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Synthetic biology: addressing global challengesgence

One of UK Government's Eight Great Technologies is to apply engineering principles to biological systems in order to meet needs for low-carbon fuel, new food sources, novel pharmaceuticals and much more.

The last half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century saw the development of technologies that would create the basis of wealth generation by means of major new industries – principally petrochemical, automotive, aviation and electronics.
These developments helped create the modern world.
Synthetic biology has the potential to create another raft of major new industries, the development of which is likely to have profound implications for the future of the UK, European and world economies.

At this time of global economic uncertainty, the fostering of new wealth creating industries and technologies is a stated Government objective. At present, in the field of synthetic biology, the UK can demonstrate a competitive advantage in fundamental research, massive growth potential (as synthetic biology techniques mature and replace existing production techniques) and the realistic potential to being number one or two in the world. Synthetic biology is therefore a prime candidate for significant investment to develop UK capabilities.*

Richard Ian Kitney OBE, FREng, FRSE, DSc (Eng), FCGI is Professor of Biomedical Systems Engineering; Chairman of the Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology; and Co-Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation. He was Founding Head of the Department of Bioengineering, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

Kitney is recognised as a leading research worker in the field of synthetic biology and, with Professor Paul Freemont, has been responsible for developing the Imperial College Hub for Synthetic Biology. This is now recognised as one of the leading international centres in the field.


Prof Richard Kitney | talks


Date and Time:

22 November 2016 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Imperial College London
Sir Alex Fleming Building
South Kensington Campus

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Organised by:

Friends of Imperial College
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