1. Audiovisual Content: Graphic design & Video making
One of the most important deliverables for iGEM was the final video summing up all the work carried out during months. Therefore, a detailed planification of the clips as well as a schedule for filming the scenes was needed.
This compulsory iGEM deliverable was the first submission we performed and it consisted of a short 2 minutes descriptive spot of the approach we wanted to follow and the problem we aimed to tackle.
In this context, we did an ideation of the script as follows:
- iGEM Introduction
- Rhetorical question posing the risk of Antibiotic Resistance Phenomenon
- Takes in the hospital, laboratory and clinical facilities
- Animations explaining our solution
- Team description
To accomplish this result, we accounted for the help from a camera recorder from Campus Mar. Few more options for filming material were provided, so it was a real challenge for the team to arrive at something impressive. However, in the post-editing of the cuts and the translation towards 3 different languages in .vtt format (Catalan, Spanish and English), the work done became even better.
Having realized about the difficulties of the video editing and the scarce source of materials, we learned and for the final 20 minutes team presentation video, we began considering the option of requesting professional help when recording, renting audiovisual equipment and receiving mentoring and tutoring when editing. This way, from the presence of a problem we got a learning.
Check the video result by clicking on:Promotion Video
Planification and concept
The first step was coming up with a concept. There are many ways to make a video, so the base concept of the video is vital for all the decision processes that guide the preproduction, the production and the postproduction. We decided to make an interview-based video in which the members of our group would be the ones giving all the information directly, rather than an external third person narrator. Then we made a three part structure to organize the video and to put in writing how we would manage the information we wanted to give to the viewer so everything is made clear and in the right order.
Afterwards, we started working on the questions for the interviews. We developed a set of questions for some of the team members and, since we could not interview all of the team, we introduced some snippets to make sure all of the team members had their input. That was our written script for all the information we wanted to be featured in the video. We meticulously checked every question to make sure the answers would be a good guiding line throughout the structure. We also introduced some questions that were not strictly practical for a proper explanation of the project, because they had a more personal character to the interviewed, but that would help us give the video a human emotion appeal, which is as important as the technical explanations of the project if we want to be successful in transmitting the message to our audience.
While working on the questions, we planned other key aspects such as locations, which processes to film in the laboratory, timetables for post-production and computer animations, and where to get all the filming equipment we needed. For the technical part of the video making, we set a meeting with La Factoria, an audiovisual support team from our University. They agreed to help us filming what we needed.
In this context, the organization of the script was based on a sequential fashion of questions that were intertwined between interviewees.
Since a video of 20 minutes is more a film than a short clip, we needed 2 recording sessions distributed among 2 different days. The chosen locations for them were UPF Campus Poblenou and PRBB. There were two types of shots we wanted to make. On one hand, the interviews and snippets, and on the other hand, shots to visually communicate some of the ideas we wanted to reflect on the video, such as teamwork, companionship and hard work.
On the first day we went to UPF Campus Poblenou and recorded the computational team interviews and some of the snippets. We had to make some takes until we decided we had the correct answers with the information we needed. We also made shots of the computational team working and discussing ideas, to be used as visual material for the final cut.
In the second recording session we filmed in the PRBB building. For the most part of the morning, we splitted into two different crews so that we could optimize our time, and while the snippets were being filmed, the other crew was at the laboratory filming shots of the work we carried out there. Afterwards, we filmed the interviews (for which we needed both cameras) and some additional shots to have enough visual material for the editing.
Tight collaboration with La Factoria
In this section we would like to acknowledge the help we received from La Factoria, whose contribution was extremely useful and indispensable to film our video. Their help has had a big impact on the production process, on the shooting days. They issued us the proper equipment, i.e. two cameras, two tripods, two lavalier microphones and two LED lightning pads (with their respective tripods) for the interviews. Moreover, they gave us counseling for the best ways to film what we had in mind and also provided us with the audiovisual equipment we needed for a proper filming session.
2. Social media & Press
One of our main priorities has been to inspire and amaze the general public. The distribution of information on synthetic biology to the general audience is a relevant aspect for a successful participation in iGEM. That is the reason why we collaborated with newspapers, blogs and even with a podcast. Besides from it, social media actions by means of different platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) were conducted since our main aim was to create awareness and concern on its widest spectrum of readers.
We appeared in more than 5 blogs in Spain as well as being invited for YouTube and radio interviews as for instance on the radio station Sayansi Podcast. The newspaper LaVanguardia, one of the most followed ones at the national level, gave a shout-out about our project. This way, our story was extended to the general reader and we had the chance to see our micro patronage increased, as well as an improved interest in our AR approach. These media releases were a superb tool to engage.
