a series of events designed to explore synthetic biology’s potential as a driver of economic growth.

Jiménez-Sanchez stated that the OECD has strategic alliances with other international agencies conducting activities related to synthetic biology. Events and publications resulting from these collaborations include:

•  Opportunities and Challenges in the Emerging Field of Synthetic Biology: A Symposium (in collaboration with the U.S. National Academies and The Royal Society), 2009 and the summary report, Symposium on Opportunities and Challenges in the Emerging Field of Synthetic Biology: Synthesis Report, 2010 (Royal Society and OECD).

•  Workshop on genomics and the bioeconomy, May 2010, Montpelier, France. Participants reached consensus on the need for guidelines on international cooperation, innovative intellectual property management, and ways of measuring the impact of genomics.

•  Delivering Economic Value from Synthetic Biology, a summit in Sydney, Australia, in March 2012.

Jiménez-Sanchez also reported that the OECD has also engaged in discussions with the international collaborative project SynBio13 and the U.S.-based BioBricks Foundation.14 As a result of these discussions, the OECD has identified three areas where it might focus future attention: 1) needed infrastructure; 2) approaches for IP access and sharing; and 3) standards and interoperability.15


13 SynBio is a collaborative project to create new biologically based pharmaceutical products. It was launched in 2011 with participation from companies in Russia, the U.K., and Germany.

14 The BioBricks Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide opensource biological parts—DNA sequences with specific structures and functions that can be introduced into living cells to create new functions.

15 OECD and Royal Society, 2010. Opportunities and Challenges in the Emerging Field of Synthetic Biology: Synthesis Report. Paris: OECD and Royal Society.

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