Innovative Enterprise Week 2019

Over the course of three days – 19, 20 and 21st of June 2019 – the conference focused on topics and challenges for the next EU Research and Innovation Programme (2021-2027) – Horizon Europe as well as on the European Innovation Council, a very powerful instrument foreseen to strongly support European “breakthrough innovators”. The event was co-organised by the European Commission, through DG CONNECT and DG RTD, together with the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The aim was to debate about how to bridge the gap from idea to investable project, how to support breakthrough innovations and the scale-up potential with high risk for private investors. Our partner IN was there with a booth in the exhibition area to promote the innovation proposed by the FutureAgriculture approach.

Metabolic Engineering in Plants: From Design Concepts to Applications

The Plant Metabolic Engineering GRC was held for the first time in Europe, at the Renaissance Tuscany, Il Ciocco, Italy between June 16th and June 21st, 2019. The objective was to build stronger networks between those working on plant metabolic engineering in the USA, Europe and Asia. The meeting provides an exemplar ground for innovative research networks to blossom thanks to a collegial atmosphere, deep discussion sessions, and informal gatherings. Personnel from MPI-TM was there to represent the project FutureAgriculture.

EMBL Conference Biological Solutions for the Global CO2 Challenge

The conference, hosted in Heidelberg (June, 3-4), covered the entire chain of innovation, from the laboratory to the field implementation: approaches that make optimal use of the evolutionarily optimized biological systems, like algae and plants, as well as novel synthetic biology solutions for CO2 fixation and conversion to value-added chemicals. The role of fundamental molecular biology in catalyzing innovation was one of the main focus areas for discussion. Partners from MPI-TM attended the event with posters and talks.

Workshop at the ICT Day – “Mind the Gap”

We’ve concluded 2018 with the exciting networking event MIND THE GAP, organized by our partner IN S.r.l at the last ICT Day in Vienna, Austria, on 4 December 2018. The goal was to find a common language between science and business to foster innovation.

The hot topics of our panel discussion were about the common struggles of scientists approaching business, the role of venture capitalists in this ecosystem, the best strategies to bridge the gap between early-stage disruptive technologies and the creation of successful start-ups.

Four speakers were invited to confront significant questions:
VIOREL PECA, Head of Unit Future Emerging Technologies – DG CONNECT, European Commission;
LORENZO MORETTI Associate and Venture Capital Investor Invitalia Ventures SGR;
HAROLD P. DE VLADAR CEO of Ribbon Biolabs and Synthetic Biologist;
ANDREA ZORZETTO Managing Partner, Italy Plug & Play

4th Applied Synthetic Biology in Europe

The 4th Applied Synthetic Biology in Europe took place from 24th to 26th of October 2018 in Toulouse. The wealth of applied synthetic biology research was explored, covering diverse product and application areas and utilizing biological systems from bacteria through yeast to plants and mammalian cells. Partners from MPI-MP were there to present the work developed within FutureAgriculture.

EUSynBioS Symposium

The third EUSynBioS Symposium was organized in the biotech hub in Toulouse, France bringing together the young European synthetic biology community. The symposium took place in October 2018 right before the main conference “4th Applied Synthetic Biology in Europe”. Our Phd Student, Armin Kibin from MPI-MP, was there to represent the project.


New Scientist Live 2018

FutureAgriculture was at the New Scientist Live 2018 –  an award-winning, mind-blowing festival of ideas and discoveries for everyone curious about science and why it matters. For 4 days in September, more than 120 speakers and 100 exhibitors come together in one venue to create an unrivalled atmosphere and energy, packed with thought-provoking talks, ground-breaking discoveries, interactive experiences, workshops, and performances. We were at our stand in the Earth zone with a puzzle game about the role of photorespiration in plants and the fun activity “Smell the Future” organized by our partners from Imperial College London.  We got so many enthusiastic feedback about the project, thanks to all of you that came to visit us.


GASB II Conference

The German Association of Synthetic Biology GASB II Conference took place in Berlin in 2018 (. After a successful GASB I conference with more than 100 participants, 26 scientific talks, a panel discussion, and a poster session, GASB II continued in a similar fashion. Partners from MPI-MP attended the event.