We are currently in close touch with the press and social engagement department of University Pompeu Fabra Barcelona to keep the public regularly updated about the status and progress of our project. We desire to have further oncoming press releases in the near post-iGEM stage.
On this page one can find some of the headlines:
Smart City Journal
Institut de Biologia Evolutiva
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Social media is an underrated platform serving scientific research and widespread to those not directly and actively involved in the scientific community itself. Therefore, ARIA made the decision to enhance their social media appearances in order to show how synthetic biology can have a positive impact in society and solve problems of this significance.
Parallel to the WIKI construction, we managed to launch an auxiliary web. Thanks to it, we were able to show the project purpose, accompanied by the presentation video and a photo gallery showing our work up to that date in diverse disciplines, as Human Practices and laboratory research tasks. Also, we presented the team and set up a donation section thanks to UPFund (see "5. Crowdfunding campaign: UPFund" section below).
This platform was the least structured in terms of formalisms, since it allowed for more flexibility and facts & curiosities publications. It was used almost on a daily basis, both for announcing press publications, informing the followers about events in which we were involved, and publishing general information in a relaxed way.
Moreover, Instagram was the main communication channel with our followers. Through it, we exchanged lots of direct messages not only with people following our work but specially with other iGEM teams, sharing our thoughts between us as well as receiving and proposing collaboration proposals, such as participation in events and videos, among others.
This platform was mainly directed towards participating in official iGEM sponsors monthly contests, interacting by means of replies to other iGEM teams, and to reach further broadcasting towards a non-specialized community.
YouTube: ARIA iGEM Project
This platform was created with the purpose of uploading our promotion video in different languages, so that we were able to reach as many people as possible, located in different globe regions. By the same token, the final team presentation video will be uploaded as well.
It was useful for us not only to approach more audiences, but to have an official visual deck that allowed potential investors, journalists and academic research groups to have boosted interest in us.
LinkedIn: ARIA iGEM Team
This platform allowed ARIA to network with other iGEM teams, as well as with professionals from sectors that were of relevance for us: academic researchers focused on the Antibiotic Resistance phenomenon, clinicians from Hospital del Mar and other institutions of Barcelona, and finally also to establish our collaboration with RECONBY, UNIZAR 2021 iGEM Team.
Linktree: ARIA iGEM Team
This platform allows to connect audiences to all the desired content with just one link. This way, by making use of it, all the social media profiles exposed above could be compacted in a single web link. In addition, the link is easily accessible through a generated QR code shown in the following figure.
PRBB Promotion Screens
Taking into account that the main facility for our laboratory research was the PRBB, an emplacement where loads of researchers in the field work daily, we considered that broadcasting our promotion video in the televisions of all the floors was a useful way to begin gaining a reputation inside the PRBB atmosphere, at the same time of making our project purpose and work public.
3. PRBB Open Day
The Open Day is an annual event in which the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), the center on which our team is based and works, opens its doors to the public to explain the scientists day-to-day life to the public in a friendly, relaxed environment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's edition has been online. The format used has been a recording of the Laboratory of Advanced Synthetic Biology, the lab where we have been developing our project, which was broadcasted live and we participated by being interviewed about our project.
With this activity, we aimed to talk about how undergraduate students can actively put their talent and effort in order to carry out such a project as it is iGEM. We also seized the occasion to talk about the iGEM competition, the huge learning we have acquired during the past months and to share personal experiences we have dwelled in the PRBB. Finally, we also conversed about the objectives of ARIA and the different tools used to develop our project.
Check the uploaded video by clicking on:PRBB Open Day - Translational Synthetic Biology lab feat. ARIA
4. Public funding needs
ARIA considered having sufficient financial resources crucial for boosting their research prospects. That is why, apart from the initial budget provided by the institution we represent in the iGEM competition, University Pompeu Fabra, we soon contemplated the need for further funding to cover all our project development associated costs.
In this context, we identified two potential parallel funding sources: seeking for sponsors and collaborators (see "4.1. Sponsors & Funding" section below) and opening a crowdfunding campaign (see "4.2. Crowdfunding campaign: UPFund" section below). Both pathways details are described below.
4.1. Sponsors & Funding
One of the keys for obtaining a funding that meets the requirements from a iGEM project is to find strategic collaborators, sponsors and investors all the way through the development. This is extremely closely related to the entrepreneurship efforts that ARIA did in order to accelerate, enhance and ultimately bring into reality the future product’s market introduction. These efforts can be consulted in a more detailed way in the corresponding Entrepreneurship WIKI section.
