 25 people attended the workshop, 15 of whom also stayed for the sandpit session in the afternoon. The event kicked off with a presentation on the progress of OpenDiagnostics, followed by two guest speakers. Richard Echodu, a professor from Gulu University in Uganda, gave a presentation about challenges and opportunities for crop disease diagnostics in Africa. The second guest speaker was Keith Pardee, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and co-founder of the technology on which cell-free paper-based diagnostics rest. During the afternoon, participants formed three sandpit groups: biology, hardware, and open technology & development. They proposed projects that could contribute to the Open Diagnostics projects. We also ran a hands-on practical to complement the OpenDiagnostics Forum for potential collaborators and others interested in finding out more about cell-free diagnostics. This was attended by around 20 postdocs and PhD students from a range of disciplines, including computer science, engineering and physics as well as biological sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description RRI Workshop, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop for post-docs employed within or associated with the OpenPlant SBRC, providing an overview of responsible research and innovation and exploring bioethics, styles of argumentation, and openness in science. These topics sparked much discussion amongst the group, as well as consideration and questioning of how to incorporate responsible research and innovation into the participants own research projects. This workshop was associated with the SAW Workshop for researchers which explored engagement with the public through art and writing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Responsible and open innovation with large bioresources: goals, challenges and proposals (UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An OpenPlant Fund supported workshop (funds to Kathy Liddell, Nicola Patron, Rob Doubleday). Organised by the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge this workshop sough to explore the access and ownership issues surrounding large-scale bioresources such as Synthetic Biology Repositories of Biological Parts, TheStructural Genome Project, and the 100,000 Genome Project. Attendees from government, academia, investment and industry discussed Openness and bio-resource policies that would support both academic research and market-driven private investment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/media/uploads/files/3/draft-programme-for-28-january-policy-workshop-1.pdf
 
Description SAW School Visit to Salem State University, Boston, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Science Art and Writing initiative has been used to run complementary projects with educationalists in the US since its inception in 2005. In 2008 we visited the School of Education at Salem State College to work with 7-9 year olds exploring the theme of 'Maple Syrup' through science art and writing, and trainee teachers attended a SAW training workshop. Salem State has long been an advocate of the SAW approach, and SAW exercises continue to be part of the teacher training delivered by the institution. On the 28th April 2015 we returned to Salem State University to run a SAW project on the theme of photosynthesis with a class of 9-10 year old children and were joined by trainee teachers who wanted to learn the process. We have been invited back in 2016 to further develop training and partnerships in the Boston area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SAW Workshop 'Green factories' at Tunstead Primary School Yr3 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 'Green factories' was a cross-disciplinary Science, Art and Writing (SAW) project at Tunstead Primary School based on the work of the Osbourn group and the importance of plants for production of useful chemicals. The 7-8 year olds took part in a range of a activities including infiltrating plants, penning potion poetry and creating beautiful leaf artwork
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://sawtrust.org/news/saw-in-action/
 
Description SAW Workshop: Tunstead Primary School Year 5/6 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact OpenPlant / SAW Trust intern Emma McKechnie Welsh ran a SAW workshop for the year 5/ year 6 class (age 10/11 years) at Tunstead Primary School, Norwich, working with writer Mike O'Driscoll and artist Chris Hann with a day themed around plant evolution. Te class began by guessing the number of different plant species on earth and the children suggested why plants are useful. In groups, they were given cards representing each component of photosynthesis and had to arrange them to think about the process. The topic of pollination was covered, and its importance for increasing genetic variation. The children dissected plants to look up close at the reproductive parts under the microscope. Different types of seed dispersal were covered and the importance of varying environmental conditions for evolution. Then children carried out DNA extraction from strawberries after learning a bit about what DNA was and how important it was in controlling the appearance of the plant, with a single mutation in a gene coding region potentially greatly changing this. Following on from DNA extraction there was a game to match the numbers of genes to different organisms. After the morning science sessions the children had poetry and art sessions based on the content.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/plant-science-saw-projects-at-tunstead-primary-school
 
Description SAW Workshop: Tunstead primary School Yr 1 + Yr 2 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact OpenPlant / SAW Trust intern Emma McKechnie Welsh ran a SAW workshop for the year 1/ year 2 class (age 4/5 years) at Tunstead Primary School, Norwich, working with writer Julia Webb and artist Lara Nicole. The aim was to get children thinking about the functions of different parts of a plant. To start off the lesson they played a "build a plant" game to get more familiar with the main parts of a plant, their function, and what plants use from their environment to grow. Each child also put a cut flower in coloured water to think about the use of the stem. Then the children were given a selection of fruit and vegetables and asked to decide what part of the plant each came from. They were given a flower to look more closely at the reproductive parts and think about how seeds are formed by pollination. Finally, they looked at different types of seeds in a seed kit and we discussed the different types of seed dispersal tactics plants use. The children wrote poems imagining that they were a seed growing up, and made flower hand puppets after designing a flower
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/blog/plant-science-saw-projects-at-tunstead-primary-school
 
