BNCT workshop on 29 July 2020

Version 6

    “Workshop on Collaborative Platforms for Advancing Engineering Biology:
    Focus on the COVID-19 Pandemic”


    29 July 2020


    This online workshop explored the potential of engineering biology to reshape the landscape of health innovation and enable the faster development of vaccines and diagnostics. Hosted by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), it was supported by a grant from National Science Foundation (Award #FAIN2020502) awarded to Keith Yamamoto, PhD (UCSF). The event focused on the role of biofoundries, training and diversity, and public-private partnerships in generating large numbers of candidate molecules of vaccines, diagnostics and antibodies. It became clear that there is an opportunity and necessity for policy makers to write engineering biology roadmaps to embrace the possibility of future pandemics. Critically the issue will be the ability to mobilise large resources rapidly.


    The workshop had very high relevance to the on-going BNCT work on engineering biology infrastructures, especially the interim work on engineering biology and COVID-19 as well as the project on 'Collaborative Platforms for Converging Technologies'. Thus, the workshop was to set the scene for both a more in-depth policy treatment of the subject and for the work of the next biennium.


    After introductions by the Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy (University of California San Francisco), the Assistant Director of Biological Sciences (National Science Foundation) and the Lieutenant Governor of California, the workshop took place in three sessions, each session highlighting an area where governments could improve on the preparedness for future pandemics.


    Time: 14h30-19h00 CET (Paris time)

    Agenda : DSTI/STP/BNCT/AH/A(2020)4



    • Dr. Keith Yamamoto, Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, University of California San Francisco, United States
    • Dr. Joanne Tornow, Assistant Director of Biological Sciences, National Science Foundation, United States
    • The Honorable Ms. Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California, United States
    Session 1 - Biofoundries and COVID-19Moderator: Yoshiyuki Fujishima -- New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan/BIAC
    • Nathan Hillson, DOE Agile BioFoundry, Lawrence Berkeley, National Laboratory, United States
    • Liz Fletcher and Rennos Fragkoudis, Edinburgh Genome Foundry, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    N.HillsonL.Fletcher and R.Fragkoudis
    Session 2 - Engineering Biology Research Roadmaps and COVID-19Moderator: Mary Maxon – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States
    • Doug Friedman, Engineering Biology Research Consortium, United States
    • Claudia Vickers, University of Queensland, Australia
    Session 3 - Distributed Biorefineries and COVID-19Moderator: Bettina Hamelin, Ontario Genomics, Canada
    • Kirsten Herben-Steinbusch, Delft Advanced Biorenewables, the Netherlands
    • Ramon Gonzalez, University of South Florida, United States
    R.Gonzales (
    • Dr. Francoise Roure, Chairperson of the committee Safety, Security and Risks, Ministry of Economy and Finances, France, Chair of the BNCT Working Party, OECD


    The graphical workshop proceedings that follow were produced by RogueMark Studios, Berkeley, CA. This material may be used for educational purposes and may not be used for commercial purposes, nor modified or recreated for commercial purposes.


    OECD 00_Welcome_final_M.jpg

    Session 1: Biofoundries and COVID-19

    OECD 01_Biofoundries and Covid19_final_M..JPG



    Session 2: Engineering Biology Research Roadmaps and COVID-19

    OECD 02_Roadmaps_final_M.JPG

    Session 3: Distributed Biorefineries and COVID-19

    OECD 03_Distributed Biorefineries_final_M.JPG