To design a practical solution, we realised the importance of interaction with key stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle. Our approach was centred around our end-users, companies specialising in bioremediation and oil spill response. Apart from that, we constantly consulted with the government representatives, science community, and ecologists to elaborate on every aspect of the project. After each interaction, we analysed the given feedback and brainstormed on possible solutions. This way, we wanted to create a cycle of constant refinement to propose a perfect solution. To develop the RemiDuEt product for bioremediation, we continuously worked with the bioremediation company KazEcoSolutions LLP. Along with providing valuable insights into the bioremediation industry, collaboration with KazEcoSolutions LLP directed our project, shaping it into a helpful product. Partnership with the KMG Systems & Services LLP, specialising in eliminating emergency oil spills (OSR), provided valuable feedback that helped us envision RemiDuEt in oil spill cleaning and MEOR. In addition, our team regularly exchanged ideas with the leading experts, asking their professional expertise for safe and responsible product development. We also paid close attention to the legislative part, reaching out to the government bodies.
The alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was the fundamental aspect that shaped and directed our work. But along with implementing them in practice, our team strived to take the lead, demonstrating exceptional work in every aspect we could. First and foremost, we designed our project in a way that will improve peoples well-being. Making bioremediation more affordable and effective significantly reduced the consequences of oil contamination, rehabilitating the endemic ecosystem of the region. Along with that, we were passionate about creating an inclusive and engaging learning environment. For this purpose, we created a learner-centred program adapted for people with visual impairment and translated to multiple languages. Apart from that, to make a positive contribution to reducing inequalities, we paid close attention to engaging underrepresented groups in every part of our project despite gender, age, race, or sexual orientation. In addition, we constantly collaborated with other iGEM teams to exchange ideas and cultivate new ways to make a significant impact.
Providing equal opportunities and sharing knowledge were our fundamental principles in implementing Education and Public Engagement projects. Through our work, we aimed to address the critical problems of the local population: an acute shortage of educational materials in Kazakh and post-pandemic challenges in the academic field. We have developed a unique, learner-centered program focusing on general and synthetic biology to address the first issue. As part of this initiative, we created interactive educational posters on various topics and distributed them to rural schools from all over the country. As a result, we reached out to 18 villages and 20 different schools, covering more than 8000 students on average. To engage the children with visual impairments, we adapted them to the Kazakh Braille language and made audio descriptions of each. Also, realising the global pandemic's challenges, we aimed to boost the young generation's interest in science. In this regard, we conducted a nationwide Summer Camp to improve the accessibility to a comprehensive education for every child despite their background and social status. Moreover, we organised the first-ever BioHackathon in Central Asia, gathering 55 multidisciplinary teams from 15 countries. These are only major events and activities carried out to ensure equal access of students to education.
Science and education should be available and accessible for all people despite age, sex, race, or sexual orientation. We believe that each person has invariable and equal rights to work, personal development and communication. For us, inclusiveness and diversity meant embracing difference, realising its value and leveraging the uniqueness of each, equalising immutable rights among all. Therefore we aimed to develop inclusiveness and diversity in science in as many directions as we can make meaningful qualitative contributions. As part of our campaign, we carried out ongoing work to include people with visual impairments, children from socially vulnerable categories, linguistic inclusion, and minority groups - sexual minorities, women in science and education. Throughout our project, we consistently worked with experts to thoroughly understand how to address our target groups' needs in an effective and impactful way. Our commitment to raising awareness and making a positive contribution resulted in transcendent support from like-minded people that allowed us to make a change at the country-wide scale.