Technical Program

The BBF champions “The Commons.” We believe fundamental scientific knowledge belongs to all of us and must be freely available for open innovation. This is a new paradigm.

Open technology is a human right.

Open technology platforms and technical standards are revolutionary concepts for biotechnology. We’re encouraging the development of a “solutions-driven” research model and foundational tools that can be used to develop solutions for myriad problems.

By encouraging the donation of basic bioengineering knowledge into the public domain, the BBF aims to accelerate innovation, collapse timelines, and speed time-to-market of inventive synthetic biology-based solutions while fostering ethical use of the technology. 


There are three principal projects in our Technical Program:

Stanford BIOFAB

High-throughput biological design/build facilities (BIOFABs) are being developed around the world to produce standard biological parts for public benefit. The Stanford BIOFAB is the continuation of the Emeryville, CA BIOFAB that ends in December 2011. The Stanford BIOFAB will map the central dogma (C-Dog) of yeast and contribute BioBrick™ parts to the public domain. Drew Endy, BBF founder and board president, will run the Stanford BIOFAB with support from the BioBricks Foundation. Contact holly(at)biobricks(dot)org for more information about joining the BIOFAB Research Partners Program and sponsorship opportunities.

Global BIOFAB Network

By promoting shared technical standards in the field, the BBF hopes to shorten research timelines and foster breakthroughs.

The BBF is building a network of BIOFABs to create synergy and foster the development of community-driven technical standards and production of standardized biological parts. By increasing interaction among existing BIOFABs, fostering collaborations, and promoting sharing and community-driven technical standards, we aim to strengthen the BIOFABs’ individual research programs, limit overlap, and help make bioengineering easier, cheaper, and more accessible.

By building relationships among BIOFABs as well as other NGOs worldwide, the BBF accelerate the development of standardized biological parts contributed to the public domain, foster the adoption of shared technical standards and ethical values, involving developing as well as developed nations. Please check back for future updates.

SynBio Road Mapping Project

We are preparing now to lead the creation of a “Global Roadmap for Synthetic Biology” that will be an international effort of leading scientists, engineers, and practitioners in academia, industry, and government to present the grand challenges in synthetic biology. The significant results of such a road-mapping effort would include:

  • evaluation of progress in key areas;
  • setting technical goals for the field over the next 15 years;
  • identification of resources that might be best used to ensure that the best technologies would be developed, distributed, and utilized to meet those goals;
  • making recommendations for operational metrics and standards to support efficiency and sharing in the field; and
  • identifying ways in the which the field can incorporate safety, ethical, legal, and social impacts into its research and community vision.

An international effort to set long-term priorities and guidance would have a significant impact on research and development, set the standards for how the field can positively effect safety, ethical, legal, and social implications of its work, and would also help to improve public understanding of the field and its potential impact. Please check back for future updates.