Justin Gallivan: DARPA Eyes Engineering, Biology Integration Through Complex Settings Program

DARPAThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a program to develop a technology for preserving and stabilizing engineered organisms in complex settings.

DARPA will hold a Proposers’ Day on Aug. 21 at the Capital Conference Center in Virginia to brief potential contractors with the technical aspect of the Biological Robustness in Complex Settings program, the agency said Tuesday.

BRICS aims to keep engineered systems robust in varying conditions, sustain their genetic integrity and establish methods to regulate the growth of engineered organisms in complex environments.

“By making these systems more robust, stable and safe, BRICS seeks to harness the full range of capabilities at the intersection of engineering and biology,” said Justin Gallivan, DARPA program manager.

“These capabilities could include efficient on-demand bio-production of novel drugs, fuels, sensors and coatings; or engineered microbes able to optimize human health by treating or preventing disease,” added Gallivan.

DARPA plans to form a team that would work to develop a multi-species system using the methods under the BRICS program.

Potential contractors must perform work in controlled laboratory settings, DARPA says.

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