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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


The Engineering Biology IRC is now welcoming ideas and applications for festival events showcasing interdisciplinary research at the intersections of biology, engineering, computer science, design and bioethics.

The next Cambridge Festival will take place from 17th March - 2nd April 2023 with a mixture of on online, on-demand and in-person events covering all aspects of the world-leading research happening at Cambridge. The 5 themes for next year’s festival are Health, Society, Environment, Discovery & Power. 

The festival will give us opportunity to highlight interdisciplinary research through interesting talks and events from across the IRC's areas of interest:

  • Synthetic and Molecular Techniques
  • In vitro and Cell-Free Technologies
  • Microscopy and Instrumentation
  • Remote Sensing and Communications
  • Software for Biology
  • Robotics and Automation
  • Biodesign and Bioart
  • Responsible and Open Innovation and Policy

We are looking for contributions for engaging talks and ideas for ‘hands on’ in person family events. Ideas are welcome from anyone in our community including students, postdocs, support staff and academics, and the IRC can provide both support and funding for events. You can also volunteer to help out at an event digitally or in-person to gain valuable experience in public engagement. If you have ideas for an events, or are interested in volunteering or getting involved in any way, please get in touch at

You can find out more about the Cambridge Festival on their website at:

Previous Events

Get inspired and learn more about previous Engineering Biology-related events at the Cambridge Festival, Cambridge Science Festival and Cambridge Festival of Ideas below.

2021: Engineering Biology Everywhere: a threat or the key to a sustainable future

As part of the Cambridge Festival which took place from 26 March to 4 April 2021, University of Cambridge researchers Dr. Jenny Molloy (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) and Anna Verena Eireiner (Department of Sociology) took part in a panel discussion exploring the threats and opportunities of synthetic biology as an open access discipline.

2019: The Art & Science Soiree

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival 2019, The Art & Science Soirée brought together scientists, engineers, artists and designers for an exciting evening of speed meets, snap-talks, hands-on demos, and unexpected encounters.

2017: Synthetic Biology and the Senses         

Members of OpenPlant and the Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative were out in force in 2017 to help visitors of all ages explore synthetic biology with their senses and explore the every day applications this emerging technology might be put to in the coming years: from sustainable scents to tastier tomatoes.

2017: Biological Colour at Festival of Ideas

The Colour Institute brought a series of events about colour to Cambridge Makespace as part of the Festival of Ideas 2017. Featured activities included DIY pigment extraction, open source colorimeters and fantastic talks and demos from scientists, artists and writers.

2016: Synthetic Biology at the Cambridge Science Festival

The Plant and Life Sciences Marquee was a roaring success at Cambridge Science Festival, scooping a prize at the Cambridge BID awards Awards 2016. OpenPlant's synthetic biology stand was highly rated by the public mystery shoppers and got a special mention in their final report!



Image credits: Cambridge Festival, Jenny Molloy