Collaborations formed a vital part of our project. They not only made our project more impactful but also provided us with an inspiring international workspace. This page is dedicated to all the teams that helped create CropFold alongside us.

Team collaborations

These collaborations have involved either our entire team or been significant for primarily our lab and human practices work.

Aachen, Germany

The Aachen team provided us with our first taste of global-mindedness in iGEM as they were the first team we met. We connected over Zoom twice (12.4.2022 and 2.5.2022) to talk about our projects and to get to know each other through more relaxed discussions (Fig. 1). Even though these meetings did not signify the start of a partnership, it functioned as an important kickstarter to all of our other collaborations!

A picture of the zoom view of ABOA and Aachen team members
Figure 1. Our first collaboration meeting with Aachen.

A picture of the zoom view with a couple of people there.
Figure 2. The first meeting between this year's ABOA and Aalto-Helsinki teams.

A group of people standing on a brigde.
Figure 3. Aalto-Helsinki visiting Turku.

Aalto-Helsinki, Finland

We maintained a close connection between the two Finnish iGEM teams (Fig. 2)! The Aalto-Helsinki team came to visit us in our city Turku on 21.7.2022. On their visit to meet us, we showed them a little bit of our city, had a lab tour, and discussed different areas of our projects (Fig. 3). We also planned ahead on some shared events that we did later in the summer and early autumn. These discussions were continued over Zoom during the next months as well as in our WhatsApp group chat. In the Nordic iGEM Conference, we were again able to spend time also in person with each other.

On 10.9.2022, we together arranged science workshops for children in Heureka, which is a Finnish Science Centre in Vantaa, Finland. There were two workshops, and we were in charge of organizing the other one. Our workshop included a task for participants first to organize different ingredients into an order according to their estimated pH. After this, they measured the pH with a pH paper to see how true their estimated order of the ingredients was. Together with Aalto-Helsinki, we also presented our iGEM topics for the Afternoon in the Science Basement talk series on 24.9.2022. We had a coaching session before the presentation, which helped both of our teams with our oral presentations.

Nordic iGEM Conference (NiC) - Linköping (LiU), Sweden

True to the Nordic iGEMers tradition, we participated in the NiC alongside other Nordic teams. This year the conference was hosted by the Linköping team in their hometown Linköping on 5-8.8.2022. Six of our team members traveled to Sweden to meet the iGEM teams Aalto-Helsinki (FIN), Chalmers-Gothenburg (SWE), DTU (DEN), Linkoping (SWE), Lund (SWE), Stockholm (SWE), UCopenhagen (DEN), UiOslo (NOR) and Uppsala (SWE).

During the weekend all teams presented their project, answered tough questions, and were judged by four judges on different criteria. We won the NiC Best Impact Project award (Fig. 4)! Congratulations also to the UCopenhagen team for the overall win and other awards. The event also included seminar presentations by researchers from both industry and academia, a greeting by Dorothy Zhang from iGEM HQ, and a workshop about biosafety and biosecurity by iGEM ambassadors. Besides the scientific program, we also enjoyed a lot of networking activities such as dinners and games, which were excellent for sharing ideas and iGEM experiences with others (Fig. 5).

A group of people with a prize.
Figure 4. ABOA members with the Best Impact Project Award.

A group of people.
Figure 5. A group picture with all teams that participated in the NiC.

Patras Medicine, Greece

We helped Patras Medicine by providing them with a Finnish translation of their project promotion video. By doing this we improved the accessibility of their project as we enabled them to communicate their project to a larger audience more effectively.

Tec-Chihuahua, Mexico

We participated in team Chihuahua’s comic book collaboration by creating a comic about our project (Fig. 6). We also translated the whole comic book to Finnish as a part of our educational material. These will be shared and distributed for primary school-aged children. The comics are colorless so the children can color them while reading them!

A comip strip about our project.
Figure 6. The comic strip we created for the comic collaboration by Chihuahua.

A picture of a zoom view.
Figure 7. The meeting with Toronto on Zoom.

Toronto, Canada

We connected through our similar project topics (25.5.2022) and started planning a partnership until the Toronto team changed their detection mechanism (Fig. 7). We decided that it would be better for both of us to seek out other teams with more similarities but continued through an email exchange about cell-free work.

