What is iGEM ?

IGEM is a global Synthetic Biology competition in which students from a variety of scientific disciplines have the opportunity to participate. The idea for its creation began in 2004 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is now organized by the non-profit organization iGEM Foundation. For the past 16 years, this competition has been a milestone in the field of Synthetic Biology and an attraction for over 350 teams and 6000 students per year, while since its inception in 2004, it has hosted a total of over 40,000 students and team instructors.

iGEM Goals

By participating in the competition, iGEMers are building a better world by solving problems with the help of synthetic biology. Specifically, teams try to use the principles of synthetic biology to solve local or global problems of modern times. After completing their project, teams from all over the world gather and present their research ideas at the Giant Jamboree, which this year, will be held in Paris. In order for a team to reach the Giant Jamboree, to compete for medals, nominations and grand prizes and to get the opportunity, if they wish, to test their work in entrepreneurship, they must first successfully complete their project. Using tools primarily from the fields of Synthetic Biology, Biochemistry and Engineering, the contestants will design a multidisciplinary project that attempts to solve in a unique, original and sustainable way a contemporary problem that the local or global community suffers from. Using prior knowledge that they creatively combine, the teams build the tools to 'read' the complexity of biological systems, decode disease mechanisms and treat by innovative means, while at the same time, while the whole project should communicate with, inspire and be guided by the world. iGEM reminds its members and the rest of the world that science is here by and for people, to serve them and improve their quality of life.

iGEM Community

iGEM is a united community that is constantly growing. Characteristic of this community are the values that governs it. It is based on cooperation between different groups, healthy competition, honesty and respect.


After iGEM

But the journey doesn't stop there. The iGEM organisation also provides for the maintenance of an iGEM team, as well as an Entrepreneurship Program Innovation Community (EPIC). In after iGEM era, old competitors use the experience and knowledge gained from the competition and develop it, taking on roles such as informing their local communities about the competition, mentoring new teams and organising the next annual cycle of preparation for the competition. In parallel, the Entrepreneurship Program Innovation Community (EPIC) supports the entrepreneurial activities of the participating teams by connecting them with mentors, startup accelerators, investors and partners in the field of synthetic biology