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World’s first SynBio accelerator returns to UCC

27 Jul 2016
Pictured: The team at Spira, one of the 13 global start-ups on IndieBio EU's 2016 programme. Photo: Brendan O'Leary

IndieBio EU, the world’s first and only synthetic biology accelerator, has attracted some of the best startups from across the globe to UCC’s School of Microbiology for its 2016 programme.

The IndieBio EU programme is designed to support individuals and companies with an early stage prototype, investing in them with cash, laboratory space, technical and academic support in the School of Microbiology, and mentorship from top experts in industry, to develop them into viable companies.

Thirteen global start-ups, from North America, Canada, South America, Europe and Ireland, are currently located in Cork and working with the IndieBio team, SOSV and a global network of mentors and advisers to bring the companies from early stage concepts to investment-ready companies.

According to Bill Liao, co-founder of IndieBio and European venture partner for SOSV, “IndieBio carefully selects teams from around the world who have the potential and the capacity to create world-changing biotech solutions for problems that were previously seen as intractable.

SOSV created IndieBio as a way to attract world-class companies in the field of synthetic biology into Ireland and Cork.”

While synthetic biology exists at the intersection of science, technology and engineering, the IndieBio teams work closely with industry and academic partners such as UCC in Cork.

"This is a fantastic development for the School of Microbiology, UCC, Cork and Ireland. Synthetic biology is one of the great revolutions in life sciences and we are delighted to support this imaginative and innovative initiative," said Professor Gerald F. Fitzgerald, Head of the School of Microbiology, UCC.

According to Liao, “the IndieBio accelerator programme is the first of its kind in the world in the field of life sciences and Cork was chosen for a very good reason. Ireland and Cork are extremely well resourced in the area of life sciences and key academic partners plus support from Enterprise Ireland in Cork gives startups a competitive advantage, he said.”

“Synthetic biology is helping scientists provide groundbreaking solutions to some of the most complex issues around the globe and technical advances now mean that many more projects are now possible due to reduction in the cost and time required to get concepts from the laboratory to the marketplace,” he added.

The companies will showcase their business strategies and developments this Thursday at their Demo Dinner and Summer Party, taking place in the Cork Gaol this Thursday (July 28) from 5pm until late. Tickets for the event, which is nearly sold out, are available from Eventbrite.

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