In a letter to the iGEM 2011 Software teams, Randy Rettberg, iGEM Director and President of the iGEM Foundation, invited all registered Software teams to automatically advance and compete at the World Championship Jamboree.
To: iGEM 2011 Software Team instructors
From: Randy Rettberg, iGEM Director, iGEM Foundation President
Subject: Software team announcement
Dear iGEM Instructors, Students, and Friends,
Every year, we have tried to include everyone who
wanted to participate in iGEM. We have had high school students in collegiate teams,
business majors on teams, and programmers learning to pipette. While this
has been innovative for us, it has not been perfect for all these other participants.
This year, we have started a new High School Division of iGEM specifically for
high school teams. It is a 'division' because it runs on a different schedule and
has different rules.
Next year, we will initiate an Entrepreneurial Division of iGEM for iGEM students
wet, dry, and to be wealthy who want to see about starting a synthetic biology company
based on iGEM. Their projects will be business plans and their judges will come from the
venture community. The grand prize may be financial backing for their new company.
Also this year, we have realized that Software Tools are not just an extension of wetlab
activity, but are valuable as projects themselves. The programming talents needed to
make great software need nuturing. As synthetic biology matures, we all hope that
tools will be developed that make our designs easier to explore, construction of the systems
more automatic, and the results more predictable.
This year, there are few Software Tools teams, some regions have only one or two. In order
to bring this software activity to critical mass this year, iGEM is inviting all currently identified
software tools track teams to the World Championship at MIT. To qualify, the teams must still
present at the Regional Jamboree. That Regional Jamboree is the only opportunity to win medals.
But, they will automatically advance to the World Championship. This will not count against
the quota of allowed teams from any region.
We don't know how the Software Tools teams will be considered in 2012. The activity this year
is not a precedent for 2012.
As iGEM leaves MIT and moves into the iGEM Foundation with new lab and office space,
it will also expand into new areas and will involve new ideas, new schools, new techniques,
and new members of the iGEM Community. We welcome them all.
iGEM Headquarters wishes all the iGEM 2011 teams good luck at the Jamborees.
May you all win !
President, iGEM Foundation
Director of iGEM at MIT