Uppsala, Sweden

We met Uppsala first twice over Zoom (14.6.2022 and 7.7.2022) for the Swedish “fika” (a chill coffee break with friends) to discuss our projects and help each other by sharing struggles and advice (Fig. 8). We again collaborated with Uppsala in terms of mock-up presentations for the Nordic iGEM Conference on zoom (3.8.2022) and in which we provided each other constructive feedback and finally met them during the NiC. One of our team members already had friends in the Uppsala team, which lowered the threshold for reaching out about different issues and created a more easygoing atmosphere between our teams.

Two pictures. One is of a zoom view and another one of people staring at the computer.
Figure 8. We met Uppsala few times via Zoom.

Social media collaborations

Participating in multiple social media collaborations and creating our own was a fun way to connect with other teams, spread awareness on important topics and increase the visibility of projects.

Emoji challenge

We organized an Emoji challenge in honor of World Emoji Day on 17.7.2022! We challenged other iGEM teams on Slack and Instagram to create their own emoji that describes their project. Multiple teams participated and sent us their Emoji and a short description of their project (Fig. 9). We created a quiz on our Instagram story to let our followers guess which team’s Emoji they were. We also picked the winner and posted them on our Instagram feed. This was such a fun way to get familiarized with other teams’ topics!

Thank you for taking part in our challenge Aachen, Cornell, Linköping, Patras Medicine, TecCEM, Thailand RIS, Thessaly, UFMG UFV Brazil, Uppsala, and Vilnius-Lithuania!

11 emojis describing the team projects.
Figure 9. Emojis describing different teams' projects.

A boy holding a paper with 'C'.
Figure 10. Our contribution to the DNA graphic.

Patras Medicine, Greece ( the World DNA day, a DNA graphic that consists of bases that are iGEMers holding the base

Patras Medicine organized a collaboration on the occasion of World DNA Day. The idea was to create a DNA graphic to commemorate the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. We participated by sending them a picture of a team member holding a C to represent cytosine (Fig. 10).

Vilnius-Lithuania, Lithuania (@igem_vilnius): the World Environment day, a team photo with a river

Vilnius iGEM 2022 team invited us to the photo contest for the World Environment day. This year their team focused on the water pollution problem. The idea was to have a team photo with a river, sea, pond or other similar water object of the local area. We participated by sending a picture of us by the Aura river, which runs through our city (Fig. 11).

Three girls standing by a river.
Figure 11. ABOA members standing by the Aura river.

A group of people sitting in the front of cathedral.
Figure 12. ABOA members in the front of the Turku cathedral.

Thessaloniki Meta, Greece (@igem.metathess): video in front of a basic and characteristic monument

We participated in Meta Thess’ collaboration by sending a short video describing our project and our team in front of Turku cathedral (Fig. 12). The idea was that all teams said greetings in their own language, introduced their team, and described shortly their project.

United States, Arizona (@asuigem): Synbio-themed art journal

Team ASU iGEM created a stunning synthetic biology themed art journal where teams from all over the world shared their art pieces. We participated in the challenge with a digital art piece, the making of which reminded us of seeing beauty in synthetic biology and having fun while participating in the iGEM competition (Fig. 13).

A picture of the gif with the text 'synthetic biology'.
Figure 13. Our contribution to the art collaboration by ASU.

A team member writing on the board.
Figure 14. A screenshot of the video we sent to IISER TVM.

IISER TVM, India: a lab tour video series

IISER TVM team created a lab tour video series showcasing different labs from all around the world. We participated by sending them a short video introducing a part of our lab that we worked in for our project (Fig. 14).


Filling out various surveys was a great way for us to provide meaningful contributions even to projects that were completely unrelated to our topic and track.

The surveys we partook in:

    - GEMS, Taiwan: a survey on their project to help understand the current problem of Fusarium oxysporum on bananas
    - IISER Mohali, India(in collaboration with IISER TVM (IND), Patras (GRC), and AFCM (EGY)): a survey on GMO and synthetic biology
    - IIT Roorkee, India: a survey about the general knowledge of cervical cancer
    - Korea HS, Republic of Korea: a survey about climate change
    - Thailand RIS, Thailand: a survey about pesticides
    - TUDelft, Netherlands: a survey to better understand the current drink spiking situation
    - UBC-Okanagan, Canada: a survey about GMO and bioluminescence
    - MSP Maastricht, Netherlands: a survey about GMO