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Engineering Biology in Cambridge

Green background with white scientific sketches. Text reads "Biodesign Sprint, Biodesign Challenge x Mars Wrigley, A future where food nourishes people and the planet, September 28th - November 4th 2022

For the 2022 Biodesign Sprint, BDC invites students, scientists, engineers, artists, designers and hobbyists to explore new uses for biotechnology in developing food systems that also support the health of the environment.

The Biodesign Sprint is the brainchild of Biodesign Challenge. For the past seven years, BDC has partnered students with professional artists, designers, and scientists to explore new uses for biotechnology. Teams create projects that reconsider humanity’s role among other species and explore how to harmonize with the natural world.

For the 2022 Biodesign Sprint, BDC has worked with Mars to create design prompts that call for actionable ideas that can be turned into commercial realities. We invite students, scientists, engineers, artists, designers, hobbyists—everyone—to come together and show off your brightest concepts and visions.

Biodesign Sprint 2022

Biodesign Sprint 2022 will run September 28 - November 4.

Mars and Biodesign Challenge are partnering on a month-long design exploration that asks for new ways to foster the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of people with food systems that also support the health of the environment.

To participate in the Biodesign Sprint, please complete your application on the Biodesign Challenge website. You do not need a fully-formed project to apply to participate. Each team may have 2-6 people. Application deadline: September 16, 11:59pm ET.

Student Registration Fee: $35
Non-student Registration Fee: $50

Design Prompts

Harmonizing Human and Environmental Wellbeing

What if the wellbeing of people and the environment were recognized as parts of the same whole? How might we create virtuous cycles where the wellbeing of people (physical, emotional, and social health) contributes to the wellbeing of the environment (increased biodiversity, richer soil, healthier air and water, and less pollution and waste). Imagine a future where food and our relationship with it brings people and the planet together. Consider agricultural practices, supply chains, purchasing and eating habits, and the breadth of cultural and social activities around food. There are 2 billion overweight and 800 million undernourished people today (NCBI), while over a third of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by food systems (Nature).

Nurturing Wellbeing Experiences for All

What if wellbeing was a collective project where people came together to nurture each other and improve each other’s health? What if the metrics for wellbeing were measured by people’s connection to each other and a thriving environment? Imagine a future where people’s diets didn’t just provide nutrition, but also fostered physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Food is much more than fuel. It brings experiential moments to life and deepens our cultural connections. Consider the processes, values, experiences, and products that can help provide a future where everyone can thrive. In 2019, nearly a third of people worldwide felt stressed, worried, or in pain (Gallup) and today 85 percent of people have low self-esteem.


Monday, August 15: Biodesign Sprint applications open

Friday, September 16 (11:59 pm ET): Biodesign Sprint application period closes 

Monday, September 19: Sprint acceptance notifications sent

Wednesday, September 28 (12:00 - 2:30 pm ET): Kickoff Orientation

Join us for a half-day orientation and learn about biodesign, biotech, regenerative agriculture, and food ecosystems. Meet the Sprint organizers, speakers, and the team from Mars. This is your opportunity to brainstorm ideas with your team and learn more about the design prompts.

Mid-October (By appointment): Team Check-ins

Meet with Sprint organizers for feedback and advice on your project.

Tuesday, October 18 (11:00 am - 4:00pm ET): Office Hours with Mars Judges

Meet with Mars judges to ask questions and fine-tune your project.

Thursday, October 27 (12:00pm ET): Project Video Submissions Due

Please submit your video to the Biodesign Challenge team at least one week in advance of the Semifinals. The BDC team will review your video and suggest any recommended edits.

November 3 (11:00 am - 3:00 pm ET): Biodesign Sprint Semifinals

Join us for a day of idea exchange and fresh discussion. Teams will present their projects to panels of experts from Mars and BDC. Each will have 15 minutes to show videos and answer questions from the judges. 

November 4: (12:00 - 4:00 pm ET): Biodesign Sprint Finals

The four highest-scored teams from each track will return to present their projects for a final round of evaluation before all the Sprint judges. The day will include a keynote speaker highlighting new areas in biodesign. Sprint winners will be announced at the end of the event. This event will be broadcast live online.

Originally published by the Biodesign Challenge: