Eindhoven Innovation Cafe
24 June 2021
On the 24th of June, the Eindhoven Innovation Café invited us to give a talk about our project. We did this live and online by presenting our project via a Livestream. The Eindhoven Innovation Café is a weekly informal gathering providing presentations of special guests and inspiring breakouts. The aim of this talk was to generate more interest in synthetic biology and our project with the general public. We did this by presenting our concept in an accessible way and therefore demonstrating how synthetic biology can be implemented to solve real-world problems. The presentation led to some stimulating conversations with the visitors of the Innovation Café. We want to thank the Eindhoven Innovation Café for their invitation and the inspiring encounters.
The presentation was recorded and can be watched here!
Figure 1: Our presentation at Eindhoven Innovation Café
Presentation former iGEM team members
10 August 2021
During the summer, we invited all former team members from iGEM TU Eindhoven teams for an online meet-up on the 10th of August. The goal of this meet-up was to present what iGEM team TU Eindhoven is working on this year and to have an open discussion and feedback session with the attendees, as they have the most experience in this field. During the meeting, our team manager Luke gave a 20-minute presentation of our project, explaining exactly what was going on in the lab, how we envisioned presenting our project during the Giant Jamboree, and the challenges we were facing at that moment in time. Thereafter, we proceeded to discuss the strong and weak points of our project with the former team members in an open discussion. Many people were enthusiastic to see what the iGEM team 2021 was working on, and the former team members provided us with a lot of valuable feedback we could integrate into our project.
Presentation wise, they advised us to focus our story mainly on the potential of our project, instead of the technical aspects. Other points of attention included our visual presentation, such as the graphic designs. In contrast to previous years, this year’s iGEM team does not include a full-time designer, and as a result, we may lack in this area. This meeting really inspired us to not only focus on the lab work, but also on how we present ourselves to the outside world.
TU/e Bachelor’s Introduction Week
25 August 2021
During the Bachelor Introduction Week, the new TU/e students get to know the Eindhoven University of Technology, the city of Eindhoven, and their fellow students. During the campus market, which took place on the Wednesday in the introduction week, the new students walked a route across the campus, passing all the different associations. As team iGEM 2021, we were present on this market to promote iGEM and introduce the new students to our project. Together with the other healthcare teams at the TU/e, SensUs and T.E.S.T., we developed a puzzle for the new students that they could solve by using a microscope. This way, they could learn about what iGEM does in a fun and interactive way. Many students were interested to see what our team was doing, and hopefully, we inspired many young scientists to join a health-based student team during their time at the university!
Figure 2: Naomi and Josephina promoting iGEM at the Bachelor Introduction Week
31 August 2021
Each year, our university organizes a Master Kick-off to welcome all new master students, both foreign and Dutch. This Kick-off is a three-day event during which the students are introduced to their master’s program and get the opportunity to network with some high-tech companies in the area. During the Kick-off, our team was given the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the new Biomedical Engineering students through a short, 10-minute presentation. In our presentation, we included information about the iGEM competition in general, a concise overview of our project, and what it entails to be a part of team iGEM. We got some very enthusiastic responses, and we hope to see some of these students sign up for the iGEM competition in 2022.
Figure 3: Ingrid and Naomi presenting our project for new master students during the Master Kick-off
Presentation at the Catharina Hospital
7 September 2021
Through their sponsorship, we got in touch with the gastroenterology department of the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven. At the beginning of September, we visited the Catharina Hospital to present our project to a select group of gastroenterologists and trainee assistants. We gave a presentation of about 10 minutes in which the iGEM competition was explained, the team members were introduced, the project was explained and finally, the components alongside the project were briefly discussed. The presentation developed into an open discussion which was mainly focused on how to target the correct location in the intestines, and the effect of releasing the bacteria in the bowel. We received a lot of valuable feedback which can be found on Human Practices segment The Pill. We want to thank the Catharina Hospital for welcoming us, and also for the discussion and useful tips.
Figure 4: Josephina and Fleur presenting at the Catharina Hospital
Netherlands Biotechnology Congress
16 September 2021
We were selected to present our project at the Netherlands Biotechnology Congress 2021 (NBC-21). The NBC is organized by the Dutch Biotechnology Association, and this year the theme of the congress was bioTECHTalks. The NBC was organized on an online platform where different sessions with different speakers were held parallel to each other. We were scheduled for the pharma session, in which three different speakers gave talks about their pharmaceutical biotechnology innovations. In addition, keynote speakers were present, and iGEM team Leiden 2020 shared their story on developing the diagnostic tool Rapidemic, which is an alternative to the PCR test for COVID-19. So, in addition to sharing our project, we got to know a lot about other innovations in the biotech field. This interesting day offered us the possibility to showcase our project once again and gain new insights.
Figure 5: The Netherlands Biotechnology Congress
Dutch Design Week
16-24 October 2021
The Dutch Design Week (DDW) is Northern Europe's largest design event that presents work and concepts by over 2,000 designers to more than 350,000 visitors from the Netherlands and abroad. Throughout the city of Eindhoven, you can enjoy special projects and exciting designs. The Student Teams at the Eindhoven University of Technology were asked to be present at the Drivers of Change exhibition to present their team and project. At the Drivers of Change exhibition, the TU/e aims to show a connection between designers and their design and create a connection between them and visitors.
At this exhibition, we presented a prop that could be used as a conversation starter to explain our project. On the 14th of October, alumni were invited for a sneak peek of the exhibition, and we were present to promote our project. Further, on the 15th of October, we were present at the exhibition during the official DDW opening for invited relations of the DDW and the TU/e to explain our exhibit to the relations.