Description SAW Workshops at the Cambridge Science Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A new festival that celebrates everything to do with light took place in Cambridge in February 2013. For the e-Luminate festival, the SAW Trust worked with the Cambridge Science Centre and artist Jenny Walsh to run a workshop entitled 'Lighting up inspiration'. Families learned about the relationship between the colour spectrum and light wavelengths. Light was then used to create a collaborative piece of art that explored the iridescent properties seen in oily puddles and in nature to create a peacock.
For the 2013 Festival of Ideas in Cambridge we worked with scientist Andy Osborne who specialises in eye research. We ran a drop-in workshop at the Cambridge Science Centre for families where they could learn about how the eye works and the variety of different eye diseases and disorders that can impact on sight. Andy had some great vision altering glasses that helped people to understand what sufferers of different eye conditions can see. We were joined by artist Jenny Walsh and some sixth form students who invited people to help build a giant eye sculpture to learn more about the rods and cones in the eye.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description SAW workshop for OpenPlant researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An evening workshop to introduce the SAW Trust to OpenPlant post-docs, and to show the power of using poetry and art to explore science with the general public. The workshop focused on plant synthetic biology from the OpenPlant programme and enabled participants to explore write poetry and create artwork based on their own research area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description SMART.map - Industrial Dialogue on Synthetic Biology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SMART-map is an EU-funded project to develop RoadMAPs to Societal Mobilisation for the Advancement of Responsible Industrial Technologies. Colette Matthewman participated in their Industrial Dialogue on Synthetic Biology and contributed to a proposal for a tool for framing, guiding and encouraging best practice in responsible research and innovation. This particular tool is to be presented to the SBLC for consideration. The SMART-map consortium will be reporting on the outcomes of the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2017
URL http://projectsmartmap.eu/
 
Description Science Café, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich 19th April 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Norwich Science Café at the Maddermarket Theatre entitled "Building with Biology". A presentation and interactive activity for identification of aromatic plant natural products and understanding biosynthetic pathways. This was followed by an extensive discussion on the meaning of the words 'synthetic', 'synthesis' and 'natural' and the relative benefits to the environment and health of synthetic biology approaches for manufacturing. Audience members expressed interest in adult-focussed lab-based workshops and bio-make spaces.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://twitter.com/scicafenorwich
 
Description Science Makers: DIY DNA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a two part workshop at Cambridge Makespace with 20-25 participants listening to talks and then completing practical exercises in i) Plant PCR and gel electrophoresis; ii) programming a NAND gate in synthetic DNA and expressing it in cell-free system; iii) building an open source transilluminator. The event was a success and got a good level of engagement from the attendees, some of whom approached afterwards for advice on adult education courses and part time degrees in biology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science Makers: Electrophysiology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Introduction to electrophysiology and workshop to build a plant electrophysiology board designed as part of an OpenPlant Fund grant to Carlos Lugo and Marco Aita. Successful meeting with almost all boards working and self-reported skills gained by participants e.g. soldering.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science Makers: Learning physical computing with venus fly traps 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop by Carlos Lugo following on from OpenPlant Fund to show people how to programme microprocessors and obtain results from sensors which can be displayed via a website. Excellent feedback from participants who were interested to apply the skills learned to their own projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science in Norwich day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helped Jenni Rant (SAW) to hold a stand describing the scientific research ongoing at JIC, at the Science in Norwich Day at the Forum on the 1st of June 2014 .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://soin.org.uk/2014/04/science-in-norwich-day-2014/
 
Description Science on Saturday, part of SET week in Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We had a stand in the science tent outside Dept of Plant Sciences. We demonstrated what algae are, what we use for now and how they might be used in the future for energy production. There were activities such as viewing microalgae with microscopes, extracting different light-harvesting pigments, and observing algae phototaxis. Children could handcraft their own algae using pipe cleaners or take part in an interactive algae quiz to win prices.

School asked for visit to talk to years 10-13.

