A Plant and Microbe DNA Foundry to support Earlham Institute’s Institute Strategic Programmes (ISPs) and the UK BioScience Community and BioEconomy

Lead Research Organisation: Earlham Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED

Abstract

The Plant and Microbe DNA Foundry (NC2) will provide a national resource for the UK bioscience community to engage with the high-throughput laboratory automation facilities at Earlham Institute (EI). Focusing on nanoscale DNA construct assembly from standard parts, allied with validation by next-generation sequencing via Earlham Institute’s National Capability in Genomics and Single Cell (NC1), NC2 will provide access to DNA assembly at scale and also to toolkits and collections of standard DNA parts submitted under an Open Material Transfer Agreement (OMTA).

NC2 will complement the strengths of the Norwich Research Park, providing researchers with a platform to perform large-scale experiments. NC2 benefits from essential, local multi-disciplinary expertise. This will enable new research directions and approaches to drive innovation contributing to UK SynBio sector growth, one of the UK’s ‘Eight Great Technologies’.


This will be extended by educating researchers about biological standards and automated parallel DNA assembly through training delivered through EI’s National Capability in Advanced Training (NC4).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The Earlham Biofoundry was established in 2015/2016 with a £1.9M capital investment award from BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology for growth program. It was immediately apparent that the increased ability to assembly DNA created a bottleneck in the characterisation of microorganisms. A successful application was made to the 2016 ALERT call to purchase a platform for automated micro-fermentation to facilitate downstream characterisation experiments.
By 2017, automated workflows for DNA-assembly, validation by sequencing and delivery to bacterial cells were sufficiently robust to offer external access to the community. A facility manager was appointed in March 2018 together with an automation specialist. The first service projects for external customers using the established DNA assembly pipelines were completed in 2018. Since this time several new collaborations have enabled the automation of new workflows.
Efforts in Earlham Biofoundry are divided between the delivery of services that use established automated workflows and collaborative projects that develop and optimise new automated workflows.

The majority of time is spent on collaborative projects, which tend to be longer (several months), of high value and with a wider range of impacts. In most cases, a member of the collaborative team will spend some time within the Foundry. To date, we have progressed collaborations with internal partners, external academic partners and external industrial partners. These projects are generally funded to be funded by specific grants.

The Biofoundry also progresses service projects (typically taking several hours or days) in which uses take advantages of established automated workflows. The users of these services are based on the Norwich Research Park (NRP). A consequence of this is that work at the Earlham Biofoundry is naturally connected to other technology platforms on the NRP. For example, we have provided direct service to a research facility platform at the John Innes Centre and have identified bacterial strains in automated screens that have subsequently been analysed using the John Innes Centre metabolomics facility. In addition, we have collaborative projects with two biotech companies based on the NRP.
We engage our local community through seminars, information sessions and facility tours. We engage with the wider UK community through presentations at national scientific conferences, including meetings coordinated by the Synthetic Biology Research Centres and the Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy. We engage with the commercial community through industry-focused workshops and events hosted by EI (e.g., AgritechEast; Flexible Talent Mobility Workshop) as well as through attendance and networking at innovation-focused conferences and meetings (e.g., SynbiTech, Bioindustry Association; BIA). In 2020, these opportunities have been more limited due to COVID-19.

The Earlham Biofoundry is a founding signatory of the global Alliance of Biofoundries' that enables the collective to share experiences and resources and to work together to overcome common challenges and unmet scientific and engineering needs. The Earlham Biofoundry has shared methods, technical expertise as well as best-practice for developing collaboration agreements and cost-models with other Foundries within the Alliance.

The Earlham Biofoundry worked closely with the OpenPlant SBRC (https://www.openplant.org) and the BioBricks Foundation (https://biobricks.org) to establish best practice for the exchange of enabling tools and technologies. This resulted in the establishment of the OpenMTA (PMID: 30307930; https://www.openplant.org/openmta). The use of enabling tools such as plasmid toolkits shared under an OpenMTA reduces the administrative load on Foundries by negating the need for large numbers of MTAs to be agreed upon between multiple parties before work commences. At present, most users progress projects with their own plasmid toolkits/ DNA parts that cannot be shared with others. However, we host an OpenMTA plasmid toolkit and enabling DNA parts for plant systems (we are currently working on updating our webpages to provide detailed information to users). The creators of plasmid toolkits have expressed an interest in the OpenMTA, as have the 'Global Alliance of Biofoundries' but it typically takes months or years before research offices understand and approve the use.

