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Imperial College London Eyes Synthetic Biology Market

September 20, 2016

SynbiCITE and the Centre for Synthetic Biology & Innovation at Imperial College London has selected SAS to produce a Data Knowledge Centre for the storage, processing, analysis and predictive modeling of the data generated at the new London DNA Foundry.

This results of the project program will help to transform leading edge academic research into commercial outputs for the emerging synthetic biology industry.

Synthetic Biology is expected to develop into a multi-billion pound industry and uses engineering principles to design and construct new biological parts, devices and systems. These can help tackle major global concerns around sustainability including environmental health, energy shortages, pollution, hunger and disease. In 2013 it was named by the UK Government as one of the eight great technologies in which the UK is set to be a global leader.

Imperial College London is a science-based institution and host to SynbiCITE, the Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for Synthetic Biology and funded by the UK government to drive commercialization of synthetic biology and effectively create an industry from scratch. It focuses on using biology to create substitutes for a wide range of items, such as malaria medicines, rubber substitutes for tires and crop feeds.

"This is an exciting and hugely important new field which has attracted support from the UK Government as well as a number of international bodies. The global synthetic biology market is estimated to reach $38.7 billion by 2020 and can have a significant impact on the economy, growth and jobs over the coming years," said Dr Steve Chambers, CEO of SynbiCITE.

"SAS was chosen on the basis of its leading reputation in health and life sciences, and to drive robustness and repeatability in translating academic research into industry-class outputs. These outputs will help development of new technology opportunities that can be exploited by new and existing businesses across many fields."

The solution from SAS extends from data management to use of data visualization technology, such as SAS Visual Analytics and SAS Visual Statistics.

"SAS typically supports mature companies with mature business problems," said Mark Wilkinson, Regional Vice President Northern Europe, SAS. "This deal is significant as we are supporting an early-stage organization that is looking to grow an entirely new and ground-breaking industry. We are fortunate to be the start of something that is intended to be a multi-billion pound industry, and one which can address major concerns about global sustainability when it comes to use of increasingly scarce natural resources."

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