Opentrons & iGEM Partnership

Opentrons & iGEM

Opentrons and iGEM are excited to announce a partnership to bring the power of low-cost, open-source automation and reproducible protocols to teams shaping the future of science and engineering. Together with the work of the iGEM Measurement Committee and the Interlab Measurement Study, this partnership will allow teams to continue to advance the frontiers of measurement and reproducibility in synthetic biology.

Through this first-of-its-kind collaborative initiative, Opentrons will select 10 iGEM teams to receive OT-2 robots free of charge. Additionally, all iGEM 2018 teams are eligible for a $2,000 discount on their first robot throughout the 2018 competition season.

iGEM teams that participate in the Interlab Measurement Study are pioneers of reproducible experimentation, setting the replicability bar higher for all types of life science labs, iGEM teams, and synthetic biology professionals. Increasing scientific reproducibility is also part of Opentrons’ core mission. We believe replicating a lab’s experimental results should be as simple as downloading a protocol and hitting run on your robot. This is why an Opentrons & iGEM partnership is such a good fit -- together, we can move towards new standards of reproducibility faster than we ever could alone.

Armed with the robot and modules necessary to run protocols like transformations, ligations, digests, and more, the iGEM teams we select will be able to test our thesis that running experiments on a common automation platform improves reproducibility between labs. The data produced from these teams -- as well as the protocols and open-source integrations they make -- will be an important contribution to the broader scientific community and will inform Opentrons product roadmap going forward.
The OT-2

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About Opentrons

Opentrons is making the robustness and reproducibility of automation accessible for any lab. Our latest product is the most affordable high-precision lab robot ever made: the OT-2.

With its easy-to-use hardware and open-source software platform, Opentrons enables scientists (and students!) to collaborate more, easily reproduce each others' results, and more quickly discover biotechnology solutions the world’s most pressing problems. We are democratizing biology and empowering reproducibility with a crowdsourced library of verified protocols developed by leading scientists at some of the top institutions in the world, including Stanford, MIT, and the Mayo Clinic.

We announced our first generation robot, the OT-One, at iGEM's Giant Jamboree in 2014 after working with the Genspace iGEM team to test the first prototype. We couldn't be more excited to be working with the iGEM Foundation again to empower their student-led teams with lab robots!

Will Canine, co-founder of Opentrons, showing the OT-One at the iGEM Jamboree on Halloween 2014

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About iGEM

The iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing synthetic biology education through competition, the development of an open community and collaboration, and building the workforce of the future. iGEM’s main program is the iGEM Competition. Through this, iGEM gives thousands of students the opportunity to push the boundaries of biology as a technology as teams are challenged to create projects that are safe, responsible, and good for the world. iGEM is about local people solving local problems everywhere. The new After iGEM program aims to excite, support, and inspire the 30,000+ iGEMers to continue leading in synthetic biology wherever they are around the world.

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About the Fifth International InterLab Measurement Study

Over the past few years, iGEM has advanced the frontiers of science with the biggest interlaboratory studies ever done in synthetic biology. The aim of these studies is to improve the measurement tools available to both the iGEM community and the synthetic biology community as a whole.They have now been published as an open-access journal article in PLOS ONE.

2018 marks the fifth year of the International InterLab Measurement Study. The goal of this study is to identify and correct the sources of systematic variability in synthetic biology measurements so that eventually, measurements that are taken in different labs will be no more variable than measurements taken within the same lab. Until we reach this point, synthetic biology will not be able to achieve its full potential as an engineering discipline, as labs will not be able to reliably build upon others’ work. To learn more about current and past reproducibility studies, please visit the 2018 InterLab page. To learn more about how Opentrons plans to help in this effort, please visit the Opentrons sponsorship page on the iGEM website.

It is our hope that, with the addition of lab automation, iGEM teams will achieve even higher levels of reproducibility with unprecedented ease. Stay tuned to hear the results of our partnership!

Opentrons contact: Kristin Ellis, Director of Scientific Development, kristin@opentrons.com

iGEM contact: Meagan Lizarazo, Vice President and COO, meagan@igem.org

Measurement Committee Contact: measurement@igem.org