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SBA 3.0 International Synthetic Biology, AI, and Biosecurity Conference in Africa

Following the success of the SBA 2.0 conference in 2023, SynBio Africa is organizing to host the SBA 3.0 International Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity Conference in Africa to be held from July 17- 19, 2024, bringing together over 500 participants. The purpose of this 3-day conference is to connect industry, academia, community, policy makers and other stakeholders in synthetic biology, AI, and biosecurity in Africa – to take stock of current progress since the previous conference and chart a way forward for the advancement of these fields on the continent.
Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, and the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes. Following our Inaugural International Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity Conference in Africa that took place in October 2021, a lot of activities have been going on in these fields within Synbio Africa and across the continent. This includes new training and certification programs in the fields of synthetic biology and biosecurity, partnerships to produce vaccines, approval of policies that support synthetic biology’s role in the bioeconomy, growth of SynBio companies, establishment of regional networks for pandemic preparedness, among others.
These and more developments that will be featured at this conference have been made possible by constructive collaboration across sectors and technical fields – that the
conference aims to further nurture a more established role of synthetic biology in national, regional, and continental sustainable development.

About SBA3.0

This conference seeks to bring together stakeholders from industry, academia, community, and policy makers in Africa, spotlight useful Synbio application areas, and foster networking and information sharing between stakeholders across Africa. Discussions during the conference also seek to address the different areas that are of greater concern like biosecurity and increase synthetic biology visibility in Africa.

The conference program will include keynote talks, oral presentations, lightning talks, breakout sessions, panel discussions, and networking sessions.

This will be an interdisciplinary conference that will host over 300 people from Africa and beyond. The areas covered in the conference will include but not limited to providing practical solutions to challenges cutting across human and livestock health, agriculture, industry, environmental management, and restoration. In Uganda and indeed Africa, synthetic biology is going to contribute to national development agenda by anchoring a sustainable bio economy. This will be done by leveraging low-cost, rapid diagnostic kits and biosensors in support of health and agricultural systems for detection of crop and human pathogens as well as supporting environmental conservation and restoration programs. This conference will bring stakeholders working or plan to work in synthetic biology field from across Africa and beyond. The conference will provide opportunities for stakeholders to interact and discuss innovations, policy and legal frameworks required to adopt synthetic biology innovations in Africa, while building a shared public understanding on the opportunities and benefits of the technology through effective communications.

Conference Objectives

To foster networking and information sharing between stakeholders from industry, academia, and community to support synthetic biology research, bioinformatics and data science, capacity development, and one-health.

To address key areas of concern such as biosecurity in Africa by identifying relevant biosecurity stakeholders within the synthetic biology community.

To increase synthetic biology awareness in Africa through SynBio Africa innovation

OVERVIEW OF THE THEMES

Agricultural innovations

Bioinformatics and AI

Biosecurity and Biosafety

One Health

Renewable Energy and Materials

Biomaterials Science, Biosensors and Diagnostics

AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION

Session 1: Innovations in food systems.
Session 2: Regulating agricultural innovations.
Session 3: Financing AgriTech innovations.
Session 4: Navigating Africa’s Agribiotech start-up environment.

BIOINFORMATICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Session 1: Creating sustainable solutions with bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence.
Session 2: Africa’s take-off in bioinformatics and AI
Session 3: Advancements in computational tools for Synthetic Biology
Session 4: Ethical considerations in the convergence of AI and Synthetic Biology
Session 5: Collaborations and Partnerships for advancing SynBio and AI

BIOSECURITY AND BIOSAFETY

Session 1: Advances in Biosafety and Biosecurity.
Session 2: SynBio policy advocacy.
Session 3: Building biosafety infrastructure in African laboratories.
Session 4: Biosafety training and compliance in biomedical research institutions.

RENEWABLE ENERGY AND MATERIALS

Session 1: Biomass and Biofuel Production for Energy Independence in Africa
Session 2: Materials Science Innovations for Sustainable Construction in Africa
Session 3: Renewable Energy Solutions for Rural and Off-Grid Communities
Session 4: Addressing Africa’s energy challenges using synthetic biology.

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