SRC awarded NIST funding to develop Semiconductor Synthetic Biology Consortium

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a university-research consortium for semiconductor technologies, announced today that it has received funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMTech) program to create a Semiconductor Synthetic Biology (SemiSynBio) consortium whose mission is to develop a SemiSynBio roadmap.

SemiSynBio lies at the intersection of semiconductor technology and leading edge biology — a convergence that has the potential for new energy efficient computing and information technologies. Advances in SemiSynBio may provide leap-ahead changes in the way that information technology and computational circuits and systems are designed and manufactured.

SRC launched a SemiSynBio research program in 2013 investigating topics such as cell-based sensors and DNA-templated interconnects, among others, at six U.S. universities: MIT, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Yale, Georgia Tech, Brigham Young and University of Washington.

Companies that have supported the roadmap effort include Agilent, Autodesk, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, Intel Corporation, Mentor Graphics, Micron Technology, Raytheon BBN, Novati Technologies, Ginkgo Bioworks and Twist Biosciences. A number of government agencies including the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and NIST have also expressed interest in being involved. The consortium is open to any interested party — from industry, academia or government.

With $500,000 in NIST AMTech funding, the SemiSynBio consortium intends to drive research forward by developing a roadmap to bring together the semiconductor and biology/biotech communities that are critical to realizing SemiSynBio advances. The consortium will also work to identify priority technical challenges and research needs that must be addressed.

“SemiSynBio builds on advances in areas including DNA sequencing and synthetic biology,” said Victor Zhirnov, SRC Chief Scientist and Director, SemiSynBio Roadmap Consortium. “This consortium led by SRC aims to provide a 15-year roadmap that will accelerate research along the critical path to commercialization.”

The ultimate goal of the program is to create novel solutions for the design and manufacture of energy efficient computing that leverages advances in understanding of biological systems. AMTech seeks to support industry-driven consortia that address high-priority research challenges impeding the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

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