Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology

Highland (SynBio) Games 2017

This year, the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology (CMSB) headed north across the glorious new Queensferry Bridge for its very own annual Highland Games (aka Centre retreat) in Kinross.

Over the two days of the event, around 46 of the Centre members and guests found out more about the nuts and bolts of creating a business from Dr Simon Bennett - scientist, serial entrepreneur and now mentor and trainer. Simon encouraged us to all consider being entrepreneurs and helped to bust some of those myths about setting up a business.

We also took time to ask ‘what next’ for our Centre, as we head into year four of our five-year award. We brainstormed our aspirations for the Centre for the next decade and more short term practical steps as to how can we get there. This led to teams generating a range of smart new ideas for projects that were later pitched to the Dragon’s Den (aka the management team) for cash rewards.

Most importantly of course was taking time out from the daily routine to have some fun. This year we dispensed with inflatables (see here for last year’s report) for a rendition of the truly Scottish Highland Games. This largely consisted of throwing or hurling heavy objects (wellies, cabers [poles], lorry tyres, and staines [stones]!) with increasing inaccuracy as the daylight failed (largely the fault of the centre manger for forgetting about daylight saving). There’s much to be valued in the cover of darkness!

 SynthSys Director, Alistair Elfick, demonstrates a Successful caber throw