In addition, early-career researchers have been trained in the use of automated laboratory platforms at the Foundry. In the last few years, we have contributed to several externally held formal training courses as well as hosting researchers in the Foundry laboratory. We are focussed on delivering a training programme in laboratory automation and synthetic biology approaches to large-scale experimentation at EI, however, as a hands-on course, this has been delayed by the pandemic.
Exploitation Route In the majority of UK laboratories, it is still typical for postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers to spend anything from days to weeks at the bench making just handfuls of individual DNA constructs. The Earlham Biofoundry has developed workflows for multiple high-throughput experimental workflows including DNA-assembly, cell-free protein expression, bioassays and microfermentation. The Earlham Biofoundry provides primarily works as a collaborative partner in large projects requiring high-throughput experimentation. We contribute our expertise in automation and synthetic biology approaches including standardisation and hierarchical experiment design. We work will partners in both industry and academia. We also offer short, established automated workflows as services, primarily to researchers on the Norwich Research Park.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL https://www.earlham.ac.uk/earlham-bio-foundry
 
Description The Earlham Biofoundry is providing benefits to SMEs based on the Norwich and Cambridge Research Parks. This is being achieved by the progression of research using this platform provided by staff at the Earlham Biofoundry. This includes the use of the platform to generate data for Innovate-UK funded research led by an Industry partner.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Engagement with All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development: Implications of the 2018 European Court of Justice ruling on genome editing
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Expert member of the plant synthetic biology working group for the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
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 Meeting with Professor Lionel Clark (Chair of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council) to discuss synbio strategy in Agrifood sector
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Meeting with Sir John Kingman to discuss UKRI strategy and the sustainability of Institutes
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
 
Description Policy Round Table on Synthetic Biology, UK Cabinet Office
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Science and Technology Committee, House of Commons - implications to the UK of the 2018 Euporean Court of Justice ruling on Genome Editing
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
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 Synthetic Biology Expert Roundtable, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description 17ALERT Mid-range equipment initiative - Bioreactor capability for the Plant and Microbe DNA Foundry
Amount £358,963 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R000433/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 08/2018
 
Description A modular synthetic biology pipeline for the engineering of next generation sustainable and bioactive dyes
Amount £393,067 (GBP)
Funding ID 72672 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2020 
End 04/2022
 
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 IPA Industrial Partnering Award - An improved bioproduction system for proteins and small molecules
Amount £420,676 (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
 
Title A biofoundry workflow for the identification of genetic determinants of microbial growth inhibition 
Description Biofoundries integrate high-throughput software and hardware platforms with synthetic biology approaches to enable the design, execution and analyses of large-scale experiments. The unique and powerful combination of laboratory infrastructure and expertise in molecular biology and automation programming, provide flexible resources for a wide range of workflows and research areas. This workflow demonstrate the applicability of biofoundries to molecular microbiology to identify the genetic basis of growth inhibition of the plant pathogen Streptomyces scabies by a Pseudomonas strain. Combining transposon mutagenesis with automated high-throughput antagonistic assays, the workflow accelerated the screening of 2880 mutants to correlate growth inhibition with a biosynthetic gene cluster within 2 weeks. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This method exemplifies the relevance of biofoundries to study microbial interactions in the soil, identifying gene clusters implicated in the growth inhibition of plant pathogens. Such microbial interactions are of interest to agriculture, particularly the identification and characterization of plant-associated or rhizospheric soil bacteria capable of inhibiting the growth of specific plant pathogens. The workflow accelerates screening processes, increases reproducibility and minimizes human error. Additionally, the development of this method resulted in a scientific publication. 
URL https://academic.oup.com/synbio/article/6/1/ysab004/6122745
 
Title Automated preparation of crystallization screening solutions. 
Description The workflow allows the automated generation of 96 different crystallization solutions, and their aliquots in 96 deep well blocks to a total of 480 samples. The workflow is available to the research community as service. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The workflow is available to the research community reducing cost in consumables. This method will allow us to develop automated approaches to more complex crystallization solutions, minimizing human errors and cost. 
 
