The OpenPlant Fund supports institutional exchange, interdisciplinary working and outreach. One or more of these aspects are required for a successful application. Projects receive £4000 over six months, with an additional £1000 for outreach or follow-on work after reporting on their progress. Funds are managed through a cost centre managed by a faculty sponsor, to help manage integration of the project with existing research loads. All outputs of the projects are open and shared. Parallel funding was provided by the Synthetic Biology strategic research initiative at the University of Cambridge.
The OpenPlant Fund has proved to be a highly effective way of providing important support for independent small projects and promoting valuable new collaborations among young researchers, along with the development and documentation of open source biology, hardware and bioinstrumentation. To date, over 60 projects have been awarded funding, and in a short period of time, we have seen some notable outcomes. A full list of OpenPlant funded projects can be found below, and documented on the Biomaker website.
Funded OpenPlant projects
December 2017 (projects 50-61)
Focus Stacking for Teaching and Publication in Plant Sciences
Actin visualization: to disclose mechanisms of host cell reorganisation during interactions with microbes
Comparative analysis of cell free and in planta protein synthesis systems
Cell-free proteins synthesis as a resource for generating plant proteins
R for Proteomics' training proposal
Towards an efficient transformation system for legumes
Open-Cell: An Open-Source 3D Printable System for High-Throughput Cell-Free Screening
Open Source Resources for Teaching Synthetic Biology in Low-Resource Settings
Design of synthetic plant and mammal gene regulatory networks using nonparametric Bayesian approaches
July 2017 (projects 40-50)
December 2016 (projects 30-39)
Ambient temperature preservation of cell-free TX-TL reagents for use in synthetic biology
Developing teaching resources for rapid, open and combinatorial genetic circuit fabrication in cell-free systems.
January 2016 (projects 17-29)
Environmental sensor networks based on plant electrical signalling.
Synthetic Biology for Schools: A multidisciplinary approach
July 2015 (projects 1-16)
Funded SynBio SRI projects
Engineering of self cloning brewer’s yeast for novel terpene profiles in beer.
3D printed microscope
Interactive web based software for genetic circuit design
Novel bioluminescent reporters
Flexible, low cost, live cell imaging platform
Faster engineering of cyanobacteria
Finding new recombinases
The Green Mother Machine: A microfluidics device for cyanobacteria
SynBio Student Society
SynBioHub: Patent information system for synthetic biology
Synthesis of novel optimised lux reporters for eukaryotic systems
CamOptimus: Self-contained user-friendly multi-parameter optimisation platform for non-specialist experimental biologists
Reliable IP-free system for inter-chassis transfer of the high molecular weight DNA
A piezoelectric bio-platform to image and stimulate cellular interactions
Interactive web-based software tool for biological circuit design (Extension plan)
Development of a microfluidic device for high-throughput analysis of genetic circuits in plant protoplasts.
Low cost solution for high throughput bacterial electrotransformation
CELLUWIN: 3D printing for cellulose
Organotypic cultures as tools for functional screening of drugs to promote oligodendrocyte differentiation and CNS myelination.