Collaborations and Partnerships

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Uppsala University more_vert
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Besides working together to create a survey which addresses farmers (more here), the iGEM team Uppsala also organised a webinar, wherein we had our part to play. The webinar focused on the future of farming and farming techniques, addressing topics such as cellular agriculture and mycoprotein and how we can pave the way to a sustainable future. iGEM Uppsala has asked us to try and find a speaker from the Maastricht area, the father of cultivated meat, Mark Post. His experience as a scientist and founder of MosaMeat would be an amazing addition to their webinar. We managed to reach out to Mark Post, and he participated in the Uppsala webinar.

The webinar also included a time window where the participating iGEM teams could present their projects to the speakers, other teams and attendees. The teams involved were Uppsala, Maastricht, Wageningen and Groningen.

Besides finding a speaker, our team agreed to promote the webinar through our social media channels. Furthermore, our team actively participated in the Q&A sessions to try and induce discussion.

The webinar was organised in a very professional manner, and it was an enriching experience for all participants, especially with the further socialization event afterwards, where ideas could be exchanged and experiences shared. The speaker line-up was very diverse, and their topics very informative, giving some of our iGEM team members new possible directions for future scientific engagement. During the socialization event, the team co-supervisor of iGEM Uppsala, Prof. Anthony Forster gave our team members some helpful feedback. Many thanks to the Uppsala team for organising this webinar and having us there!

Team member Tim presenting our project at the webinar:

Uppsala Zoom 1

Many meetings were held with the Uppsala team, amongst them we discussed the farmers survey as well as the webinar:

Nantes Universitymore_vert
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The iGEM team Nantes has asked various teams around the globe to make a short video where a team member introduces themselves in the native language of their country. Team member Luca Guitink introduced herself in the video made by iGEM Nantes.

Watch video.

Patras Universitymore_vert
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The iGEM Patras team organized the making of a Youtube video, wherein various iGEM teams list their project’s target SDG goals. We were asked to record a 20-30 seconds video, wherein we explain our project and the SDG goals we are targeting.

Watch video.

The Patras University iGEM team has asked multiple teams worldwide to help them translate a text into the language of their country. We have therefore translated their text into Dutch. In the end, this text was used to make a comic which the Patras team used for scientific communication of their project. The text can be found here.

Check The Translation

Sorbonne Universitymore_vert
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The iGEM team of Sorbonne has initiated a very cool challenge where they have sent a lab coat to multiple teams around the globe. Each team adds some artwork (usually their logo and name) to the lab coat. The lab coat will travel around the world to a total of 11 teams. Each team also participates in social media interaction by using the specific hashtag #IGEMTravellingLabcoat.

Düsseldorf Applied Sciencesmore_vert
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The German team from Düsseldorf has contacted over 80 teams worldwide to send them 90 postcards with a personalized design by each team. In the end, all teams should receive around 80-90 postcards back, but this time each postcard would be from a different team. We thought that this is a really cool way of getting to know iGEM teams from around the globe, and we therefore decided to participate. Below is our own postcard design, made by team member Saskia Rapp.

Wageningen Universitymore_vert
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As both our projects involve reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the animal agriculture sector, team Wageningen UR and team MSP-Maastricht decided that it would be a great idea to do a collaboration. The Wageningen team has created a software tool called iGEM Pipeline for Improved Pathway Engineering (PIPE) and the collaboration involved us testing out the software in an earlier state of its development. We received access to their GitHub and were able to inspect the code and we followed their instructions to get it working. In this process, we created a list of possible improvements that the Wageningen team could integrate into PIPE to make it more user-friendly and efficient. The Wageningen team then created an updated version of PIPE taking these considerations into account, and has consequently produced a remarkable validated software tool to aid the iGEM community.

Social Media


An essential and considerable part of iGEM is the communication with the public. This includes other iGEM teams, potential sponsors, members of Maastricht University, the general public, as well as other interested parties. Multiple social media platforms were established with the goal of promoting the MethaGone to a broad target audience and thereby creating a basis for open discussion, interaction, and engagement. We made use of Twitter, LinkedIN and a linked Instagram and Facebook account. Social media was used as a tool to accomplish a variety of goals such as to attract new prospects, to draw attention to the iGEM Project, attract sponsors, learn about the projects of other iGEM teams, get in contact with other iGEM teams, and disseminate knowledge. social_collaborations Instagram offers the opportunity to create visual posts, reels (videos below 30s), IGTV videos (videos above 1 min), stories (only appear for 24h), and add captions to these posts. Instagram was used to introduce the team and reveal our project as well as several posts about partnerships, the journal initiative and videos on methane production. However, the most significant feature of Instagram that promoted communication was the direct message feature of this platform. This allowed the social media team to communicate with iGEM directly about specific matters, or as a communication tool to promote the Journal Initiative for instance. Thus, Instagram as a social media platform has proven to be an especially useful communication tool.

By creating a uniform and appealing layout for the Instagram posts, a total of 4,127 accounts have been reached only since May 25th. From this, 3,696 were non-followers that discovered the iGEM Instagram account through reels and IGTVs. In this short time span, it was shown that the format of Reels is the most successful content type as the reels had an average reach of 3,934 while IGTV videos only had an average reach of 233. Overall the MSP iGEM Instagram account had over 10,400 impressions solely in the timespan of one month, which indicates the success of the social media team in promoting the project. Moreover, the primary target audience of Instagram posts has shown to be within the age range of 18-24, as it shows a percentage of 67.3%. A further analysis has shown that the most active times of MSP iGEM followers is from 6 to 9pm. Based on this, the subsequent posts were scheduled during these times in order to reach a maximum level of engagement.

Twitter was used for short communication and challanges between iGEM teams and is most effective for communicating opinions, thoughts, and short updates. In contrast, LinkedIN was used communicate significant findings, events, or articles in order to get support from the network that was built. It was largely used to acquired contacts in the field of synthetic biology that could help to build verify and improve the research we undertook. The benifits of the platform can be seen in our top post on LinkedIn having 1200 impressions, and another post reached 600 impressions. Thus, this indicates that posting professional and selected types of content on LinkedIn can enhance the visibility and reach of the MSP iGEM project, and thereby successfully promote it. Overall, social media has been very helpful in reaching out to other iGEM teams. Thereby, the MSP iGEM team could learn more about other iGEM projects and engage in the iGEM community. Especially during the restricted options of in-person meetings due to Covid, Instagram has been helpful in providing a sense of community between the teams.