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Engineering Biology Leadership Council

Bringing together funding agencies, research community, industry, government and other stakeholders for strategic coordination of UK synthetic biology

The UK Government established the Engineering Biology Leadership Council (EBLC) – formerly known as the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council (SBLC) – to provide a steering structure governance body to assess progress and update recommendations and shape priorities for future implementation of the synthetic biology roadmap for the UK.

The EBLC provides a visible point for strategic coordination between the funding agencies, the research community, industry, government sponsors and other stakeholders, including societal and ethical representatives.

Secretariat of the EBLC is provided by the KTN: for more information on the KTN’s work in engineering/synthetic biology, click here.

The EBLC is committed to hold an open meeting once a year, which enables the wider synbio community to attend and give their thoughts on latest synbio developments and ask EBLC members any questions.

The most recent open meeting took place on November 12th 2019 in London, and minutes will be published once available.

Minutes from previous meetings can be downloaded here.


Synbio in the UK – A decade of developments

A report launched by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2009, highlighted synbio as an emerging and enabling technology, capable of providing cross sector solutions in areas ranging from health and chemicals to agritech and materials to name a few.

A decade on, there has been:

  • an investment of more than £300m of public funding into synthetic biology research and capability in the UK.
  • the establishment of six Synthetic Biology Research Centres (SBRCs), five DNA synthesis facilities, centres for doctoral training and a dedicated Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) ensuring the education and maintenance of a skilled synbio research base and
  • publication of further synbio documents with the ‘Roadmap for Synbio in 2012’ and ‘Biodesign for the Bioeconomy in 2016’ a strategic plan for UK synthetic biology to translate the synbio opportunities into commercial outcomes.
  • formation of over 150 Start-up and spin out Synbio companies.
  • establishment of a synbio community and network through KTN’s Synbio SIG

In 2019, the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council published an achievement brochure highlighting UK synbio activities in the last 10 years. Download the brochure here.


Who are the Engineering Biology Leadership Council?

The Engineering Biology Leadership Council (EBLC) is jointly chaired by Nadhim Zadawi MP and Prof Lionel Clarke.

Members of the EBLC include:


Secretariat: Dana Heldt (Knowledge Transfer Network)


Sponsors and Partners

Support for the EBLC is provided by Innovate UK, BBSRC, and the Knowledge Transfer Network.


Downloads & documents:

Synthetic Biology in the UK 2009-2019 – A Decade of Rapid Progress (2019)

UK Synthetic Biology Strategic Plan 2016 – Biodesign for the Bioeconomy (2016)

A Strategic Roadmap for Synthetic Biology in the UK (2012)

A Living Foundry for Synthetic Biological Materials – A Synthetic Biology Roadmap to New Advanced Materials (2018)

SBLC response to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling of 25th July 2018 on the regulation of products developed using genome editing techniques. (2018)

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