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Attention all innovators in synthetic biology

Attention all innovators in synthetic biology

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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) is seeking innovative applications of synthetic biology for defence and security.

Synthetic biology is an emerging, multidisciplinary research area that includes engineering, bioscience, chemistry and information technology.

CDE funds research that could lead to a cost-effective capability advantage for UK armed forces and national security through regular, themed challenge competitions.

The latest competition is seeking submissions in three areas, exploiting synthetic biology for:

  • the protection of the Armed Forces
  • novel sensor technologies
  • potential revolutions, where existing applications could be modified for a defence and security purpose


Professor Petra Oyston, Principal Scientist in Dstl’s Biomedical Sciences Department, said: “The potential applications of synthetic biology approaches in defence are really exciting and wide ranging. For example, synthetic biology could play a part in the development of lightweight but strong compounds, novel camouflage solutions, multi-function materials or sensor technologies for detecting explosives.

“We are expecting the £4 million available for this initiative to stimulate a wide range of innovative and inter-disciplinary work leading to impact across defence and security capability.

More information is available on the Synthetic Biology Applications in Defence competition via a pre-recorded webinar.

The competition closes on November 6 2014.


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