2021 Timeline


Expression of Interest open

Academics from universities around Australia are invited to submit an expression of interest to reserve a place in the Challenge.

11 December

Information session

February 4

All academics who submitted an EOI, plus any other member of the Australasian synthetic biology community interested in finding out more about the Challenge, are invited to an online information session. This includes a Q&A session with the organising committee

Registrations open

March 15

Team registrations are officially open! Each team supervisor is invited to submit a registration form for their team. Registration for the 2021 Challenge is completely free!

Registrations close

April 1st

Team registrations close. The team rosters for all teams intending to participate in the 2021 Challenge must be finalised

Late registrations close

Teams facing difficulties with student recruitment, or who need more time to organise the integration of the Challenge into the curriculum must submit their registrations by now

April 23rd

Seminar: Wrays

May 5th

The first seminar of the Challenge will see our sponsor, Wrays, introduce teams to intellectual property and patent law in biotechnology. Teams are given advice on how to manage and protect any IP that might arise from this Challenge

Design Review

May 11th, 5pm AEST

The first submission of the Challenge, teams must submit their Design Review. This is a document providing an overview of their project, including experimental plans and safety considerations. Reviews are distributed to each team's assigned Reviewer in preparation for the first event

Design Extravaganza

May 18th, 3-5pm AEST

The first main event of the Challenge season, the Extravaganza will see teams present their designs and introduce their projects for the first time. Expert reviewers from the field will be there to provide advice and give feedback to help each team tailor their ideas.


May - June

Teams are invited to schedule meets with mentors from our sponsors EastWest Capital and Blackbird Giants, to learn about potential start-up pathways

Seminar: IDT

May 25th

Our sponsor, IDT, shows teams how to access their sponsorship offerings and gives advice on smart DNA design

Seminar: Twist

May 27th

Our sponsor, Twist Bioscience, talk to teams about how to use their products, and how to optimise cloning plans before teams get started in the lab

Seminar: NEB

June 30th

The NEB seminar gives teams a chance to learn how to use NEB products, from enzymes and polymerases to online design tools, to help them achieve their project goals

Seminar: Commercialisation 101

As teams work on their projects in the lab, they should also be thinking about what could be the end goal of their work. This seminar will teach teams everything they need to know about launching a start-up

July 29th

Pitch party

August 3rd

In preparation for the teams' final pitches, teams are invited to view several online videos on pitching available to them on the Blackbird Giants platform. Giants' reps will join the call for a Q&A afterwards

Team logo and abstracts due

The second main deliverable for the Challenge, teams are required to submit a logo representing their project alongside a short abstract. These will be displayed on the website.

October 5th, AEST

Pre-recorded pitches due

Teams must submit a 3-min long pitch ahead of the final event, as if they are intending on presenting their concept to a panel of investors

October 5th, 5pm AEST

The Final Showcase

October 14th 1-5pm AEST, October 15th 1-5pm AEST

The second and final major event of the Challenge, the Final Showcase spans two afternoons and marks the end of the Challenge. Teams will give a 10-12 min long presentation with Q&A from the audience. Team pitches will also be played, and guest speakers will talk about synbio opportunities in Australasia and career pathways