On March 31, 2020, the People’s Government of Guangming District of Shenzhen (hereinafter referred to as the “Government of Guangming District”) and the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (hereinafter referred to as the “SIAT”) signed an agreement selecting Zhuohong Building in Guangming District as the site to jointly build the Shenzhen Engineering Biological Industry Innovation Center (hereinafter referred to as the “Innovation Center”). The project was approved by the committee in June 2020 (Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality  No. 374), and the approved amount of the project estimate is RMB 92.16 million.
The Innovation Center will strive to create an integrated platform for the integration of basic research and industrial application, and seek to innovatively break the time barrier often required in incubating new technology development “from 0 to 1 to 10”. It will also establish an enterprise cultivation model that links “scientific research - transformation - industry”, improve the innovative synthetic biology ecosystem (also known as engineering biology) in Shenzhen, and boost the “acceleration” of Shenzhen Comprehensive National Science Center.
Synthetic biology is an engineering discipline that integrates IT and BT. The Innovation Center is built with the Industrial Application Research Department and the Enterprise Incubation Management Company as the core. The Application Research Department relies on the Shenzhen Biofoundry and iSynBio to produce scientific research achievements, focusing on the original innovation that achieve developments “from 0 to 1”, and relies on the advantages of Shenzhen IT industry. The incubator management company connects with the sources of innovation, attracts high-quality and competitive startups, and focuses on making progress in developing “from 1 to 10”. Once the incubated startups have achieved competitiveness, they can launch products, build leading enterprises, accelerate the integration of IT and BT development, and actualize the overhaul of the biomedical industry. The Industrial Innovation Center initiates the model of “upstream and downstream innovation and entrepreneurship complex”, which reduces the spatial distance between the application research at iSynBio and the startups to zero, effectively eliminating the bottleneck of the lack of facilities and technology platforms for startups. Therefore, it shortens the time cycle required to transform original innovation into industrial application. The Innovation Center focuses on the incubation of synthetic biology-related companies, focusing on biomedicine, biomaterials, and other related industries. In the next three years, it is expected to attract no less than 30 high-tech enterprises in the field of synthetic biology.
The Innovation Center aims at major national strategic needs and the major needs of the national economy, in line with the idea of Guangming Science City’s “forward-looking plan for major innovation platforms and incubators”, the Innovation Center will accelerate the progress of basic research, platform development, and technology transformation and application in the field of synthetic biology at Shenzhen. It will create an open, forward-looking and cross-cutting innovation platform, encouraging a comprehensive innovation ecosystem that features multidisciplinary cooperation and collaboration. This will help build Guangming Science City into a national synthetic biology industry hub, and contribute to the construction of Shenzhen Comprehensive National Science Center, Shenzhen Socialist Pilot Demonstration Zone, and Guangming Science City.