Team:UNSW Australia/Collaborations


Team PROTECC Coral has strived to collaborate with both the public and various stakeholders, as assisted by Human Practices, and other scientists inside and beyond iGEM. This connection has helped us refine our process and brought to us a diverse perspective that we would have missed without. Various collaboration efforts with both the general public, local synthetic biology groups and also iGEM groups, had occurred throughout the year [hyperlinks to scicomm/outreach]. These have been through attending others' fun and networking activities, holding a symposium, hosting discussions with other iGEM teams, and sharing results with different groups. Subsequently, this has facilitated information sharing, problem brainstorming and overall companionship with individuals internationally and locally. Here, we have detailed our most significant collaboration efforts that yielded great results.

Collaboration has undeniably brought not only a different perspective to our project but have also resulted in great enjoyment as we met new individuals. However, due to the pandemic situation in our team’s region this year, our collaboration has been more restricted than we would have preferred.

Biodiversity Symposium

A public outreach to other iGEM groups and individuals interested in learning about the benefits of synthetic biology in biodiversity was conducted through us hosting a biodiversity symposium. This event included the presentation by five different iGEM groups including ourselves, Team iGEM Stony Brook, Team iGEM Groningen, Team iGEM University of Sydney, Team iGEM NU Kazakhstan. These groups presented what their project included and their team’s motivation. As our symposium’s key theme was biodiversity, each team had also detailed how biodiversity was important to their project and the ecological impacts of their solution. Altogether, this event incited the appearance of around 50 different individuals, who came along to learn and ask questions that provoked thought into their projects. Consequently, this symposium provided an opportunity, where international teams could engage in discussions forwarded by audience questions. These individuals were from both other iGEM groups along with individuals from the public not affiliated with iGEM. Consequently, this symposium provided an opportunity, where international teams and individuals could engage in discussions forwarded by audience questions.

This symposium showed to our team a glimpse of the global effort to fight against issues tormenting the environment. This international collaboration was particularly uplifting, as we saw how every team is working to globally help conserve their environment. It highlighted the importance of working with various stakeholders to power a conservation project on, and ensuring its success.

Click on each team's logo to view a description of their project:

iGEM Stony Brook
Biodegradation of Microcystin
iGEM NU Kazakhstan
iGEM Groningen
Free Coli

Through this event different host iGEM groups gained more solidity to the development of their project through the question-and-answer sessions after each of their presentations. They were queried on how their experimentation (computational and laboratory) would proceed, and how it related to their real-world problems. For instance, with iGEM Kazakhstan, we explored the entrepreneurship of their project and how they connected with local businesses to alleviate the nitrogen crisis in their region. We gave suggestions into different aspects they could proceed with in their project during entrepreneurship and ideas into how it can become commercialised.


We are grateful to have a connection to the local iGEM team, the Free-Coli group held by the University of Sydney. As such, we have made the most of this connection, making our first connection at a local synthetic biology event. Following this event, we had continued to meet, sharing our findings, our progress and helping each other with our issues. These meetings had undeniably been insightful and inspiring, where we congratulated each other on our findings and brewed over the unfortunate COVID situation.

iGEM St. Andrews

The collaboration fostered between the UNSW iGEM and St. Andrew’s chapter was born out of the common objective of saving our marine environment - in specific, corals! Each of the Human Practices teams was invested in scoping out the public’s perception of synthetic biology, the practical applications of it in our natural environment and their threat towards our corals, and the exchange of surveys allowed us to examine the wider populations’ sentiment towards coral bleaching, especially in the context of coral bleaching.

This initiative also provided insight into the future of PROTECC Coral in other nations, and the possibility of implementing the use of this product in areas that are either deeply affected by the issue of coral bleaching or have high interest.