Title High-throughput fermentation screening for yeast with real-time monitoring of biomass, pH and dissolved oxygen 
Description The BioLector is a microfermentator able to mimic small bioreactor conditions allowing simultaneously high-throughput fermentation procedures and live monitoring of parameter such as OD, temperature, pH and fluorescence emission. Using this system, we were able to monitor five yeast strains biomass production, pH values and dissolved oxygen in real time throughout the culture duration. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This method has been develop to increase the service porfolio of the EI DNA Foundry and phenotipically characterise yeast with industrial interest and compare strains for their ability to heterologously express a set of high-value proteins or metabolites. Provided as service at the DNA Foundry Facility 
 
Description A modular synthetic biology pipeline for the engineering of next generation sustainable and bioactive dyes 
Organisation Colorifix Ltd.
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Quote for Grant application, training in automation for a collaborator, expertise and access to technological platforms to develop the project.
Collaborator Contribution Grant application, expertise and intellectual input to develop the project awarded by Innovate UK (Project Reference: 72672)
Impact No outputs yet have resulted from this collaboration.
Start Year 2020
 
Description An automated workflow for high throughput PCR clean-up 
Organisation Earlham Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Development of an automated workflow for PCR products clean-up, expertise in automation, access to facilities and equipment.
Collaborator Contribution Sample, consumables and assessment of downstream processes to validate the automated workflow
Impact The generated workflow can be offered as service for external users. Internal users can access the facility and equipment to execute the workflow for their research.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Biofoundry assisted S. cerevisiae signal peptide library screening 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Automation expertise, intellectual input to develop and optimise the workflow, access to generated data.
Collaborator Contribution Signal peptide library, intellectual input for the screening assay, expertise in cellular biology and eukaryotic cellular complexity.
Impact New automated screening workflow based on nanoscale liquid culture transfer using the Echo 550 acoustic liquid handler
Start Year 2020
 
Description Biofoundry-assisted expression and characterisation of plant proteins 
Organisation Earlham Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Training, expertise in automation, access to equipment and facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in synthetic biology and intellectual input to develop the project involving DNA assembly and cell-free protein synthesis of plant proteins.
Impact New automated workflow for cell free expression system
Start Year 2020
 
Description CyanoSource : An automated mutant library and synthetic biology resource facility for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 
Organisation University of East Anglia
Department School of Biological Sciences UEA
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Quote for Grant application Training in automation for a Senior Research Associate Support, expertise and access to technological platforms to develop the project CyanoSource, the first mutant library and plasmid resource facility for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.
Collaborator Contribution Grant application Expertise and intellectual input to develop the project CyanoSource, the first mutant library and plasmid resource facility for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.
Impact Development of new DNA assembly workflow from PCR amplicons at the EI DNA Foundry. Training of visiting scientist
Start Year 2018
 
Description CyanoSource : An automated mutant library and synthetic biology resource facility for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Quote for Grant application Training in automation for a Senior Research Associate Support, expertise and access to technological platforms to develop the project CyanoSource, the first mutant library and plasmid resource facility for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.
Collaborator Contribution Grant application Expertise and intellectual input to develop the project CyanoSource, the first mutant library and plasmid resource facility for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.
Impact Development of new DNA assembly workflow from PCR amplicons at the EI DNA Foundry. Training of visiting scientist
Start Year 2018
 
Description Developing an automated growth-challenge assay for the plant pathogen Streptomyces scabies 
Organisation John Innes Centre
Department Molecular Microbiology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Design and development of an automated workflow to screen a Pseudomonas putida mutant's library. Design and development of an automated growth-challenge assay for plant pathogens. Access to Technology platforms and expertise in automation
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in microbiology and intellectual input on the assay design
Impact Development of new automated workflows and assay. Publication: 10.1093/synbio/ysab004
Start Year 2019
 
