iGEM or international Genetically Engineering Machine competition is a worldwide event based on Synthetic Biology where teams intend to solve real-world challenges by engineering biological systems. Annually, students from different areas design, construct and test their projects and demonstrate their work in the annual Jamboree Competition. From the last 10 years, iGEM teams create innovative projects that strive to create a positive contribution to all communities around the World.
iGEM’s competition was born as an independent study course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, with only 5 teams working on simple biological devices. However, the competition started to grow and now, over more than 300 teams from 30 different countries are developing innovative projects.
Nowadays, iGEM’s projects are not just about biology or engineering disciplines. Students from very diverse fields are indispensable to fulfil and perform their own projects. Disciplines such as computer science, art and design, physics, marketing, law, mathematics and social sciences take an essential part in iGEM community. Essential values are promoted by iGEM competition. Students must respect other undergraduates and cooperate with other teams. Furthermore, honesty, integrity and effort values are expected to be achieved.
During the last 10 years, Valencia UPV team tries to contribute to Synthetic Biology advance. The fundamental values that define our team is its multidisciplinarity, honesty, respect, cooperation and effort. Annually, biotechnologists, industrials, electronics and biomedical engineers, computer scientists and art-design students from Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) form our team. Different points of view of each discipline come together to enrich the content and ideas of our projects.
However, Valencia UPV team not only is composed by all SynBio-interested students. We are supported by instructors and advisors who take care about technical aspects of our projects, doubts and concerns that appear during all iGEM experience. In recent years, Valencia UPV team was awarded with Gold Medal and several Special Prizes in iGEM competition. In 2014, Sexy Plant project received Best Part Collection prize and two years later, HYPE-IT was rewarded with Best Hardware and Best Software Tool prizes.
Since 2006, Polytechnic University of Valencia has been participating in the competition. Until 2014, our team collaborated with other Universities from Valencia. Since then, , our University has its own team and develop their work with the help of Generación Espontánea program, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants (IBMCP).