Conference Programme

Harnessing synthetic biology for the future; keeping us healthy, feeding & fuelling our growing population, & helping us lead more sustainable lives

SynbiTECH 2019, 24-25th June, QEII Centre, London

Science, engineering and technology continue to impact and guide our futures through the rapidly expanding bioeconomy – helping us to stay healthy, feed our growing population, produce enough energy and live sustainably on our fragile planet.

Day One
Networking/Refreshments 08:15 – 09:00

Registration and Coffee

Networking/Refreshments 09:00 – 09:15


Professors Richard Kitney and Paul Freemont, Co-Directors, SynbiCITE

Keynote 09:15 – 10:00

Keynote: Designing biology at scale

Jason Kelly, CEO, Ginkgo Bioworks

Panel discussions 10:00 – 10:45

Panel Discussion: Growing the Bioeconomy
Multibillion-dollar biology: The explosive expansion of synthetic biology propelling the bioeconomy to multibillion-dollar status. 

Introduced and chaired by Lionel Clarke, Co-chair, Synthetic Biology Leadership Council

  • Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (subject to any urgent Parliamentary business)
  • Steve Bagshaw, CEO, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies
  • Joyce Tait, Co-Director, Innogen Institute
  • Sarah Main, Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering
  • Prof. Collette Suda, Minister & Principal Secretary for University, Education & Research, Kenya
Networking/Refreshments 10:45 – 11:15

Coffee Break 

Presentations 11:15 – 12:30

Company Presentations: Accelerating bioscience
Tools and applications that are shaping our future now

Multinational speaker: 
Andrew Phillips, Head of Biological Computation Group, Microsoft

SME / Start-up speakers:

  • Markus Gershater, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder, Synthace Ltd
  • Ryan Cawood, CEO and Founder, Oxford Genetics Ltd
  • Tim Brears, CEO, Evonetix
  • Jiahao Huang, Founder and CCO, Nuclera Nucleics
  • Davide De Lucrezia, Managing Director, Doulix
  • Kristin Ellis, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Opentrons Labworks 
Networking/Refreshments 12:30 – 13:30


Panel discussions 13:30 – 14:15

Panel Discussion: Technology & Innovation 

Introduced and Chaired by Rick JohnsonCEO, Global Helix LLC

  • Chi Onwurah, Labour MP, Newcastle upon Tyne Central; Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation (subject to any urgent Parliamentary business)
  • Tim Fell, CEO, Synthace Ltd
  • Tim Brears, Chair, Engineering Biology Advisory Committee

Further panel members TBC

Keynote 14:15 – 14:45

Keynote: Emerging Invest Trends in the Synthetic Biology Industry

John Cumbers, Founder, SynBioBeta

Panel discussions 14:45 – 15:30

Panel Discussion: The emerging synthetic biology industry and society

Chaired by Sir Roland Jackson, Research Associate, UCL

  • Hilary Sutcliffe, Director, SocietyInside
  • Philip Shapira, Professor of Innovation Management, University of Manchester
  • Nicolas Kral, Co-founder and CTO, Phytoform Labs
  • Philip Macnaghten, Personal Chair in Technology & International Development, Wageningen University & Research

Further companies TBC

Networking/Refreshments 15:30 – 16:00

Tea Break

Keynote 16:00 – 16:30

Synbio Unplugged: In conversation with Hagan Bayley

Hagan Bayley, Co-Founder, Oxford Nanopore Technologies

Interviewed by Carly Minsky, Senior Reporter, Sifted

Presentations 16:30 – 17:45

Company Presentations: Making a material difference to the planet
Sustainable biomanufacturing and the environment 

Multinational speaker: 
Roel Bovenberg, Corporate Science Fellow, Biotechnology, DSM

SME / Start-up speakers:

  • Sean Sutcliffe, Chief Executive Officer, Green Biologics Ltd
  • Grant Aarons, CEO & Co-founder, FabricNano
  • Tom Speedy, Field Application Manager - Synthetic Biology, IDT-DNA
  • Alex LorestaniCo-Founder & CEO, Geltor
  • ​​​​​​Clare Trippett, Technology and Innovation Officer, Centre for Process Innovation Ltd
Keynote 17:45 – 18:15

