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September 19, 2016updated 21 Sep 2016 2:45pm

SAS, Imperial College London to target $38bn synthetic biology market

The collaboration aims to help create the market.

By James Nunns

SAS aims to help Imperial College London to turn academic research in synthetic biology into commercial products.

The analytics company was chosen by SynbiCITE, an Innovation and Knowledge Centre, aiming to promote the adoption of synthetic biology by industry, and Imperial College London to produce a Data Knowledge Centre for the storage, processing, analysis, and predictive modelling of the data generated at the London DNA Foundry.

Mark Wilkinson, Regional Vice President – Northern Europe, SAS, said: “SAS typically supports mature companies with mature business problems.

“This deal is significant as we are supporting an early-stage organisation that is looking to grow an entirely new and ground-breaking industry. We are fortunate to be the start of something that is intended to be a multi-billion-pound industry, and one which can address major concerns about global sustainability when it comes to use of increasingly scarce natural resources.”

The hope is that this collaboration will help Imperial College London to turn its research into commercial outputs such as; biological parts, devices and systems.

Imperial College London hosts SynbiCITE, the Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology and is funded by the UK government to help drive the commercialisation of synthetic biology and effectively create the industry.

The work focuses on using biology to create substitutes for items such as malaria medicines, and rubber substitutes for tyres and crop feeds.

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Dr Steve Chambers, CEO of SynbiCITE, said: “This is an exciting and hugely important new field which has attracted support from the UK Government as well as a number of international bodies. The global synthetic biology market is estimated to reach $38.7 billion by 2020 and can have a significant impact on the economy, growth and jobs over the coming years.”

SAS has previously done work in health and life sciences and it is hoped that the company will help to drive robustness and repeatability in translating academic research to industry output.

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