CPSC PhD Summer School on Synthetic Biology 2018

Our PhD student, Armin, from MPI-MP, attended the summer course  “Synthetic Biology: From Pro- to Eukaryotic Systems (SynBioSys)”. The course aimed at a well-rounded presentation of synthetic biology through the discussion of selected topics across the DNA-RNA-protein-metabolite spectrum. The academic discussions were complemented by a discussion on intellectual property rights and a visit to the local industry. The course was organized by the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre from 20 August – 24 August 2018.

The 1st European Conference for Photosynthesis Research

ePS-1, organized under the auspices of the International Society for Photosynthesis Research, is held in Uppsala, Sweden during the last week of June. ePS-1 covers all aspects of photosynthesis, from genetics and molecular mechanisms, to crop yields, artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels. Our partner Jan Zarzycki was invited to give a talk at the  Metabolism and Metabolic Engineering session.

Canada Protein Engineering Conference 2018

The third edition of the Protein Engineering Canada (PEC) Conference was held at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada) between June 17-20, 2018. The goals of the PEC Conference are to bring together leading experts in the fields of protein engineering, evolution and design, and structural and synthetic biology, to present their latest findings and develop a strong network throughout Canada and abroad. Among the invited speakers Dan Tawfik, our partner in FutureAgriculture.

Annual Conference 2018 of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology

The Annual conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) is an innovative and internationally recognized platform for all microbiology fields that promotes the scientific exchange and cooperation between its members.  The spectrum of presentations and discussions on the meeting includes biodegradation, fungal biology, synthetic microbiology and many more. The MPI-TM team was present at the meeting to provide an insight into their current research work for FutureAgriculture.

1948 Unbound @ HKW, Berlin

Unleashing the technical present / Nov 30 – Dec 02. Researchers & artists met for this experimental conference in order to explore the meaning and implications of the technosphere. Arren Bar-Even was invited to the SEEDS session – watch the full performance here.

KLAS Workshop

Our project coordinator got the chance to interact with artists and scientists on the topic “ESTHETICS get SYNTHETIC: Knowledge Link Through Art & Science” during the workshop organized by KLAS at the Max Planck Campus in Potsdam-Golm on the 27th – 28th of November 2017.

The workshop was an opportunity to bring together scholars and practitioners to jointly discuss and reflect on contents, approaches and methodologies that draw the link between synthetic biology and artistic research and how those can synergically interact by mutually interrogating and reconsidering their methodologies and modes of operation in an Artist in Residence program like KLAS,  in which Arren Bar-Even’s team participate as hosting laboratory.


The 1st  Synthetic Biology conference “Made in Germany”, GASB I, and the founding event of the German Association for Synthetic Biology, GASB took place on the 24th and 25th of November 2017 in Marburg, Germany. Several members of the FutureAgriculture team were there: Marieke Scheffen and Jan Zarzycki from MPI-TM and, among the keynote speakers, our project coordinator Arren Bar-Even.

M18 Meeting in Marburg

7-8th September 2017. We are just back from a fruitful meeting at the MPI-TM premises in Marburg. We had two days of intense exchange, discussion and sharing of results. This time the newly appointed members of the Advisory Board joined us too: Prof. Nir Keren from the Hebrew University, and Prof. Georg Sprenger from the University of Stuttgard. They both gave a valuable feedback to the project! Looking forward to the next meeting in February!

SEED 2017

June 20-23, 2017 – Devin Trudeau has presented the poster “A synthetic carbon-neutral photorespiration bypass pathway for improved carbon fixation” at the SEED 2017 conference in Vancouver (Canada). More here.

FutureAgriculture goes to Singapore

15/06/2017 – Prof. Tobias Erb gave a talk about FutureAgriculture at the Department of Biology of the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). The title is quite catchy “CETCH me if you can: Bringing inorganic carbon into life with synthetic CO2 fixation”.

First Max Planck Con­fer­ence for En­vir­on­mental Mi­cro­bi­o­logy: “It Ma­Ter(s)”

On the 11th and 12th of May, some doc­toral re­search­ers from the Max Planck In­sti­tute for Mar­ine Mi­cro­bi­o­lo­gie and Max Planck In­sti­tute for Ter­restrial Mi­cro­bi­o­lo­gie met in Mar­burg for the first Max Planck Con­fer­ence for En­vir­on­mental Mi­cro­bi­o­logy: “It Ma­Ter(s)”. One of our students, Marieke Scheffen, took the occasion to present FutureAgriculture! More here.