Synbio Powerhouse is the new synthetic biology accelerator in Espoo Innovation Garden

Make an omelet without breaking an egg – Synbio Powerhouse to accelerate Finland’s synthetic biology business

What if I told you that you can make an omelet without breaking an egg? Impossible, right? Wrong. With synthetic biology you can. Synbio enables the creation of valuable products through cell programming. This includes foodstuffs, such as egg whites, medicines and numerous other products.

Therefore, it’s no wonder synthetic biology is expected to become one of the key industries globally in the near future. And to boost business in Finland in the field, a new business accelerator called Synbio Powerhouse has been set up in the Espoo Innovation Garden ecosystem.

“Through synthetic biology, you can engineer new biological organisms as well as redesign existing biological systems for useful purposes. You can make an omelet without breaking an egg. Literally,” Tuula Palmén, the Co-creation Manager of Synbio Powerhouse, says.

Synbio Powerhouse, coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and enabled by Sitra, is the operator of the synthetic biology innovation ecosystem in Finland. The aim of the accelerator is to turn the best synthetic biology ideas out there – anywhere – into real business cases.

BioBusiness Builder will accelerate the creation of synbio startups in Finland

Synbio Powerhouse has launched the BioBusiness Builder service to find the best business ideas with potential to use synthetic biology. Anyone can apply for the service to suggest an innovative synbio idea – regardless of prior extensive knowledge about the field or whether from Finland or beyond. But be sure to act quickly, because the application period ends on 14 April 2019.

So how does BioBusiness Builder work then? First, the service collects all innovative synbio ideas from Finland and internationally. Then, it selects the best ones and helps to build business cases or startups around them. For all the ideas and teams selected, Synbio Powerhouse provides opportunities for partnering, matchmaking, education, mentoring, collaboration, and co-creation.

“BioBusiness Builder will give hands-on support to build the selected business cases. This is case-dependent but can mean, for example, connections, team building or mentoring,” Palmén says.  

There is huge global demand for synthetic biology innovations. But at the same time, companies – even the most established ones – often lack understanding how they could use synthetic biology to improve their business. BioBusiness Builder will aim to fill that space.

Engineering biology

But what is synthetic biology actually? Simply put, it means programming cells to create something new. The programming means cutting DNA, putting something in which then creates the new desired product. You can, for example, create new medicines, biofuels or fabrics by taking a bit of forest (or cellulose), adding a dash of yeast and voilà! 

Synbio, therefore, functions like a living factory that combines engineering, digitalisation, robotics and biology – all industries that Finland has strong expertise in and a wealth of deep-tech innovations. In addition to creating new products, synbio can also help to solve many of the biggest challenges the world is facing, such as climate change, diseases, resource insufficiency, and the waste problem.

Espoo Innovation Garden is a perfect setting for synbio development

According to Palmén, to get the synbio business ball rolling, Finland needs more startups and more collaboration between the startups, corporations and research organisations. With a vibrant startup scene, Aalto University, VTT and some of Finland’s biggest corporations, Espoo Innovation Garden is an ideal setting to take the lead in synthetic biology development.

“Finland and Espoo are hotspots of hi-tech broadly and you can find the required expertise: Finland is the place to link this expertise together and turn your ideas into products,” Palmén concludes.

The synbio industry is still figuring out where it is heading. When it does, it is bound to take over universally and many current, outdated industries will become obsolete.

So, if you have a synthetic biology idea, any idea, that you want to build a business around – now’s the time to put it out there! That’s why Synbio Powerhouse and its BioBusiness Builder is here for. 

Here’s how BioBusiness Builder works:

  1. Apply HERE by 14 April, 2019. No confidential information is required in the application.                                                                                                    
  2.  You will be contacted after the submission of the application.
  3. An expert panel of industry advisors, researchers and investors will review the applications and select the ones for further review.
  4.  The selection of the first BioBuilder innovators will be done by the end of April 2019.
  5.  Each selected BioBuilder innovator or team will be provided with hands-on support and have a tailored plan with a follow up during 2019. The status of each BioBuilder case is re-evaluated for next steps.

Please, note that BioBusiness Builder is meant for people and teams that do not have a business ID. However, Synbio Powerhouse also provides services for the companies that already have one or operate in the synbio field.

For more information

Tuula Palmén,
Co-creation Manager
Synbio Powerhouse
Tel. 050 4617290