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Opportunity profile: Synthetic biology seeks design, build and social tools

Catie Lichten reports on a Technology Strategy Board competition that also gives social scientists the chance to play a bigger role in the development of synthetic biology in the UK.

A global market for synthetic-biology devices and systems is expected to develop in the next few years, according to Belinda Clarke, the TSB’s specialist in this area. BCC Research, a market research company, has predicted that the market in products by the end of 2016 could be worth $11 billion (£7bn)—10 times higher than its estimate for 2010.

Clarke was introducing the TSB’s latest funding call, Tools and Services for Synthetic Biology, at a briefing in London on 26 November. “Tools and services are seen as a pinch point” in the growth of synthetic biology in the UK, she said. In particular, the development of in-house tools limits the rate of product development that a company can achieve.

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