The Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) aims to bringing together the US synthetic biology community to develop the future vision for synthetic biology, catalyze leading-edge research and education programs, and promote dialogue about synthetic biology among policy-makers and public stakeholders. Biology is emerging as an important manufacturing platform for the 21st century; the market for genetically engineered products already exceeds the global semiconductor market. EBRC will conduct meetings, programs and workshops that strengthen the research and education communities; articulate compelling research visions and goals aligned with pressing national and global challenges; and engage the research and education communities, and government, industry and public stakeholders to develop and communicate ideas. EBRC will establish a forward-thinking forum at the nexus of these groups through a new non-profit organization and take on a new set of leadership challenges as synthetic biology moves from concept to reality.
NSF funding during EBRC's initial two years will support: (1) the development of two consecutive annual engineering biology community roadmaps; (2) the development of key white papers addressing needs outlined in the recent National Academies' Industrialization of Biology report; and (3) communication activities coordinated with NSF and other US government agencies to communicate the vision and content of the roadmap and white papers.