About UQ Synthetic Biology Policy and Governance Digital Workshop

The University of Queensland (UQ) is delighted to present the workshop on Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Synthetic Biology in Australia as part of the CSIRO-UQ Collaboration on Responsible Innovation.

The workshop aims at fostering a dialogue between decision-makers, businesses and academia on the regulatory dimensions of synthetic biology, contributing to the understanding of national and international policy contexts in which emerging technologies exist. 

This webinar will specifically address:

  • Issues in designing regulatory frameworks. Over the past few decades, the field of biotechnology has expanded dramatically. This expansion has the potential to significantly impact a number of industries – ranging from agriculture and food to pharmaceuticals, chemicals, fuels and polymers. To fully realize the potential of these advances, the ethical, legal, and social implications of these cutting edge tools should be considered alongside the development of science. The challenge of designing policy and regulatory frameworks on synthetic biology that address different products and processes is faced by governments around the world. While it is obvious that specific provisions that apply to food are different from that applying to therapeutic goods or materials, the question remains how to apply existing rules and concepts across different industries and products of SynBio.
  • Clarity and consistency of terms and definitions. Developing a widely-shared definition of synthetic biology has been, to date, elusive. Moreover, there are significant inconsistencies within and between the legal and scientific definitions that have been articulated with respect to this emerging scientific domain. For example, it is still unclear how to distinguish unambiguously between older techniques of genetic modification and new technologies underlying synthetic biology. The workshop will analyse the challenges and opportunities that such lack of clarity engenders.



Dr Paul Bertsch, Science Director, Land & Water, CSIRO, Science Director, Land & Water, CSIRO
Presentation title: SynBio 101: What is It and What Can It Do?

Dr Raj Bhula, Gene Technology Regulator
Presentation title: Regulation of Gene Editing and Synthetic Biology: Future-proofing the Gene Technology Scheme in Australia.

Dr Lisa Kelly, GM Team Leader, Science and Risk Assessment, Food Safety Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
Presentation title: Food Regulatory Challenges Around Biotechnology – Now and Into the Future.

Moderator: Dr Artem Anyshchenko, Research Fellow, the University of Queensland.

All are welcome to attend, however as places are limited, please Register to secure your spot.

This event is held in collaboration with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology.