Standards for Building the Bioeconomy


A robust metrology infrastructure for the field of synthetic biology will enable coordination of labor and reuse of materials, driving economic growth. Metrology products—standards, including reference materials; reference data; reference methods; and documentary standards—can enable business-to-business transactions at scale. The intent of the currently inactive SBSC was to collectively establish infrastructure to support a fully integrated global synthetic biology enterprise.

Following an exploratory workshop at SB5.0, we developed a consortium for standards development, the SBSC. The SBSC convened two open, public workshops in 2015 to bring the synthetic biology community together to identify and prioritize standards needs. Representatives of private companies, academic researchers, and public entities came together, and a set of needs was identified, as described in the kickoff Workshop Report.

These workshops led to descriptions of the synthetic biology engineering workflow and of standards to support disaggregation of that process. Standards that enable accurate and low-friction transactions across the workflow included:

* Standards for digital biological information
* Minimum Information about a DNA Construct (MIADNA)
* Automation and Protocol Interoperability
* Minimum Information about an Engineered Organism (MIEO)

JIMB has developed a draft of an MIEO standard, and is pursuing the MIADNA standard, along with a nascent effort to benchmark DNA synthesis.

The SBOL Industrial Consortium has been formed to pursue standards development in the area of digital biological information.

The Engineering Biology Research Consortium is pursuing roadmapping and policy matters, among other relevant topics.