‘Plant power: the ultimate way to go green’ is the essence of this cross-faculty research initiative within synthetic biology. Ultimately, the research will provide a sustainable alternative to the fossil fuel-based and highly polluting production systems used currently. It is based on the “share your parts principle” enabling controlled construction of new devices and aims at designing a “plug-and-play” platform for solar energy driven synthesis of a multitude of different high-valuable compounds which have competitive edge and market potential for the future globalised bio-based society.

Research based innovation for societal growth demands close dialogue with the public, as well as with industrial and political stakeholders. To embrace this, we shall establish a novel and integrated bioethics and communications benchmark platform for making society and scientists equipped for constructive dialogue on new technologies and scientific social responsibility. This includes science mentoring of do-it-yourself citizen scientists.

In addition, research into the challenges faced by synthetic biology in terms of intellectual property will be addressed. Solutions that will enable integration of the bottom-up and open access approaches of synthetic biology with the existing legal
framework will be proposed at the national and international level. This will furthermore aide UCPH to achieve seamless technology transfer with strategic potential to SMEs and larger industry alike.