"Effectively, change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation, and consensus." - Simon Mainwaring


Organizing events

Stimulating research



Collaboration between iGEM teams is a driving force for a trustful and safe scientific environment. Being able to help other teams, where all struggle with similar problems, makes the success of what we do individually increasingly greater. From different iGEM teams all over the world, we can learn different things and they can learn something from us . How more than twenty iGEM teams reached out to us for collaboration shows the importance and need for collaboration even more.

A complete overview of all the iGEM teams that we collaborated with is shown below.

Organizing Events

Organizing the Dutch iGEM meet-up

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." - Henry Ford

Now that all students had a hard time with Covid-19 and since digital learning and online meetings became the new standard, it was time to meet each other in person again. Together with the WUR iGEM team and the alliance TU/e, WUR, UU, UMC Utrecht (EWUU) our team organized a meet-up for the six Dutch iGEM teams on the 8th of July. The main goal of this day was to meet each other in person and show the project ideas which gave everyone the possibility to get feedback from other synthetic biology researchers. The meet-up was the ideal opportunity to explore possible partnerships, and some inspirational speakers were invited.

Date: July 8, 2022
Time: 11.00 - 16.30
Venue: Atlas, Victor J. Koningsberg, Budapestlaan 4a-b, 3584 CD, Utrecht

As organizers, we invited Randy Rettberg (who could not attend due to covid), Nemanja Stijepovic – Vice president of creative productions of iGEM and Dorothy Zhang – vice president of community of the iGEM community to inform the teams of some important information related to the Grand Jamboree in Paris.

We invited Kyra Delsing from the Ratenau Institute who spoke on ethical, societal, and political aspects of synthetic biology because ethics is an important consideration in all iGEM projects. This lecture educated all teams on the view of the Dutch society on synthetic biology. Lastly, we invited the SynbioNL community which was formed this year. The meet-up gave the SynbioNL community the opportunity to meet all the iGEM teams and visa versa. Inviting all speakers was essential for the meet-up to be a success as we believe that exchanging information and expertise in field of synthetic biology improves the quality of research that we conduct as researchers. All in all it was a memorable event!

Figure 1 | iGEM TU Eindhoven 2022 present at the Dutch Meetup. The dutch meetup is organize by iGEM team WUR 2022, iGEM team TU Eindhoven 2022 and EWUU (centre for living technologies)

Organizing the Mini Jamboree

"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success" – Alexander Graham Bell

The Mini Jamboree Benelux is a spin-off from the official worldwide Grand Jamboree, which is organized by our team at the Eindhoven University of Technology Campus. We have prepared for more than three months to make sure that everything goes smoothly and the event will take place on October 18th (right after the wiki freeze but before the Grand Jamboree). An impression of the mini jamboree of previous years is shown below.

Figure 2 | Mini Jamboree 2021 Mini jamboree organized by iGEM team TU Eindhoven 2021. Each year the mini jamboree is organized between the wiki freeze and Grand Jamboree.

The mini jamboree will give the iGEM teams a perfect opportunity to practice once more before taking off towards Paris. The iGEM teams will present their project by pitching their idea in 15 minutes to a jury panel and an audience of students and scientists.

The jury panel of this year:
1. Maarten Lubbers: PhD cancidate at Leiden University, working on bacterial cell devision, executive board of SynbioNL and iGEM alumni.
2. Mauritz Kelchtermans: Dr.Sc. has a PhD in Chemistry and is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosohy focusing on ethics of AI.
3. Michael Burgis: Msc. Student Molecular and Cellular Biology and iGEM alumni (Marburg 2019 and 2021).
4. Wessel Teunisse:Policy advisor Safe-by-Design and Nanomaterials at the national institute for health and environment (RIVM) the Netherlands.

The jurypanel will question the teams in two separate private defences on project design and project integration.

Furthermore we organized a network market where the iGEM teams, more than 7 companies and 4 research groups will present their work. In the afternoon a paneltalk in which Alexander Gräwe postdoc protein engineering group and iGEM alumni, Marta Marcheluk iGEM ambassador and Philippe Gabant will give their last advice for the Grand Jamboree. The day will close with a prize announcement and a network drink for all the teams and sponsors. This year, the event is open to the public and we expect an audience of more than 50 people. We look forward to the many interesting discussions on the projects of the teams!

Stimulating research

Writing an article for the MSP journal

"Putting pen to paper is a mystical way to access your most profound truths." - Marie Forleo

Our team contributed to the third edition of the annual MSP Vector journal organized by the iGEM MSP Maastricht team. The journal aims to put forward the most innovative research that is done by iGEM teams from all around the world and is therefore a useful source of information for others. We contributed by writing our own article, a review called Interleukin-10 as a potential therapeutic in autoimmune diseases, which was accepted in the journal. Besides, we were also asked to review articles of the Lyon, Tec CEM, and Patras iGEM teams which we really enjoyed and saw as a valuable experience. The MSP Vector journal can be found here

Contributing to the iGEM World map

"I’m just the smallest dot in a big map of human history" – Ben Casnocha

To promote the importance of synthetic biology and where this research field is taking place in the world, the NTHU Taiwan iGEM team created a map for iGEMers. For this collaboration, we created our own character that marks our location and project on this world map. The complete iGEM MAP can be found through the link below!

Surveys to support the research of other teams

"Everyone takes surveys. Whoever makes a statement about human behavior has engaged in a survey of some sort." - Andrew Greeley

The way in which you can help each other by sharing your experience through a survey is enormous. Although one survey should not count as a collaboration in itself, all together they contribute to a lot of research. Therefore, our team, whenever applicable tried to help others as much as possible. The result thereof is visualized below.

Figure 3 | Surveys to support other teams. Several other iGEM teams were helped by team TU Eindhoven for filling in surveys.

Participating in a coloring book for education and outreach

"Color is a power which directly influences the soul." - Wassily Kandinsky

Our team contributed to the coloring book of the USAFA iGEM team by adding coloring pages about our project. They delivered the book to elementary schools in their local area to educate children at a young age. The coloring book includes in total 12 iGEM teams from 7 countries around the world. Our team thought this to be a creative and useful tool to teach science in an understandable way to children. Our educational activities related to elementary schools and young children can be found on our education page.


Collaborating with other iGEM teams resulted in many new insights for our team. We wrote our own article to collaborate in the iGEM MSP journal which made us quantify and summarize our work. In addition, we organized two events where iGEM teams presented their projects, which stimulated science communications and initiation of new partnerships. From these events, we learned that collaborating with scientist and other iGEM teams contributes to finding mismatches and improvement of our project as a whole. Furthermore, the critical comments of others can lead to new inspiring ideas. Therefore, we discovered that these events are crucial to succesfully reflect on your own project. Hence, we encourage other iGEM teams to participate in or organize such events to communicate with scientists and other iGEM teams as much as possible.

Through the collaboration with iGEM NTHU Taiwan we also tried to increase the impact of iGEM by making a character that represents our project for the iGEM worldmap. Moreover, we educated primary school kids together with iGEM USAFA team. We would not have thought to accomplish this without their help, which once again demonstrated the value of working together.

To conclude, without the initiatives of other iGEM teams, we would not have been able to do all these great things. We greatly encourage future iGEM to collaborate as much as possible. With this, new insights will be gained and new ideas will arise. Together, we can accomplish more than we can alone. Thanks to all the iGEM teams all over the world that we collaborated with for making our iGEM adventure even greater and more successful!