Synthetic Biology Industry Gathers at SynBioBeta 2020 Global Summit to Grow the Bioeconomy, Fight the Pandemic, and Honor CRISPR Pioneer Jennifer Doudna

Innovators, investors, academia, and entrepreneurs will come together to push the envelope on how we feed, fuel, heal, and build the world using synthetic biology.

Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold Receives 2019 SynBioBeta Award

 SynBioBeta, the leading community of biological engineers, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to build a better world with biology, announced the schedule for its 2020 Global Synthetic Biology Summit.

The Summit will feature such luminaries as Tristan Harris (Center for Humane Technology), George Church (Harvard), Jennifer Holmgren (LanzaTech), Christina Smolke (Antheia), Sylvia Wolf (AquaBounty), Ed Boyden (MIT), and Timothy Lu (MIT).

Despite the economic slowdown of COVID, synthetic biology startups raised a record-setting $3.0 billion in the first half of 2020. While funding is strong for tools and technologies companies  -- the engine of the bioeconomy -- there is increasing investment in synthetic biology-enabled companies in consumer products, food, agriculture, medicine, chemicals, materials, and other manufacturing sectors, signaling the impact tech and biology is poised to have on every industry.

“This year, the pandemic has brought previously unimaginable challenges to our community, not just how we meet and work, but more importantly, how we respond to the society’s urgent needs,” said John Cumbers, founder and CEO of SynBioBeta, which earlier in the year hosted a series of events on synthetic biology and the pandemic. “Synthetic biology is ready to turn today’s industry on its head and revolutionize the way we do business. In the same way that every company today is in some way an Internet company, every company will one day be a biology company. SynBioBeta 2020 is the place to get ahead of the curve.”

This year’s conference will explore how engineered biology will disrupt consumer products, food, agriculture, medicine, chemicals, materials, and more. Sessions include:

  • Dopamine, disinformation, and the ethics of technological progress: A Leaps Talk with Tristan Harris (Thu Oct 1, 8:15-8:45a Pacific)
  • The sea, the city, outer space: What is the next frontier for truly sustainable agriculture? (Wed Sep 30, 10:00-10:45a Pacific)
  • “Synthetic biology versus cancer” (Thu Oct 1, 10:00-10:45a Pacific)
  • “How the lab-grown sausage is made: The media, synthetic biology, and how the story will be told” (Thu Sep 29, 10:00-10:45a Pacific)
  • “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: The synthetic biology dream?” (Thu Oct 1, 4:25-4:55p Pacific)

Each year, SynBioBeta is honored to recognize synthetic biology leaders who embody the best of this industry and the aims it seeks to achieve. This year’s winners are an exceptional group of innovators who have helped the community grow while making profound contributions to society:

  • Pioneer in Synthetic Biology: Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley. This award recognizes the contribution of CRISPR to the scientific community and to humanity as a means for understanding and bettering the world with biology. SynBioBeta will acknowledge the ongoing impact of CRISPR and Jennifer Doudna’s work to enable us to correct genetic defects, treat and prevent the spread of diseases, and improve the food supply, to name just a few examples.
  • Best New Product: Conagen (Oliver Yu, CEO). This year, Conagen developed fermented lactoferrin and non-GMO human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), giving families important new options in providing infants with essential nutrition, boosting a baby’s immune system, and providing for a family's wellbeing.
  • IPO of the Year: Berkeley Lights (Eric Hobbs, CEO). SynBioBeta recognizes Berkeley Lights' pivotal technology platform to market, accelerating discovery and development of cell-based products, and the important role Eric Hobbs and Berkeley Lights have played in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bio-Innovator of the Year: Lisa Dyson, Air Protein. SynBioBeta acknowledges the tremendous impact Lisa Dyson and her company can have on food security, and the many environmental, social, and economic benefits their technology could bring to the world's people.

About SynBioBeta 2020
SynBioBeta 2020 is the Global Synthetic Biology Conference that unites leading biological engineers, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are building the future with biology. This year’s digital offering gives you even more ways to connect, including our annual conference, new events and grand challenges, access to online content and groups, and AI-powered networking. Learn the latest technologies, hear the big announcements in the field, make new partnerships, meet investors,
and discover new companies. Learn more and register here.

About SynBioBeta
SynBioBeta is the leading community of innovators, investors, engineers, and thinkers who share a passion for using synthetic biology to build a better, more sustainable universe. We create and energize innovation communities to make the impossible possible via unparalleled opportunities for growth, networking, storytelling, and learning.

SynBioBeta offers a weekly industry digest, The Bioeconomy Hub membership program, the SynBioBeta Podcast, Good Genes magazine, and educational courses — in addition to providing our world-class industry partners with opportunities for advertising, partnership, trade show exhibition, strategic consultation, and promotion.

For more information, visit

Contact: Amanda Prieto,, (707) 344-8279

Source: SynBioBeta