Living Factories: Synthetic Biology for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

Project status

Project started in August 2014.

This project has been prepared in collaboration with IBC Finland.

Partners: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University, University of Turku
Coordinator: Research Professor Merja Penttilä, VTT
Tekes funding: € 3 955 000 (2014 - 2016)

Project description

Synthetic biology is the engineering of biology: the synthesis of complex, biologically based (or inspired) systems, which display function that do not exist in nature. This engineering perspective may be applied at all levels of the hierarchy of biological structures from individual molecules to whole cells, tissues and organisms. In essence, synthetic biology will enable the design of biological systems in a rational and systematic way.

The goal of Living Factories is to realise the full potential of Synthetic Biology in Finland. Synthetic Biology is considered one of the key breakthrough technologies that will have a major impact on our future. It is based on the design and engineering of new-to-nature biological systems. It has great potential to generate novel industrial processes and products. In our Living Factories Programme, we will create an academia-industry-education environment that builds on forward-looking know-how and exploits the unique functionalities that biology - combined with engineering sciences - can offer, and which will be highly competitive internationally. This will serve as an inspiration for novel and visionary solutions for a sustainable biobased society.