Further, on Sunday the 17th of October we were present during a part of the exhibition called “Stories of Change”. Here, we gave a 5-minute pitch where we presented our project at a location on the campus, together with other health-focused student teams. It was fun pitching our project to such a broad audience and interesting to see how the public responds to our project now that we are so close to the finish line.
Figure 6: Fleur at our exhibition on the Dutch Design Week
1 March 2021 until 15 May 2021
In the starting phase of our project, we competed in the TU/e Contest. The TU/e Contest is an initiative of the TU/e Innovation Space. Since the first edition in 2015, the TU/e Contest has offered students the opportunity to further develop their own ideas, prototypes, and research projects into business plans. The main purpose and mission are to challenge students to create out-of-the-box, innovative solutions for societal problems and translate them into real products and business plans, while making use of the expertise from innovative and very knowledgeable partners. As a contestant, you get to know successful entrepreneurs and leading international companies that will help you on your way from dream to demo to the world market.
As team iGEM Eindhoven, we participated in the TU/e Contest to improve the presentation of our project to a wide audience of people and businesses, as well as establish a network with companies who might be interested in contributing to our overall project. At the Kick-off event, we presented a short video about our project idea. We additionally had the opportunity to confer with other participants and companies about our project and their endeavors. For more details, you can visit our contest page.
During the TU/e Contest Speeddates, we had the opportunity to present our idea to different companies for feedback and potentially further guidance from them. During these speed dates, we discussed our project with the companies Bioconnection, Medtronics, and Thermofisher. All three companies gave us insight into how they viewed our project and gave us feedback on flaws we previously overlooked, such as getting our E. coli bacteria in the intestine or the legislation around medical devices and GMOs.
Sadly, we weren’t selected to continue to the finals. But we are still very thankful to the TU/e Contest organization for all that we have learned during our participation!
Figure 7: The TU/e Contest
Sustainable Healthcare Challenge
10 September 2021
During the summer, we got an invitation from the Sustainable Healthcare Challenge asking whether we would like to pitch our project at the Challenge and Congress event. The event took place at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. At the beginning of the event, we were asked to pitch for 90 seconds, with one slide, about our project. After the break, only three of the competitors would continue to the finals. We are happy to say that we were selected to continue to the finals, something we didn’t expect to reach at all!
For the second round of pitching, as finalists, we were asked to pitch for 200 seconds and talk in more detail about the need and application of our project. Directly after pitching, a live bidding event took place where the investors could place a bid on the finalist. We ended up being third with a cheque of €2375, and in addition expanded our network, and gained an unforgettable experience.
We would hereby like to express our gratitude towards the Sustainable Healthcare Challenge organization for this wonderful opportunity!
Figure 8: Ingrid, Daniek, Josephina, Fleur, and Naomi receiving our prize at the Sustainable Healthcare Challenge
24 August 2021
Eindhoven University of Technology
27 September 2021
Halfway through our summer lab work, one of our team members was interviewed by Cursor for an article about our project and participating in the iGEM competition in general. Cursor is the online magazine of, for, and about the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Since this paper is mostly read by the students of our university, we thought of this as the perfect way to get them talking about our project.
On the 27th of September, we sent out a press release, after which the release was placed on the website of the TU/e and on Facebook of the Biomedical Engineering department of the TU/e. The press release was meant to draw attention to the iGEM competition and the iGEM TU Eindhoven student team, as we moved closer to the Giant Jamboree.
Blog for biotechnologie.nl
Flyer with student healthcare teams
01 September 2021
We were contacted by Biotechnologie.nl, part of NEMO Kennislink, to write five blogs to post on their website. Each year Biotechnologie.nl follows three Dutch iGEM teams through blogs. These blogs include our experiences, progress, and state of affairs in the iGEM competition. The blogs are posted on biotechnolgie.nl as well as on NEMO Kennislink, which attracts over 330,000 visitors per month. Further, the blogs are distributed via the newsletter and social media channels. At the time of the wiki freeze, two of our blogs are already published, so stay tuned for the rest!
Our PR manager joined forces with the PR teams of the other healthcare student teams at the TU/e, T.E.S.T. and SensUs, to develop a multifunctional flyer. This flyer aimed to make students aware of the activities of the health-based student teams at the TU/e and to clearly explain the differences between the teams. All three teams provided a short description of their project together with their contact information. The flyers were distributed at the Bachelor Introduction Week and Master Kick-off. They were very helpful as reference material and also to get the conversation started.
08 October 2021
To Be Released
The Dutch Instagram account “van scholier tot engineer” (English: from student to engineer) helps future students make the right study choice by providing tips, experiences, and events. On this account, we were featured with a post where Werner was interviewed. Here he explains what iGEM entails, and shares some of his personal experiences with working in a student team.
We reached out to the study association of the department of Biomedical Engineering at the TU/e, SvBMT Protagoras, to write an article in their association magazine. With this article, we are able to reach a select audience of future biomedical engineers, and therefore we could go a little more in-depth on the biological background of our project.
To Be Released
To Be Released
We were approached by the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) for an interview in the next release of their magazine ICMS Highlights. ICSM Highlights is the half-yearly published magazine of ICMS for ICMS members, colleagues, collaboration partners, policymakers, and affiliated companies. During the interview, we were able to elaborate on our project and the iGEM competition.
In response to our press release, we were contacted by someone from Innovations Origins for an interview. Innovation Origins is an independent journalism platform that focuses on innovation, the economics of innovation, and the people behind it. In the interview, we were asked to tell something about what we are working on right now, the impact that our project might have on society, and the final preparations for the iGEM competition.