SynbiTECH 2023 - 5-6 December 2023 – IET London

SynbiTECH 2023

Building a multibillion-dollar synthetic biology industry with positive impact


SynbiTECH 2023 will bring together the most informed and passionate pioneers applying their ideas on synthetic biology.
Mary Maxon Dr Mary Maxon
Schmidt Futures
Mary Maxon

Dr Mary Maxon

Executive Director of Biofutures, Schmidt Futures

Mary E. Maxon, PhD is the Executive Director of BioFutures, an effort focused on maximizing the potential of biotechnology toward a circular bioeconomy.

Previously she was Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and before that she was Assistant Director for Biological Research at the Office of Science and Technology Policy where she was the principal author of the Obama’s Administration’s National Bioeconomy Blueprint. Currently, Mary serves as a US State Department-appointed Delegate to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, and Converging Technologies Working Party. She is also a member of the Global Bioeconomy International Advisory Council, a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Biotechnology Capabilities and National Security Needs, and a member of the Carnegie Institution for Science Board of Trustees.

She was the program lead for the Marine Microbiology Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the first Executive Director of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, and also has extensive experience in industry in a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Mary holds a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and did postdoctoral training in genetics at the University of California, San Francisco.

chi-onwurah Chi Onwurah
Shadow Minister (Science, Research and Innovation)

Chi Onwurah

Shadow Minister (Science, Research and Innovation)

Chi Onwurah is a British Member of Parliament representing Newcastle upon Tyne Central and is also Shadow Minister Science, Research & Innovation.

Former Shadow Ministerial positions:

April 2020-December 2021 Digital, Science & Technology

October 2016 – April 2020 Industrial Strategy Science & Innovation (and Shadow Digital Minister Feb-April 2020)

September 2015-October 2016 Culture and the Digital Economy

January 2013 - Sept 2015 Cabinet Office leading on cyber security, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency

October 2010 – January 2013 for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure working closely with the Science and business community, with industry on Broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. Chi continues to encourage women in STEM.

Prior to Chi’s election to Parliament in May 2010 she worked as Head of Telecom's Technology at the UK regulator Ofcom focussing on the implications for competition and regulation of the services and technologies associated with Next Generation Networks.

Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a Partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa. Previously she was Director of Market Development with Teligent, a Global Wireless Local Loop operator and Director of Product Strategy at GTS.  She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as Engineer, Project and Product Manager in the UK and France, 

Chi is a Chartered Engineer with a BEng in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Manchester Business School. She was born in Wallsend and attended Kenton Comprehensive School in Newcastle, where she was elected the school’s ‘MP’ in mock elections aged 17.

Chi is a Fellow of both the Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET) and the City & Guilds of London Institute (FCGI) and also an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association.

Angela McLean Professor Dame Angela McLean
Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Angela McLean

Professor Dame Angela McLean

Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Professor Dame Angela McLean DBE FRS is the Government Chief Scientific Adviser having taken up the role in April 2023. She is also Head of the Government Science and Engineering Profession. Prior to this Angela was the Chief Scientific Adviser for the Ministry of Defence.

Until April 2023, Angela McLean was a Professor of Mathematical Biology in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University and a Fellow of All Souls College. Angela’s research interests lie in the use of mathematical models to aid our understanding of the evolution and spread of infectious agents.

Angela is interested in the use of natural science evidence in formulating public policy and has co-developed the Oxford Martin School Restatements: an activity which restructures and presents the evidence underlying an issue of policy concern or controversy in a short, uncharged, intelligible form for non-technical audiences.

Angela established Mathematical Biology at the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council’s Institute for Animal Health in 1994. Before this, Angela was a Royal Society Research Fellow at Oxford University and a Research Fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

In 2009 Angela was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. She has been awarded the Gabor Medal in 2011 and the Weldon Memorial Prize in 2018. She received her damehood in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Regina Birner Professor Regina Birner
Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development at the Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute
Regina Birner

Professor Regina Birner

Chair, Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development at the Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute

Regina Birner is the Chair of Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development at the Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute of Tropical Agricultural Sciences at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.  Her research focuses on policies, governance and institutions that are essential for global food security and the bioeconomy. Before joining the University, Regina Birner led the governance research program of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. She has more than 25 years of empirical research experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Her work appeared in international journals such as World Development, Global Food Security, Information Technology for Development and the Journal of Cleaner Production. She has been consulting with international organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Bank. She is a member of the Bioeconomy Council of the German Federal Government, the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy (IACGB) and the International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR). Regina Birner holds a PhD in Socio-Economics of Agricultural Development from the University of Göttingen, Germany, and an M.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences from the Technical University of Munich (TUM).


Our rich conference agenda features a fantastic line up of speakers who will debate how synbio can tackle the challenges of climate change, the opportunities that AI is creating for accelerating progress in medicine, and how investors view the sector.

View the full programme  

Reasons to attend



SynbiTECH 2023 is the UK's leading synthetic biology conference. We are dedicated to fostering innovation in synbio, bringing together visionary leaders and industry experts. Our focus is on delivering a content-rich program featuring speakers who can provide transformative insights.

Industry Insights

Industry Insights

Don't miss your chance to join the event and post your questions to our global synthetic biology leaders. With the fast-growing global population, our rapid use of the world's finite resources and the damaging impacts of climate change on the environment, there is an URGENT need to radically re-think how to sustain future human activity. Bring your expertise to explore the synthetic biology applications that could provide the much-needed innovative solutions.



Forge connections with peers, potential clients, policy experts, investors and collaborators while enjoying the spectacular views of London's iconic architecture from the stunning IET London in Savoy Place.

A Central London Conference Venue

IET London: Savoy Place - the home of cutting-edge engineering and technology. This historic central London event venue on the River Thames offers cutting edge technology, improved capacity and outside space in a location that’s easily accessible by rail, tube and river.