Established the material to mount a Royal Society Summer Science Exhibit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2015,2016
 
Description Science on Sundays 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Short talk and Q&A on the nature of algae and how their characteristics could be used for sustainable energy, water remediation, or other green tech solutions. Held in the Cambridge Botanic Garden, the audience were interested in plants, and so this was an opportunity to provide information on what algae are, and how they might be used in novel ways. The audience fed back that they felt much better informed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/NewsItem.aspx?p=27&ix=196
 
Description Stapleford Community Primary School SAW workshop 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact OpenPlant teamed up with the Science Art Writing Trust workshop for year 6 pupils at Stapleford Community Primary School exploring excitable media and circuits of plants, linking them to biological systems like the brain, heart and muscle through science practicals, writing and art.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://openplant.org/blog/2016/02/openplant-science-art-and-writing-workshop-a-success/
 
Description Submitted scientific images to the Norwich Research Park image library 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The NRP image library consists of images arising from research in life and environmental sciences on the Norwich Research Park . The aim of NRP research is to deliver solutions to the global challenges of healthy ageing, food and energy security, sustainability and environmental change and this is reflected in the images in the library.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/searchresults.aspx?query=leveau
 
Description Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Open Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman gave an invited presentation at the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council open meeting about the OpenPlant Fund model and impacts in November 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Synthetic Biology and the Senses: Cambridge Science Festival exhibit 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact OpenPlant, SAW, Cambridge SynBio SRI and Imperial College teamed up to deliver and exhibit on Synthetic Biology and the Senses at Cambridge Science Festival. Activities included the newly built DNA Dave to explain how proteins are made using the instructions held in DNA, designing a synthetic flower, and smelling bacteria that were producing different scent chemicals. On display were bioluminescent bacteria, fabric samples dyed using bacteria (from company Colorifix) and information about a project on spicy tomatoes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.synbio.cam.ac.uk/news/synthetic-biology-and-the-senses-at-the-cambridge-science-festival
 
Description Synthetic biology session and discussion panel at the London Festival of Genomics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Chaired a session on synthetic biology session and participated in a panel discussion at the London Festival of Genomics, 2017. This brought the synthetic biology to a new audience of industry, investors and the general public. There was a lengthy discussion with the general public, investors and industry representatives from diverse fields (e.g. computing and engineering) about the ethics and potential of biological engineering at the panel discussion and also following the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.festivalofgenomicslondon.com/full-agenda
 
Description Talk at "Pint of Science" event, Guildhall, Norwich 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I delivered a talk entitled "Just eat your greens - a new way of vaccinating?" on 27/10/16 at this event as part of the Norwich Science Festival.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://pintofscience.com/
 
Description Talk at Norwich Science Festival 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This talk, entitled "The Green Vaccine Machine" was delivered as part of the Norwich Science Festival on 24/10/16 at The Forum in Norwich.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2016
 
Description Talk on Cambridge Biomakespace for Norwich BioMakers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Jenny Molloy visited Norwich Research Park to present experiences in setting up the Cambridge Biomakespace and participate in a discussion about setting up Norwich BioMakers with representatives from academia, the Norwich Hackspace, knowledge transfer professionals and researchers. The group then went ahead to set up a series of meetings (see other engagement activities) and practical workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The Colour Institute 'A sense of colour' at Cambridge Festival of Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This family event 'A sense of colour' on 17 October 2017 was co-organised by a Biomaker Challenge team (Sophie Weeks, Gareth Rees and Praveen Teleti) and Dr Jenny Molloy. It saw parents and children making DIY colour measuring machines designed by Praveen through the Biomaker Challenge funding provided by OpenPlant and questioning how we sense colour. Our eyes tell us that the colour of real and fake grass is very similar but if we augment our eyes with machines and look at the infrared end of the colour spectrum they appear very different. Participants learnt about the chemistry and physics of colour and split white light apart with DIY spectrometers made from cardboard and blank CDs.
During the two sessions, participants met some 'colour makers' from the arts and sciences: Nabil Ali is an artist who researches natural pigment and ran a hands-on paint-making workshop using sources like indigo, madder, saffron and plants grown in his own back garden. Dr Edwige Mouyrod (Sainsbury Lab) and Rox Middleton (Department of Chemistry) introduced us the world of structural colour and iridescence. The workshop ran twice in succession reaching over 50 people in total and there was great interest in further opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.synbio.cam.ac.uk/news/the-colour-institute-biological-colour-takes-centre-stage-at-the-f...
 
Description The Colour Institute Art Science Soiree at Cambridge Festival of Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Colour Institute Art & Science Soiree on 19 October 2017 brought together makers, writers, artists and scientists for talks on the use of colour in synthetic biology, scanning and printing works of art, remote sensing, the history of pigment and the use of colour in art. Activities and colourful surprises were provided, with the aim of inspiring creativity, fostering collaboration and interdisciplinary research. One of the talks by Dr Jenny Molloy featured OpenPlant work regarding use of chromoproteins and other marker genes for biological imaging. There was a great level of excitement and interest in the event from both scientists and artists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.synbio.cam.ac.uk/news/the-colour-institute-biological-colour-takes-centre-stage-at-the-f...
 
