Indie Bio conference returns to Cork to celebrate syn-bio future

25 Mar 2015

Having gone under the name Synbio Axlr8r last year, the synthetic biology event, Indie Bio, will mark its second conference this Friday, 27 March once again in Cork County Hall.

Backed by SOSventures, the accelerator, which is based both in Cork and San Francisco, is the only one of its kind in the world and in its first year highlighted a number of projects that examine how we can use technology and hacking in the biological world that can have far-reaching effects in topics including food production efficiency, healthcare and even aesthetic products.

Many of the successful ventures that had taken part in the accelerator took part in a demo day last August including Keira Havens and Nikolai Braun who with their start-up Revolution Bioengineering are developing a process whereby they can effectively personalise a plant to suit a person’s needs ie colour or even write their name in its leaves.

Some of the speakers who attended last year’s conference are due to return including the event’s co-founder, Bill Liao; Thomas Landrain, founder of La Paillasse, a citizen science centre as well as some new faces including Sarah Chokah, CEO of Hyasynth and applicant to last year’s accelerator and Miriam Alistar, developers of digital micro-fludic biochip (DMFB) electrowetting platforms.

With the applications for the second accelerator this May currently underway, successful applicants can expect to receive as much as US$50,000 in funding and access to the fully-equipped BSL-2 lab in University College Cork with the backing of as many as 64 mentors from varying backgrounds.

The Indie Bio team are also planning to host co-working space for teams in the new Forma Labs bio-makerspace in Cork City.

Here are some examples of the successful start-ups from last year’s accelerator.

DNA bond image via Shutterstock

Disclosure: SOSventures is also an investor in Silicon Republic

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic