iGEM is a synthetic biology competition with the aim of sharing and spreading knowledge and possibilities that biology can offer to people in order to address and solve current issues..
One of the most important aspect of our project was to fulfill the gap between the synthetic biology and public in order to raise awareness of the most important health concern in developing countries; the lack of access to health care.
All the public engagement we have done throughout this entire year was made to highlight our project, the iGEM competition and the impact of synthetic biology in real life. In the same time, it enabled the development of our project through financial supports and helped us to communicate in professional and scientific community. Therefore, we first contacted private and public organizations with the aim to find financial and communication supports to develop our project and also to educate a large range of audience to synthetic biology and demonstrate what we can do with this mean and knowledge for our future community. Boundaries always exist between scientists and people who often do not understand each other. Scientific mediation through education and public engagement is the best way to raise awareness and get close to people. That is what we tried to accomplish through different speeches and contributions.
Le fonds de solidarité et de développement des initiatives étudiantes (FSDIE)
Direction of the UFR 927 - "Faculty of Biology at Pierre and Marie Curie University"
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Sorbonne university Faculty of Science (UPMC: Pierre and Marie Curie University)
Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States
City of Bagneux & City of Valenton
CFA Sorbonne university Faculty of Science (UPMC: Pierre and Marie Curie University)
Moreover, our university presented our participation to the competition into their web site and social media and we have presented the iGEM concepts during different events which were held in our university.
Besides, each member of our team has contacted their respective mayor of their cities asking them for different sorts of support. The cities of Valenton, Bagneux and Montrouge responded with a great enthusiasm to support our project financially and they have offered us help for our communication. These cities have respectively invested through the donation of 2000 Euros and 1000 Euros for the development of "BioMaker Factory" project enabling us to present it in Boston.
Moreover, as explained in the Education part, the city of Montrouge offered us the possibility to introduce synthetic biology and present our project through the iGEM completion to high school students of the city. We thought that the practical work could be the funniest and most efficient way to introduce the synthetic biology to high school students.
Contacting the Val-de-Marne council: They have been a main and really meaningful support to us in many aspects. Their support mainly consisted in helping us searching for funds from pharmaceutical companies, Minister of Research and European commission. It is important to point the fact that, we have been able to get in touch with them thanks to Mrs Hasana Sadiki who works for the city of Valenton as municipal counciler.
The work we made together allowed us to catch the interest of the journal "Le Parisien" who wrote a paper on our participation to the competition.
Besides, trough the presentation of the all French teams being part of iGEM 2017, our project has been internationally highlighted by an article wrote by a journalist working with the French Ambassy in USA.
Still in the idea to both present the iGEM completion and our project and to raise funds we organized two crêpes sells in our university and one in the city of Bagneux.
Beyond the social medias, we also used internet to raise funds. Indeed, we launched two crowdfundings. One was created on the website "ULULE" and the other one on "You're be" created by Hasana Sadiki, our support member from the city of Valenton. We have shared the links leading to these couwdfundings platforms through our multiple communication supports presented above.
Both of the two crowdfundings enabled us to raise up to 3000 Euros.
To develop our project thanks to the money obtained, we searched for a lab platform to work in which has been one of the most challenging part of our project.
Finally, we have been able to work in « La Paillasse » during the summer and in the ICM institute (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière) for one month, from October to November 2017.