BaSyC PI’s receive 40 million euro for their 10-year research programme EVOLF

Good news for synthetic cell research: BaSyC PI’s Cees Dekker (main applicant) and co-applicants Gijsje Koenderink, Siewert-Jan Marrink, Marileen Dogterom and Wilhelm Huck (together with Kristina Ganzinger and Jeroen van den Hoven) receive a NWO Summit grant of 40 million euro for their 10-year research programme EVOLF: ‘Evolving living cells from lifeless molecules’. EVOLF (2024-2034) is a new research consortium, which builds on two previous NWO-Gravitation consortia, NanoFront (2013-2023) and BaSyC (2017-2027).

A brief summary of the EVOLF research programme cited from the NWO Dutch Research Council website: “What is life? To address this longstanding question, EVOLF will use lifeless biomolecules to build a living synthetic cell that has the attributes of living systems: autonomous growth, self-replication, communication, and evolution. To realize and integrate these complex cell functions, we will use laboratory evolution aided by artificial intelligence. In parallel, we will articulate ethical guidelines for responsible human control of synthetic life. Building a synthetic cell will yield an unprecedented deep understanding of biological life.”

We are very pleased that BaSyC research can be continued by EVOLF and that the teams will now have the time and space to develop further and make an important contribution to new knowledge for society.

Read more on the NWO website
Read more on the SynCell EU website
Read more on the TU Delft website