Team:UC Chile/Ingenia



College level dissemination

To spread SynBio among students from our University, we participated in a research and innovation fair, INGENIA. We showed them how they are able to direct their careers to the field of Synthetic Biology. Also, we met people interested in funding research projects like iGEM, so our team is now working towards giving the next UC Chile iGEM generation more financial and communicational support.  
For three years the Faculty of Engineering of Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile has organized a fair called “INGENIA: investiga, innova y emprende” (research, innovation and entrepreneurship), where the main objective is to motivate students from different Faculties to join different programs that have a strong focus on technology and social impact. We decided that this was a good opportunity to let everyone from the university community know about iGEM and Synthetic Biology. So, there were two things we wanted to accomplish: Teach about Synthetic Biology and its impact in our everyday life and to get students interested in the idea of participating in the iGEM competition.

Get as many recruits as we could!
The team worked really hard to make our stand the most attractive of them all. We made a poster, hand outs and showed a youtube video about Synbio. We prepared plates with colourful bacteria and amazing bacteria drawings to catch the attention of the students. Also, we made them see actual “bioluminescence” by inducing bacteria containing the Luxbrick. This helped us explain the different kinds of genetic constructs that are possible to build and implement in bacteria, the new DNA techniques that synthetic biologists use nowadays and have applications being explored. In general, we had a really good reception! Students, especially from the science and math departments came to our stand to talk and learn how biology and engineering can mix and create a whole lot of new research possibilities.
Some students asked us really difficult questions.

We gave great emphasis to the importance of having people from all disciplines participating in the project, and we invited them to join iGEMs Chilean teamnext year. Telling our experience as a team was an important part of the process. Many students wanted to know about compatibilizing this work with the rest of their regular curriculum (since we have classes during the Northern Hemisphere's summer, so we are obliged to work on the middle of our academic year). We told them that it is a lot of work and sacrifice, but that it does worth it. We shared our thoughts about what we have learnt during this competition.

At the end of the day, we had a round table session together with the rest of the participants of the fair and had to answer questions about iGEM and this year project. Here, we met many people interested on opening new funding opportunities for research or innovation projects such as iGEM.
We have undergone many hardships trying to collect all the money necessary for our project (as last year’s team). We believe it is really important to obtain consolidated funding for proyects such as iGEM in order to promote the help from more sponsors.

UC_Chile 2013 is working towards giving future Chilean iGEM teams more possibilities of financial support with the aid of programs such as “The national competition of College entrepreneurship Jump Chile” or the “Undergraduate research department”. The team is attending important meetings and helping open new categories of financial aid in which iGEM teams can apply.