BaSyC visits Planet Bridging Academia and Biotechnology Entrepreneurship

The BaSyC consortium, focused on synthetic cell research and coordinated by TU Delft, visited Planet to explore the intersection of biotechnology entrepreneurship and academia, inspiring young professionals through interactions with biotech founders.

Early June the Dutch consortium for building a synthetic cell, BaSyC (“Building a synthetic cell”), visited Planet with 20 PhD students, Post-docs and PI’s. BaSyC is a Zwaartekracht program, research consortia subsidised by the Dutch Government, focused on bottom-up synthetic biology coordinated by TU Delft. Through this programme, the consortium also participates in the European Synthetic Cell Initiative (SynCellEU) , which is also coordinated by TU Delft. 

The ultimate goal of the BaSyC program is to create a life-like entity capable of autonomous growth, information transmission, and division. To achieve this, the envisioned vesicle-based synthetic cell must integrate and coordinate three core functionalities in space and time:
Cell Fuelling: the ability to produce the correct amount of energy carriers and molecular building blocks; 
2) DNA Processing: the ability to transcribe, translate, and duplicate information carried by DNA;
Cell Division: the ability to physically divide into two new cells. 

The program includes the integration of philosophy, ethics, and public debate to address the potential societal impact of creating a synthetic cell. During the visit to Planet, the impact of entrepreneurship within the field of Biotechnology was explored. Three founders shared their stories: Jules Rombouts, founder and CTO of Nature Principles; Marcel Wubbolts, CTO of Vivici and Pauline van Deursen, CSO of VitroTEM. They discussed how Planet supports the development and growth of their companies. Whether starting fresh out of academia or starting the next phase in an impressive career, the founders were united by a motivation to create real impact on society and do good for the earth and its people. 

Facilitating the interaction between young academic professionals and biotech entrepreneurs was not only fun but also inspirational, showcasing different but equally exciting career paths of the biotech entrepreneur. We hope to see these talented individuals soon opening the doors of Planet on their own journeys.