Description Developing automated protocols for synthesis and testing of flagellin fusion gene constructs by golden gate assembly 
Organisation Quadram Institute Bioscience
Department Gut Health and Food Safety
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Development of automated workflow to generate DNA assemblies from PCR products Development of automated workflow to screen motility of E. coli mutants
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual input to design DNA assemblies Design of primers to amplify specific fragments of E. coli genes
Impact Development of new automated workflows
Start Year 2019
 
Description RiceCRIPR" A gene editing platform for crop improvement. 
Organisation Durham University
Department Department of Biosciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Quotation for Grant Application to generate a public access genetic resource for improving rice productivity.
Collaborator Contribution Grant application
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2018
 
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
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
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 Leaf LIMS 
Description Leaf LIMS is a flexible laboratory information management system (LIMS) designed to address the complexity of synthetic biology workflows. At the project's inception there was a lack of a LIMS designed specifically to address synthetic biology processes, with most systems focused on either next generation sequencing or biobanks and clinical sample handling. Leaf LIMS implements integrated project, item, and laboratory stock tracking, offering complete sample and construct genealogy, materials and lot tracking, and modular assay data capture. Hence, it enables highly configurable task-based workflows and supports data capture from project inception to completion. As such, in addition to it supporting synthetic biology it is ideal for many laboratory environments with multiple projects and users. The system is deployed as a web application through Docker and is provided under a permissive MIT license. It is freely available for download at https://leaflims.github.io. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact ongoing 
URL https://leaflims.github.io
 
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 600k machine learning collaboration to supercharge data driven science 
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 600k machine learning collaboration to supercharge data driven science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.earlham.ac.uk/newsroom/%C2%A3600k-machine-learning-collaboration-supercharge-data-driven...
 
Description A PhD, is it worth it? Just ask our students 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A PhD, is it worth it? Just ask our students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/phd-it-worth-it-just-ask-our-students
 
Description AgriTech East - Pheromones for Insect Pest Control 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Ineractive presentation at Agritech East event to farmers, agronomists and the general public about biomanufacturing of insect sex pheromones for pest control in agriculture. Participants were given a brief presentation on bioproduction on insect pheromones and progressed through a 'fragrant biochemical pathway'. This was followed by small group discussions on new methods for pest control and the uses of biotechnology in agriculture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Biofoundry introduction 
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 Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting with NeoGenome Ltd to explore collaboration and service opportunities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
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 lectures 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 EI DNA Foundry Tour : Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) delegation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The developed activity was related to the presentation of the EI DNA Foundry's capabilities to a Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) delegation. The goal of the event was to promote UK-China collaboration and the establishment of potential pioneering projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description EI DNA Foundry Tours 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The EI Biofoundry Tours are organized visits to this facility which aim to voice up the available capabilities and tools for researchers and industry professional. Since March 2018 to date more than 40 tours have been organized, reaching local and international researchers and local SMBs. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown measure, the Tours are online and the number have decreased significantly.
The outcomes arisen from the visits are Service Contracts with local researchers, 5 Service contract with SMBs, 3 collaborations with local researchers, 1 collaboration with a local SMBs, 1 collaboration with national researcher, 7 quotes for Grant applications and 2 initial discussions for a new collaboration with local researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
 
Description EI Innovate 2020: From Identification to Intervention 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact EI Innovate is a networking event to explore opportunities for collaboration and innovation with external organisations. Having worked with agri-food, biotech and med-tech sectors, we have a wealth of experience in collaborating with others on developing potential solutions to industrial and societal challenges.

The event was virtual this year, showcasing EI's expertise and capabilities across 3 select areas :

Disease identification and monitoring - how genomics and bioinformatics are used for disease identification and monitoring, from COVID-19, to AMR to agricultural pathogens.
Finding a needle in a haystack - Identifying specific targets in health and disease with long read RNA and single cell sequencing.
Accelerating plant breeding with next generation genetics, genomics and epigenetics.

