Our human practice work falls into three parts:
(1) Funding Guide, including a funding report of iGEM teams, a biotech industry funding assessment, a manual for funding application and a survey conducted among some Chinese iGEM teams.
(2) Education for Fun, including an App game developed for iphone and a novel all based on the theme of synthetic biology;
(3) Campus activity, including establishing the Synthetic Biology Club, recruiting about 100 members, organizing Synthetic Biology Introduction lectures.
We’re highly motivated to put our original ideas and efforts in human practice work. We’re particularly concerned with the following issues:
How to win funding for iGEM teams?
We found that funding application is hard not only for our team, but for many other teams as well. Yet, without successful funding, most of the teams could barely manage to participate in iGEM. Therefore, we designed a survey on funding and wrote a manual for funding application based on the result, in order to guide and help teams that need to apply for funding in the future.
We’ve also discovered a particular phenomenon in sponsors that marks the difference between Chinese teams and European teams. An assessment on biotech industry funding has been made to account for such differences and indicated different approaches should be taken in different regions.
In order to investigate how funding affects the development of iGEM and what kind of approaches we have that can partly solve the problem, we’ve written a funding report of iGEM teams to both understand the underlying conflicts and offer new suggestions.
How to effectively advocate synthetic biology to the public?
We believe education for fun might be a fantastic approach to introduce synthetic biology to the public, because people usually have larger chance to accept things that are fun and pleasant. Joyful entertainment, such as games and novels which embody concepts of synthetic biology, could build a relaxing atmosphere to bring people closer to synthetic biology and iGEM. Moreover, in this way, we can target at a much larger group of people beyond our expectation.
How to best advocate synthetic biology in campus?
We’ve established the Synthetic Biology Club to introduce synthetic biology in campus. With such club, we organized many campus activities and made iGEM localized in campus. It not only introduced iGEM and synthetic biology to campus, but also formed a community of iGEM in campus. It’s a rewarding experience, for the large community makes us feel that we could accomplish more.