OpenPlant Forum 2018 Programme

Monday 23 July 2018

13:00 - 17:00   OpenPlant Fund Pitches

Interdisciplinary teams led by early career researchers from Cambridge and Norwich pitch their ideas for £5000 OpenPlant Fund projects to a panel of judges from academia, industry and NGOs. In this round, projects should generate a tangible outcome of relevance to plant synthetic biology or cell-free synthetic biology or provide a training opportunity in synthetic biology. All outcomes must be shared openly with the community.

13:00 - 14:00   LUNCH

14:00     Introduction

14:10     First round of pitches

15:30    Coffee

16:00     Second round of pitches

17:00     Drinks reception

An opportunity to peruse previous OpenPlant Fund projects and ongoing research with drinks and networking.


18:00 - 21:30   OpenPlant Hacks!

Evening networking session and showcase. More information coming soon...

Tuesday 24 July 2018

OpenPlant Forum, Day 1

08:30 - 09:00   Registration and coffee

09:00 - 09:10    Welcome - Dale Sanders and Anne Osbourn (John Innes Centre)

09:10 - 10:30   Session 1: Refactoring Regulation

Prof Ian Small, The University of Western Australia

Prof Cathie Martin, John Innes Centre

10:30 - 11:00   Coffee

11:00 - 12:30   Session 2: A simple, open, plant testbed

12:30 - 14:00   Lunch and poster session

14:00 - 15:30   Session 3: Pathway engineering

Prof Christina Smolke, Stanford University

Prof Susan Rosser, University of Edinburgh

15:30 - 16:00   Coffee

16:00 - 17:30   Session 4: Harnessing global biodiversity - Panel discussion

17:30 - Drinks reception, exhibitions, and posters

19:30   Conference Dinner at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Wednesday 25 July 2018

OpenPlant Forum, Day 2

08:30 - 09:00   Arrival and coffee

09:00 - 10:30   Session 5: Tools for metabolic engineering

Dr Claudia Vickers, The University of Queensland Australia

Dr Nicola Patron, Earlham Institute

10:30 - 11:00   Coffee

11:00 - 12:30   Session 6: Plant-based bioproduction platforms

Prof Ralf Reski, University of Freiburg, Germany

12:30 - 14:00   Lunch and poster session

14:00 - 15:20   Session 7: Sharing and techno-social platforms

Dr Richard Sever, BioRxiv at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

15:20   Closing remarks

15:30   Coffee

Venue and Contact



John Innes Conference Centre

Norwich Research Park

Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UH

United Kingdom

Tel. (+44)1603 450 000



Conference facilities


Coffee breaks and lunches are provided buffet-style in foyer. Any dietary requirements provided at registration will be passed on to the caterers.


Eduroam is available onsite. Details of the Conference Centre Wi-Fi will be available at registration.

Social Media

The OpenPlant Twitter account is @_OpenPlant. During the Forum please use the hashtag #OpenPlantForum.


Access to power sockets will be limited during sessions so we advise that you bring your electronic equipment fully charged where possible.


External delegates arriving by car and wishing to park on site MUST obtain a parking permit by emailing prior to arrival. All delegates are to park on the main car park which can be found on “Zone 2”.

A Blue Badge Scheme takes place on the mini roundabout next to JIC main Reception. Turn left/ right from Colney Lane towards the main buildings at the sign marked “Zone 2” in green.


This will take place in the Conference Centre Foyer on arrival. Please ensure you leave enough time to register before events start.

Talks and main schedule

All three days of talks and lunches will be taking place in the Conference Centre.

Posters, showcases and leaflets/literature

Posters may be displayed in the foyer, but please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to bring a poster as we will need to ensure an adequate number of poster boards are provided. Please note, the boards are portrait and take up to size A0. Posters and exhibits can be set up from midday on Monday 23 July and must be removed by Wednesday 25 July at 4pm.


Broadview Lodge

OpenPlant staff will be staying in Broadview Lodge on the University of East Anglia and within walking distance of the John Innes Conference Centre.

Conference participants can make bookings at Broadview Lodge for a discounted rate (see below). To book a room, call Broadview Lodge reception directly on (+44) 1603 591918, stating that you would like to make an individual reservation for the OpenPlant Forum and they have been offered the following rates:

Single occupancy room,  per night           £50.00 (Room only – breakfast at an additional £7.00 per day)

Dual occupancy, per night                           £60.00 (Room only – breakfast at an additional £14.00 per day)

Broadview Lodge Address

UEA Broadview Lodge, University of East Anglia

Norwich, NR4 7TJ

Image Credits

Banner image 1: OpenPlant midterm review 2018

Banner image 2: Green vaccine machine by George Lomonossoff and Eva Thuenemann (JIC). Shared under licence CC BY 4.0 in the Norwich Research Park Image Library