We did not directly collaborated in the lab but we have done something so much bigger. With igem.today, we joined 30 teams on the same platform and helped them communicate their project while sharing their surveys, their funding campaign as well as what they were going through. We had the chance to meet students from very different backgrounds yet all with the same passion for synthetic biology.
We may not have a full lab-collaboration, but we’ve set up a system for the future to come, making it easier for new teams.
After spending some time in the iGEM community, we found that it was really difficult to be aware of the work of the other teams, even the ones that are geographically close to us. Additionally, many teams that we interviewed were searching for collaboration and struggling to find the right team. Notably, we thought that teams can greatly benefit from the experience of other teams: What drives other teams? And why did they decide on that topic? How do other teams solve their issues, be it technical or social? Or simply to discuss projects with other teams.
We set out to find a way to improve this. Therefore we decided to create an online platform on which we hosted short team interviews and project descriptions which are simple and highly personal. Through this process, we created igem.today: an entertaining and educational place where teams around the world can share their project and learn about other team’s projects.
We contacted the teams through social media (Twitter and Facebook) and obtained positive responses from 30 teams in different countries and continents.
The discussions and interviews we had over Skype were really constructive as we learned about each others projects and how they were going. This also allowed us to meet great people from all around the world and see how they dealt with different obstacles like managing to work as a team or founding their project. Additionally, because of this platform, we now already know a couple of teams that we would like to meet and chat more to at the Giant Jamboree in Boston at the end of October. Not only knowing a few teams before meeting them is an advantage, it also can be beneficial during the iGEM experience over the summer. We learned a lot from other teams, and attempted to help others in every way we could. We therefore also believe this platform has a great potential to remain implemented in future iGEM years. Finally, we succeeded in making a unique website improving teams contacts and also helping teams find other like-minded projects to provide mutual collaborative assistance.
So far we received a lot of positive feedback about our initiative and people were really happy to learn about what everyone else was doing. One aspect contributing to this, is that is meant to give a quick and easy understanding of a project, so groups can easily get to know about a team within five minutes!
With this, we want to thank all the teams that participated in igem.today. We truly could not have achieved it without them!
XMU China Newsletter
Continuing in our desire to communicate with other iGEM teams, we contributed to the XMU China Newsletter by sending a project and a team description.
Whenever we can, we participate to other iGEM teams surveys to help them in the advancement of their project. We notably participate to the ones from Paris Evry, Paris IONIS, Münich and we even receive a collaboration badge from Paris Pasteur.
What other teams think about igem.today
“iGEM Today was very good idea. The website, acting as a bridge amongst teams from all around the world, was really fun to visit and to read. The idea of such a collaboration is something we definitely want to see in the future, as teams always want to know what other iGEMers are doing and who they are!” Paris IONIS
“We loved iGEM Today! It was very fun to talk with you guys and we think that having a website where we can meet and read all about other teams' projects is a great idea. We think it is very useful for connecting all of the iGEM teams and get to know all the incredible things everyone is doing!” Tec-Monterrey
“iGEM.today was a great way to let us meet each other. Sometimes it is very hard to find out who the other teams are and what they are doing, but the iGEM.today platform let us have easy access to other teams’ projects, and most importantly, the people of that team. We enjoyed a lot reading the interviews and the team descriptions. Thank you a lot for this gift you made to the iGEM 2016 community.” Costa-Rica
"When we knew about iGEM Today, we had the impulse to check its posts: we wanted to know about other iGEM teams! We found it was a great idea, because team were shown more personally than in the final wiki, and its reading motivated us. We could also discover projects and ... yeah, we had fun during the Skype interview, didn't we? ;) " Paris Evry
“iGEM today was a unique idea! We can see other teams what they are doing in the website. All of articles are very interested and give me energy to challenge to hard problems. I feel proud to cooperate EPFL's this project!!!” Tokyo tech
“We are happy to have the chance to share the work of XMU-China on "iGEM Today". By this website, we made our team known by many iGEMers. Also it is an interesting travel to browse the website, reading other team's brilliant design and appreciating the wonderful scenery around the world. The faults which was made during the experiments presented on the website often made me laugh and showed me the real laboratory life.” XMU China
"EPFL has a very interesting way of connecting iGEM teams. All the teams are presented in a catchy way, while the important information is not missed. It must be very time-consuming for someone to do it during the iGEM project, but it might ultimately grow into more efficient way of connecting iGEM teams and further inter-team collaboration." Slovenia
“We think that iGEM Today was a good idea to bring teams closer. Moreover, it was easier to read about different projects and help to know different teams. We think that this was a very good start of a platform that should be known by all the iGEM teams." TU Eindhoven
“When we first got the message from the EPFL proposing to do an interview with us, we thought it would be an amazing opportunity to chat and meet other fellow iGEMers. But it was so much more than that. We enjoyed the conversation with them so much, they really seemed like a friendly and fun-loving duo (Marie and Remy, the two people from the EPFL team who skyped with us).
As for the site they created, IGEM Today, I think we all agree what an amazing idea that was. Not only did they make it look really professional, but we also found some interesting articles about other IGEM teams’ projects. It just makes discovering other teams projects more awesome and easier. The page called ’Social media’ is a real treat, with all the humorous twitter and instagram posts from iGEM teams.
Thank you EPFL! You guys rock!” Paris Pasteur
“Our team loved to read about what everyone else was doing on iGEM Today! We were excited to share our project and information about our team with other groups before the jamboree. But after reading articles on iGEM Today we were even more excited to see the posters and presentations of the other teams featured on the website in Boston! As a whole, this project made us feel grateful to be a part of the iGEM community.” OLS Canmore
“As the first team of the week, we were very honored to contribute to this bright new platform. The website introduced us to a wide variety of projects by many enthusiastic teams - which always made it great fun to visit igem.today! Really nice and clear design and a lot of activity! I hope next year's EPFL team will continue to use this website, thanks for letting us be part of this! ” Leiden
"iGEM Today is an incredible way to bring teams together. Knowing what other teams are up to is usually hard and tedious to find, iGEM Today makes it fun, simple and creative. It's an up to date platform that makes a dynamic and interesting read. We were very happy to be a part of it and we hope that it keeps going on future years. TEC Chihuahua