iGEM Patras 2021

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development is the peace policy of the future!

The United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. The iGEM competition has already adopted these 17 UN's goals, understanding the need for international cooperation to create a better future.

Understanding this need, we have the idea of creating an informative video about Sustainable Development Goals through iGEM projects because we did a survey, and most people didn't know much information about them and their applications. Thus, we created a video in which many iGEM teams share their project and the sustainable development goals they aim to achieve to show what amazing things can be achieved by synthetic biology. In the "SDGs" video, every team explained their project, especially the problem they struggle to solve through synthetic biology and what goals they want to achieve by developing this iGEM project. After that, we made a compilation of all these amazing ideas. Such an innovative idea to spread Sustainable Development Goals and its importance!

iGEM Teams together could leave their footprint in the real world and show people how useful it is to use synthetic biology to solve real problems. Undoubtedly there are many ways in which one can improve the world we live in. In our video, iGEM Teams explored the 17 most promising actions that could have the most impact on our planet by 2030. From ending world poverty and taking action on climate change to gender equality, clean water, and sanitation for all, the power of ordinary people working collectively to improve our world can indeed have extraordinary outcome. Let's make it happen.

Particularly, SDG 17 reads, "Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development." It recognizes multi-stakeholder partnerships as important vehicles for mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies, and financial resources to support sustainable development goals in all countries, particularly developing countries. So, we adopted all the aforementioned goals, following the example that the iGEM Competition set, and tried to implement them into our project. Starting with the 17th goal, we set the ideals of cooperation and partnership as our fundamental values since the beginning of our journey. To be more specific, we collaborated not only with many iGEM teams for collaboration activities but also cooperated with iGEM Thessaloniki and did partnership all over the year in many different fields. You can find more on the partnership page.

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Firstly, we should underline that SDG number 3 is a keystone of Project PGasus! Every one of our moves was in the direction of "ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages" by reducing drugs' side effects. Our work's global impact is easily understandable, taking into consideration that these drugs are widely administered against cardiovascular, psychiatric, or other common diseases.

Furthermore, the 5th SDG is a goal that wants to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." Investing and supporting gender equality is the only way for any scientific team that wants to succeed. History has shown that several women have succeeded in various scientific fields, such as J. Dudna & E.M. Charpentier, awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry 2020. Our composition proves that human gender equality plays a vital role in our life as 10 out of our 19 members are women. In addition, we organized the Rosalind Chronicles collaboration, a Bulletin Board to honor the contribution of Women in STEM on a larger scale. This activity aimed to inspire and broaden women's horizons, empowered them to believe in themselves, aim higher, and excel in any field of science they put their minds into, no matter their gender.

Sustainable economic growth - SDG number 8 - could also be achieved via Project PGasus. The Ministry of Health and other relevant government agencies can make the PGasus project available to public hospitals and laboratories in metropolitan areas and remote ones, taking advantage of its portability. The time needed for sequencing is decreased through our system, while the cost is remarkably reduced compared to existing methods. Promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all has always been a great challenge for us. Still, we made it as we managed to propose a way to save money for the patients and the public health systems by reducing the side effects of drugs and hospitalization rates.

As far as the 10th goal is concerned, reducing inequalities, our team made a significant effort to achieve it. We would like to ensure no one is left behind, so we try as much as possible to create a diagnostic system that is not very expensive and understandable by most doctors.

iGEM Patras 2021 team highlighted the efforts and projects of previous iGEM teams, gave practical and theoretical supplies to future generations, and supported 5 of the sustainable development goals established by the United Nations to be remarkable in the history of the iGEM competition.