Synthetic Biology

A new standard and innovative software broker for the synthetic biology market

In summer 2015, Visbion were chosen as the recipient of a government grant via the Innovate UK SMART initiative for a new project entering into the field of synthetic biology. The SMART initiative aims to provide funding for research and design projects in the fields of science, engineering and technology to develop products and services which might promote economic growth. Visbion’s project, entitled ‘A Comprehensive Web-based Broker for Biotechnology Design and Manufacturing’ is focussed around the use of software tools for Synthetic Biology.

The aims of this project are to:

  • Propose a new method of standardising synthetic biology data
  • Review the current state of synthetic biology tools and repositories
  • Produce a catalogue of some of the currently available tools and repositories
  • Develop a broker system that will utilise the new standard to streamline the management of synthetic biology data
  • Explore the ways in which this standard and broker could be commercialised, to the benefit of the synthetic biology community

Visbion’s current area of expertise is within the field of medical imaging software, where the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) file format is used to standardise the acquisition, transfer, storage and review of medical images. They will be leveraging this knowledge when considering the development of the new standard. The long term aim will be to get the new format approved by a standards body, such as the DICOM Committee or British Standards Institution.

The catalogue of registries and tools has already been completed and provides an overview of the state of synthetic biology Bio-CAD tools, at the time of writing, along with some proposal for new workflows and classifications of the type of tools available. A selection of tools has been catalogued in more detail to show their use, interoperability and place within the synthetic biology design workflow. We have recognised that this document may be of interest to those in the synthetic biology community and so are hoping to publish it. If you would be interested in a copy, please get in touch and we will keep you updated on this.

We are looking for partners

The project has now progressed on to outlining the new standard and developing the broker system. As part of this process, we would like to speak to companies that may be interested in the functionality that the broker will offer or from using the new standard. If you think that the project sounds like it may be relevant to your company then please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss the details further.

We will also be looking to integrate our software broker with a number of repositories and tools in order to fully test the capabilities. If you are involved with a BioCAD tool or repository that is relevant to synthetic biology and are interested in discussing how we could work together, please get in touch.

For more details on any of the above, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 370 850 3486 or email