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The International Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) is the largest synthetic biology competition in the world.
The competition started in 2004 with 5 teams and has now grown to having more than 200 teams from different universities attending every year. 

University teams compete in either under- or over-graduate competitions in one of 13 different tracks which includes: Health & Medicine, Energy, Environment, Food & Nutrition, Manufacturing, Information Processing, Art & Design, Entrepreneurship, Policy & Practice, Measurement and Software.

Every project has to contain synthetic biology, and should aim at solving a problem in the community either locally or globally, or even develop new tools for research. The teams have to document all their findings on a Wiki-page to ensure transparency and knowledge sharing. 

In late September the team goes to Boston and meets up with similar teams from the best universities in the world to present their work and compete in the iGEM competition. The projects will be evaluated by a judging committee, which consist of professors and industry leaders from around the world.

DTU Biobuilders participated in iGEM for the first time in 2009

An essential part of the iGEM competition is that each team must submit at least one BioBrick to the public available BioBrick library. From 2009 to 2014 the different DTU Biobuilders teams have submitted a totel of 102 novel BioBricks that are freely available for the scientific community.

Another important part of the iGEM competition is the outreach, promoting the teams to spread the word of synthetic biology in the community and introduce the possible implications of their project could provide in society. Examples could be engagement with policy makers or spreading the potential of synthetic biology by presenting the project to high school students.

Read more at the iGEM homepage.


Christopher Workman
Associate Professor
DTU Bioengineering
+45 45 25 27 00