On 16 and 17 October, European researchers, representatives from industry and other officials gathered at the CSIC headquarters in Madrid for a two-day symposium. The aim of this event, subtitled ‘Defining the Challenges’ was to discuss the future of the Synthetic Cell project and to gather input for the next steps.
The event kicked off with presentations about the science & technology vision of three of the promotors of the Synthetic Cell project: Marileen Dogterom, Petra Schwille and Manuel Thery. Paul Clarke then delivered an inspirational talk about his work at Ocado Technology, a company that has combined AI and robotics, among other disciplines, to revolutionize online grocery shopping in the United Kingdom.
At the core of the symposium were various working groups in which people cooperated to answer a number of questions about a certain theme, such as ‘Science vision and technology transfer’, ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ and ‘Communication and Outreach’. The conclusions of these groups were then discussed in two plenary sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.
The valuable input gathered during these two days will serve as the basis for a whitepaper or roadmap for the synthetic cell project.