Chapter 14. Community Announcements

Toronto DIYbio

Toronto DIYbio has gained tremendous momentum over the past year and is preparing to introduce itself as Canada’s newest biohackerspace. Currently hosting monthly organizational meetings, lectures on synthetic biology, and a Molecular Biology of the Cell study group, they are welcoming all guests or contributors to come and be a part of this exciting process. With support from local hackerspace HackLab.TO and art-science gallery Action Potential, they are quickly outgrowing their shared accommodations and will be expanding to an independent laboratory space in 2014. Meeting information can be found at, and stay tuned to the DIYbio Toronto home page and the DIYbio Twitter feed for all information about recent developments and upcoming fundraising campaigns.


SynBioaxlr8r has been setup to overcome some of the hurdles that entrepreneurs encounter on their way to success in the exciting field of synthetic biology. This 90-day program is committed to idea-stage startups, offering them lab space and $30,000 in funding as well as world-class mentoring, advice, and support from the top experts in the industry. The synbio entrepreneurs have access to top outsourced DNA synthesis and an open source computer programming language that compiles into DNA for rapid prototyping. The best and brightest mentors from all over the world help curate and cultivate every aspect of each business. This fuels groundbreaking ideas in the areas of medicine, energy, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Over the course of the program, teams gain enormous validation and can transform themselves into functional companies. They have an opportunity to immerse themselves in an intensive startup community of like-minded entrepreneurs. The venue is based in University College, Cork, and the program will run over the summer of 2014. Ten outstanding teams from around the world will be selected to participate in the program. This exciting accelerator has already attracted huge interest from leaders in the field worldwide. One of the main objectives of the program is to have Cork become a world-leading center for synthetic biology. This is just the beginning of something huge. This is a revolutionary area where the possibilities are endless. Synbio is fast paced, exciting, and a perfect fit for an accelerator program, and the program is a platform that has the potential to change the world for the better.

Ask a Biosafety Expert and the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center launched the Ask a Biosafety Expert service in January 2013 to provide the emerging DIYbio community with free and timely access to professional biosafety advice. The aim of the Ask a Biosafety Expert service is to provide advice from experts about laboratory safety, disposal, and other bio-related issues to members of the DIYbio community. Questions submitted to are sent to a panel of professional biosafety experts for prompt and user-friendly feedback. The responses are then posted and archived on the public website, providing a growing resource for DIYbio community.

Berkeley BioLabs

Berkeley BioLabs is focused on transforming the way therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and green and industrial biotech are developed, through a collaborative shared lab for scientists and entrepreneurs. The primary goal is to focus on lowering the overall development cost and support idea to proof-of-concept–stage projects through low-cost access to equipment, mentoring, and in some cases financial support.

We are launched and ready for awesome scientists to populate the space. Check us out at and please contact us for more information at .

DIYbio and iGEM

iGEM just opened the competition to community lab teams in 2014! In order for DIY teams to participate, they must obtain the parts from the biobricks standardized parts registry, pay the registration fees, have two PI leaders, and find a company to host them. The DIY teams will have the opportunity to compete against all other teams for the grand prize. Get excited, start brainstorming, recruit awesome team members, secure funding, and create some amazing science.

For more information, go to and send questions to .