The Art Of The Start: Supporting Open Source Synthetic Biology

“Take Synthetic biology and turn it from where it is now the purview of big corporates and academia and turn it into a fertile field for entrepreneurship and particularly interested in an Open Source way. A lot have people have told me that they consider, they are concerned about open source and letting this technology out into the hands of people, my retort to that is that Open Source systems tend to be more virus resistent in the software world than closed source systems and I believe that if we are really truly to be protected we need the most number of people to understand this technology and to be able to respond to whatever comes up” – Bill Liao

Source: Systems Biology Ireland –,197688,en.html

“Bill Liao on his recent visit to SBI drew comparisons between the early years of computers and the current convergence of biology and technology. Bill was clearly excited by the possibilities offered by synthetic biology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. He pointed out that in the early days of personal computers the early adopters were the hobbyists, this group of people took computer technology out the hands of academia and corporations and started applying the technology to real world problems. In many ways, Bills view is supported by history, for instance in the early 1940s, IBM’s president, Thomas J Watson, reputedly said: “I think there is a world market for about five computers.” The tipping point for computer technology happened when “hobbyists” like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak took this technology and turned it into something that solved a problem for ordinary people. Bill was quick to point out the parallels between the hobbyists of the early years of computers and the growing community of biohacker activists.”

SOS Ventures latest programme SynBio Axlr8r is running in University College Cork, Ireland for three months this coming summer. The programme is currently accepting applications and will provide access to hardware, business mentors and seed capital of up to $30k. Application Closes: April 8


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