The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has said that it will invest around £20 million ($32 million) in six synthetic biology research projects in the country, which will focus on global challenges such as producing low-carbon fuels and reducing the cost of industrial raw materials.
The financial support will also help build a synthetic biology research community in the UK, the BBSRC says.
The grants are part of BBSRC's Strategic Longer and Larger Awards scheme, which aims to give research teams the time and resources to address areas of key strategic importance. The grants form a network of investment in synthetic biology for the so-called Knowledge Based Bioeconomy.
Douglas Kell, chief executive of the BBSRC, says in a statement that "the funding is a major step in exploring the capacity of synthetic biology to develop useful applications."
Also, "the investment recognizes the important role that synthetic biology can play in addressing many of the grand challenges we face, and in helping to provide future prosperity," he says.
Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on the announcement here.