Description The Global Garden 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Prof Anne Osbourn (JIC), Dr Colette Matthewman (JIC), Dr Jenni Rant (SAW Trust) and social scientist Dr Nick Lee (Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre) designed and delivered an interdisciplinary workshop to explore issues around global genetic plant resource sharing. The workshop, which was held at the John Innes Centre, was advertised to the public. Participants took part in a practical science exercise to extract chemicals from plants. They discussed case studies that illustrated the history, sourcing and use of high value products from plants (drugs, sweeteners, flavourings). Following that, they extracted DNA from plants and learned about the genetic code. They then reviewed and responded to the theme creatively by writing poetry and generating artwork. Participants commented that discussions "stretched my thinking about the ethics of biopiracy" and "changed my view of plants". A write-up of this workshop, at which Katie Beckett (Access and Benefit Sharing Project Manager for the UK) was also present, is being prepared for submission to an international science journal, and further workshops with different audiences are being planned in other locations across the UK and internationally for 2018/19.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.openplant.org/global-garden
 
Description The Life Scientific on BBC Radio 4 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili about my scientific career and interest in algae and vitamins. The programme "The Life Scientific" was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and was also available on BBC iPlayer and as a podcast. As a result I have had numerous contacts about possible scientific and industrial collaborations, as well as enquiries from the general public about the various topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08bzl8y
 
Description Training workshop (Edinburgh) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact OpenPlant is working with the SAW Trust to deliver some of its engagement activities, particularly with schools. The SAW team were invited by the University of Edinburgh SynthSys & UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology to deliver a training workshop for scientists, artists, writers and teachers to enable them to design and deliver SAW projects in schools around Edinburgh. This approach to engaging children in current scientific research in an accessible way provides an excellent tool for scientists who wish to use diverse methods to showcase the potential impacts of their research. Working in teams with professionals from the arts fuels creative thinking and innovation around engagement styles whilst also providing novel science themes for artistic interpretation. Working with teachers helps to inform knowledge on current research to provide new examples for use in the classroom and the whole process enables co-learning from a science starting point in a multi-disciplinary way. Several SAW projects took place in Edinburgh schools in the months following the workshop where they were greatly received. We returned in 2017 to provide training for more people and have been invited back to run another workshop in 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Workshop Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participated in Workshop: Production of pharmaceutical and industrial proteins in microalgae and plants, Manchester, UK, 01/05/15. Delivered lecture entitled "Making all kinds of everything: the joy of transient expression".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Workshop on Genetic resources in the age of the Nagoya Protocol and gene/genome synthesis 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The ongoing improvement of gene and whole genome sequencing and synthesis technologies presents possibilities of new practices, and demands discussion and debate in light of the long history of global bioresource management. This workshop in November 2016 acted as a venue for collecting information on current developments, sharing views, highlighting potential areas of concern, and establishing grounds upon which to build better understanding of the interactions between and implications of the Nagoya Protocol and gene synthesis for collection, circulation, and use of genetic resources. A report is in preparation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Workshop on assessing anti-inflammatory effects of plant polyphenolics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact African Summer School on health promoting metabolites from plants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Year 10 Summer Science Camp SynBio day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A one-day workshop on synthetic biology as part of a week long Science Camp for 13 promising year 10 pupils with an interest in careers in science. We covered activities from gene circuits and understanding important concepts of standardisation and modularisation, cloning and transformation of E.coli, engineering nitrogen symbiosis into crop plants, the design-build-test cycle. We had a lively debate on responsible research and innovation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Youth STEMM Award Mid-Year Conference OpenPlant Exhibit 26.01.17 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Colette Matthewman, Michael Stephenson, Don Nguyen and Nadiatul Radzman (JIC) developed an interactive exhibit to span engineering, biology and chemistry in the context of synthetic biology for the Youth STEMM Awards mid-term conference for 14-18 year old students. The exhibit included interaction with electronic circuits and an explanation of genetic circuits and the importance of standards, infiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana (with water) and a new SynBio card game developed by Michael Stephenson. The new game served to showcase, in an accessible way, the concept of exploiting transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana towards drug discovery via combinatorial biosynthesis. Scientists and exhibitors explained their science to enthusiastic students the Youth STEMM mid-year conference. Example blog from a year 10 attendee: http://ysawards.co.uk/2017/02/01/madelines-experience-at-the-women-of-the-future-conference/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ysawards.co.uk/
 
Description Youth STEMM Award mid-year conference 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Exhibited at the Youth STEMM Award mid-year conference. The exhibit provided information on case studies in plants using synthetic biology, an electronics practical explaining gene circuits, and infiltration of tobacco leaves to explain how scientists get DNA into plants for genetic engineering.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/news/2016/01/-youth-stemm-mid-year/