We shared examples of existing collaborations and use it as a chance to explore new opportunities. There was also a chance for participants to promote their work with lightning pitches, and participate in 1-to-1 meetings to network further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.earlham.ac.uk/ei-innovate-2020
 
Description EI Innovate: a platform for collaboration and new ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact EI Innovate: a platform for collaboration and new ideas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/ei-innovate-platform-collaboration-and-new-ideas
 
Description Feature article on genomics in the Easton Daily Press 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Article was to cover the research activity at the Earlham Institute and at the Norwich Research park and how it would impact the general public
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Gatsby plant science summer school: engineering plants for farming and pharming 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Presented a lecture and particilaped in a discussion session with undergraduates as part of the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School. The summer school is an opportunity for first year undergraduate students in the UK to discover the challenge and opportunities of studying plant science. 76% of students rated this particular talk as good or very good with some very positive comments such as, 'I realised how much I loved to learn about Synthetic aspect of biology after the talk by Dr Nicola Patron'. 69% of students atteneding the whole summer school responded that they were more interested in plant science as a result of attending and one third of students reported in their feedback that they are now thinking of doing a PhD with some plant science, an increase in 12% from when asked before attending. 93% of students reported that they are interested in or are considering a career in or with plant science as a result of attending.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://intobiology.org.uk/dr-nicola-patron-engineering-plants-for-farming-and-pharming/
 
Description Global BioFoundry Meeting at Kobe (Japan) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Research institutions around the world have been establishing biofoundries to expand their biotechnology development capacities. However, the existence of these biofoundries is not yet widely known.Biofoundries aim to accelerate and enhance both academic and translational research in engineering/synthetic biology. To enable global coordination of these efforts, 15 non-commercial biofoundries from four continents gathered in London in June 2018 to discuss the formation of a Global Biofoundry Alliance (GBA). The GBA was formally launched on 9th May, 2019 in Kobe, Japan, during a meeting of the Founding Members.
As outcome, the GBA members have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding, which is a voluntary arrangement dependent upon goodwill and cooperation. The main goals are:
1 Develop, promote, and support non-commercial biofoundries established around the world,
2 Intensify collaboration and communication among biofoundries,
3 Collectively develop responses to technological, operational, and other types of common challenges,
4 Enhance visibility, impact and sustainability of non-commercial biofoundries
5 Explore globally relevant and societally impactful grand challenge collaborative projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.synbicite.com/news-events/events/global-biofoundry-meeting/
 
Description Global BioFoundry Meeting at London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Increase collaboration among national and international Bio Foundries
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://biofoundries.org/global-biofoundry-meeting-london-june-2018
 
Description Molecular Training Workshop for African Scientists, University of Cambridge 
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 Lectures deleivered as part of a two week training evint for agricultural research scientists, academics and PhD students from across Africa. This was followed by discussion and follow-up questions by email.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.jrbiotekfoundation.org/cambridge-lab-training-2018/
 
Description Neo.Life - 25 Visions for the Future of our Species (Book) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Contributed a book section to Neo.Life - 25 Visions for the Future of our Species (Book). Editors: Jane Metcalf and Brian Bergstein
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://neo.life/visions/
 
Description Newsletter article June 2018: Unleashing the Power of Automation for Plant and Microbial Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This short communication about the DNA foundry at the Earlham had as main goal to voice up its capabilities, and inform the plant research community how to interact with us to help with their research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.garnetcommunity.org.uk/newsletters
 
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 and software. This group meets monthly at a variety of local spaces for events including talks, training in the use of technologies and to work on projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://www.meetup.com/Norwich-Biomakers/
 
Description Oral presentation - Population level cis-regulatory variation highlights the importance of DNA shape to transcription factor binding affinity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Oral presentation at the SMBE Annual Meeting 2019, Manchester, UK 21-25 July 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation and discussion at Norwich Science Festival 2018 (Engineering Day) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation on biomanufacturing to general public including interactive activity with biochemical pathways and debate about the meaning of the word 'natural', biological vs chemical manufacturing methods and whether manufacturing can be sustainable.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/events/building-with-biology/
 
Description Presentation at Automation in Synthetic Biology Workshop, University of Bristol 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk to Introduce the EI DNA Foundry to the UK SynBio community and industry/business attending the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/brissynbio/events/2018/automation-workshop.html
 
Description Press release: Discovering hidden plant medicines on your doorstep 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release on how our scientists are delving into the genetics of UK wildflowers to find the medicines that we never knew were right on our doorstep.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.earlham.ac.uk/newsroom/discovering-hidden-plant-medicines-your-doorstep
 