Synbio Unplugged: In conversation with Lord David Willetts

Lord David Willetts, Executive Chair, Resolution Foundation

Interviewed by Lyndsey Jones, Executive editor & Section chief, Day Production, Financial Times 

Networking/Refreshments 18:15 – 20:00

Sponsored Champagne and Networking 

Day Two
Networking/Refreshments 08:30 – 09:15

Arrival and Coffee

Keynote 09:00 – 09:30

Plenaries: TBC

Keynote 09:30 – 10:00

KeynoteHow did we get here and where are we going? 
Examining the ever-evolving state of sustainability and innovation in the fashion industry

Claire Bergkamp, Sustainability & Innovation Director, Stella McCartney 

Panel discussions 10:00 – 10:45

Panel Discussion: How to dress the world better: Bio-design and fashion

Chair: Helene Steiner, CCO & Co-Founder Cell-Free Technology; Director & Co-Founder Open Cell; Biomaterial Platform Lead, Royal College of Art


  • Claire Bergkamp, Sustainability & Innovation Director, Stella McCartney 
  • Zowie Broach, Head of Programme for Fashion, Royal College of Art
  • Marie-Sarah Adenis, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Pili
  • Sarah Mower, Chief Critic, Vogue
  • Dr Orr Yarkoni, CEO, Colorifix Ltd
Networking/Refreshments 10:45 – 11:15

Coffee Break

Presentations 11:15 – 12:30

Company Presentations: The synbio effect on healthcare

Multinational speaker: 
David Tew, Technical Project Lead, Biological Technologies, GSK

SME / Start-up speakers:

  • Adam Perriman, Academic Founder, CytoSeek
  • Geoff Baldwin, Founder, Cagen
  • Matthew Hicks, Director and Founder, Linear Diagnostics Ltd
  • Edward Green, Founder & Chief Executive, Chain Biotech
  • Michael Linden, Chief Scientific Officer, Touchlight Genetics
  • Ted Fjallman, CEO, Prokarium
Networking/Refreshments 12:30 – 13:30


Panel discussions 13:30 – 14:15

Panel Discussion: High impact investment opportunities in synthetic biology

  • Irina Haivas, Principal, Atomico
  • George Katzaros, Co-founder & Partner, Farm Street Partners
  • Melya Hughes Crameri, Partner, Ventac Partners 

Additional panellist TBC

Presentations 14:15 – 15:45

Company Presentations: Food and new technology for a healthy and sustainable world

Multinational speaker: 
Jason Vincent, Head of Synthetic Biology, Syngenta

SME / Start-up speakers:

  • Benjamina Bollag, CEO, Higher Steaks
  • Paul Hudman, Technical Director, 3F BIO
  • Julian Melchiorri, CEO & Founder, Arborea
  • William Pelton, CEO, Phytoform
  • Simon Cameron, Director, Ambimass
  • Oliver Severn, Research Manager, Singer Instruments
  • Chueh Loo Poh, Director, AdvanSyn
Networking/Refreshments 15:45 – 16:15

Tea Break 

Presentations 16:15 – 17:00

Company Presentations: Materials, Chemicals and Therapeutics for a Healthy and Sustainable World

SME / Start-up speakers:

  • Ben Reeve, CTO, CustoMem
  • Staffan Piledahl, Software Engineer, LabGenius
  • Simon Saxby, CEO, Leaf Expression Systems 
  • Charlotte Casebourne, CEO, Theolytics
Keynote 17:00 – 17:30

Synbio Unplugged: In conversation with Hermann Hauser

Hermann Hauser, Co-founder and Venture Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners

Interviewed by Mike Ward, Chief Content Officer, Informa Pharma Intelligence Insights Portfolio

Keynote 17:30 – 18:00

Biodesign: moving beyond discovery

  • Dr. Thomas Meany, Co-Founder & Director, Open Cell
  • Natsai Audrey Chieza, Founder, Faber Futures
  • Pierre-Yves Paslier, Cofounder, Skipping Rocks Lab
  • James FieldFounder & CEO, LabGenius
Networking/Refreshments 18:00 – 20:00

Closing reception and networking 

Networking / Refreshments
Panel discussions