Mobile World Capital Barcelona - 4YFN 2021
With this purpose, we attended the Mobile World Capital 2021 Edition (4YFN), where we had the chance to meet some of our forthcoming investing candidates. More specifically, this was our first approach on making contact with that kind of experience, so we were grateful to have the chance to sink into that atmosphere thanks to iGEM. In order to know more about the candidates that boosted our entrepreneurship desire, check the section “Mobile World Capital Barcelona - 4YFN 2021” in Entrepreneurship.
Final ARIA’s sponsors
During the whole project development, we conducted several meetings with the main aim of collecting funding needs. Although we came to a sponsorship agreement with two enterprises.
Apart from that, during summer, we conducted several interviews with different organisms and associations, aiming for funding. As mentioned in the Entrepreneurship page, lots of these interviews whose aim was to search for sponsorship opportunities, finally ended up being sessions of mentorship and tips. These are explained in more detail in the Entrepreneurship section: “Interviews with mentors”.
Despite that, we did run meetings in which we came to a collaboration agreement. Some of them are included in the list below, which also in its end contemplates official iGEM sponsors from which we gladly and usefully benefited.
This balearic business dedicated to the structures calculations contributed to the ARIA project by financing all the merchandising associated with the team, including facemasks, hoodies, team shirts and stickers.
This Amazon department offered itself to give a tutorship session guided by David Romero, Business Development Representative of the company.
Thanks to his talk, the computational team became conscious in a close way about the storage limitations with which they were working, and offered some tips to try to overcome them.
This balearic appraisal society specialized in immovables donated a considerable amount of money to ARIA through our Auxiliary web (see below, section “UPFund campaign”) in order to allow us to continue with the development of the project.
This global leading company dedicated to the interconnection between laboral environments supported ARIA with a 50€ token to have premium functionalities when it came to networking with researchers, other iGEM groups and potential candidates to guide us in our progress.
This leading company in the discovery and development of molecular biology reagents, is an official sponsor of all iGEM competition teams. Over the years, NEB has supported many iGEM teams with donated materials and scientific guidance. This year, ARIA took advantage of being able to freely acquire part of a selected amazing product catalog. These were the product types ordered to NEB because of being of our interest for the wetlab work: DNA Assembly Mixes, Competent Cells, Type IIS Restriction Enzymes, DNA Purification, DNA Ligase.
IDT is a company that develops, manufactures, and markets nucleic acid (DNA) products that support the life sciences industry. They are also an official iGEM sponsor that offer a considerable amount of budget (equal to the cost of 20 kb of gBlocks™ Gene Fragments) for accessing, in a free manner, to their entire array of products, from ready-to-use gene and gene fragments to high-quality CRISPR genome editing solutions.
For ARIA, this sponsorship was extremely useful when it came to the getting of all the necessary gene fragments (primers, gRNAs, etc.) and some indispensable product kits (reporter kit) for the wetlab part of the project development.
4.2. Crowdfunding campaign: UPFund
With regards to the second, we contacted the University Pompeu Fabra Department of Sponsorships and Patronage, who gladly offered us their help by promoting a social campaign in their website. This allowed any visitor to, by clicking in our project ad, access our auxiliary website and help ARIA by making a contribution in forms of a donation of whichever desired amount of money. Indeed, this is what is called micro-patronage and these public subsidies allowed the group not only to finance their needs, but also to stay in touch with the society that began having interest in our project approach.
When setting out the collection of donations, we had to tackle an important logistic main issue: physically where to receive, accumulate and keep the money until its use. UPFund not only helped us by advertising our micro patronage campaign, but in fact they were the ones that allowed the users’ money reception by including their template donations widget in our auxiliary web.
This widget function consists of 3 steps, the first one is selecting the desired amount of money to donate, either from the proposed options (25€, 50€ or 100€) or not, then the user needs to provide some personal information as it is their full name and email address, and finally a payment option needs to be selected and the needed information in each case given.
An interesting aspect to highlight is that the widget, because of having donation receival purposes, indicates the conditions for fiscal tax exemption, both for natural persons and companies. In relation to this, at the end of the tax year, each donor will receive a certificate with which they will be able to deduct costs. This was very comfortable for users or enterprises that desired to contribute a considerable amount of money, which was convenient for potential sponsors and in fact was of utility for TASALIA and Arquicalcul.
Finally, once the UPFund organisation set up the widget in our auxiliary page, by means of ARIA social media, we conducted several promotions. For that, some pamphlets and publications were broadcasted to let the followers know that the team needed them to count with the proper budget for covering all the needs.
Also, we spread the word among our personal circles (relatives, friends, university community, etc.) and the UPF social media and their diffusion channels (mainly through email chains).