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 Scientific Advisory Board for Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS), a joint initiative of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), University of Cologne (UoC), Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Cologne (MPIPZ) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ). 
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 Member of the Science Advisory Board for the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS), a joint initiative of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), University of Cologne (UoC), Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Cologne (MPIPZ) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.ceplas.eu/en/home/
 
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 The Earlham Biofoundry: How automation can help on your research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact EI Seminar series is an internal event to promote and show cast research and capabilities to EI faculty and scientist based on the NRP. The talk was focused on how automation can help accelerate research and how scientist and industry can collaborate, interact and request services from the EI Biofoundry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description The Earlham Biofoundry: Unleashing the Power of Automation for Engineering Biology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Engagement with industry (ELO life, https://elolife.ag/) to promote the EI Biofoundry and explore future opportunities of consultancy, collaboration, and services.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description The Essex Synthetic Biology School (ESBS), University of Essex, UK : 
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 Presented lectures on "Engineering Plant Genomes for Farming and Pharming" and "Sharing Biology in the Information Age: Perceived Threats of Dematerialisation and Open Data". These were followed by discussions on the use of biotechnologies in agricultures and a debate on access and benefit sharing of genetic resources. Participants reported changes in their views on the common practices used to share information relating to genetic resources as well as physical resources.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://esbs.essex.ac.uk
 
Description UK BioFoundries Meeting at Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Increase and improve collaboration between UK Biofoundries, provide a Biofoundries update, define the objectives and priorities to build the UK biofoundries portal, discus grand challenges that could only be tackled by a joint biofoundry effort.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description UK CBCB: an ELIXIR for cross-disciplinary collaboration in bioinformatics 
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 UK CBCB: an ELIXIR for cross-disciplinary collaboration in bioinformatics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/uk-cbcb-elixir-cross-disciplinary-collaboration-bioinformatics
 
Description Web Article - Spotlight on Synthetic Biology. Yaomin Cao 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Interview with Yaomin Cai of Nicola Patron's DNA Foundry at Earlham Institute, on how he got into synthetic biology, how it can help us to tackle biological questions, and what the future has in store. -SOCIAL MEDIA- Engagement x92, Impressions x70456
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/spotlight-on-synthetic-biology
 
Description Web Article - Spotlight on biohacking 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Interview with Elliot Roth, founder of Spira and Indie-lab on biohacking and algae research. -SOCIAL MEDIA- ENgagement x88, Impressions x176657
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/spotlight-biohacking-elliot-roth-%E2%80%9Cit%E2%80%99s-algae-time%...
 
Description Web article - A celebration of science in Norwich - 27.08.2018 
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 Articles such as this pertain to our publically funded research such that the information gleaned can be disseminated to the general public. As of March 2019, our articles have reached people in all but 6 countries worldwide, with over 50000 pageviews on our website in the year 2018. On social media, this reach has exceeded a million people, monthly. As part of an expanding portfolio covering the range of science that we do, each article forms a vital component of how we engage the wider international community with important scientific breakthroughs and knowledge.

Promoting our engagement in the Noriwch Science festival beyond our region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/celebration-science-norwich
 
Description Web article - Decoding Living Systems: from cell to ecosystem - 28.03.2018 
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 Articles such as this pertain to our publically funded research such that the information gleaned can be disseminated to the general public. As of March 2019, our articles have reached people in all but 6 countries worldwide, with over 50000 pageviews on our website in the year 2018. On social media, this reach has exceeded a million people, monthly. As part of an expanding portfolio covering the range of science that we do, each article forms a vital component of how we engage the wider international community with important scientific breakthroughs and knowledge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/decoding-living-systems-cell-ecosystem
 
Description Web article - Spotlight on Synthetic Biology 
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 Article with a focus on Synthetic Biology. An interview with John Cumbers, founder of SynBioBeta. -SOCIAL MEDIA- Engagement x160, Impressions x159540
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/spotlight-synthetic-biology-john-cumbers
 
Description Why statistics is important in a world of big data 
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 Why statistics is important in a world of big data
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.earlham.ac.uk/articles/why-statistics-important-world-big-data