SynCell2019: Defining the Challenges

Event date(s): 
Location: CSIC Headquarters, Madrid, Spain

Aim of the symposium

In the last two years, our initiative has developed enormously. We started in 2017 in Ringberg by bringing together the world’s top scientists on synthetic cell research  – including three Nobel laureates – to define the scientific vision of building a synthetic cell with a bottom-up approach.

In 2018 and 2019 we worked hard on coupling this scientific vision into a path towards a new revolutionary technology, that uses knowledge produced on the route towards a synthetic cell for all kinds of applications. We presented and discussed the potential and current limits of this technology with representatives from industry, policymakers, European politicians, and public opinion.

The result of all this work will be a Science and Technology roadmap describing the 10-20-year route towards the synthetic cell technological revolution and its broad range of applications, from health to sustainable production of all kinds of materials, to green energy.

In Madrid, we will discuss this roadmap, which will be presented to the European Commission soon after this symposium.

Practical information



Speakers’ Profiles


The symposium is by invitation only, with participants from science, industry and policymakers.
A list of participants can be found HERE.


Headquarters of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), in Madrid.
CSIC Building
Serrano Street 117
28006, Madrid

Directions to CSIC Headquarters –   (download the directions with map HERE)

1.- From Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport to the Venue

  • By taxi  –   Take a taxi from the airport to Madrid (Serrano St. 117). The journey takes about 20 minutes and the fare is approximately 40.00 €.
  • By underground –  Take Line 8 (the pink line) from terminal T4 or terminals T1-T2-T3 from Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport to Nuevos Ministerios station. Change to Line 6 (grey line) and get off at República Argentina station. Here you can find the Metro map with the line information.
    To use the underground, a tourist card is required (“Multi-card”) which costs 2.50 € in the ticket machines and can be charged with the desired amount of trips.
  • By bus  –  There are excellent connections between Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport and Madrid centre by bus. Take the bus line 200 from airport terminals T4, T3, T2 and T1 and get off at the last stop, Avenida de America (Transport Interchange Complex). The journey takes 30 minutes and the price of the ticket is 1.50 €. In this stop, go to the underground and take the line 6 to La Laguna. You have to get off at Republica Argentina. The fare is 1.50 €.
    There is also an Express Bus Service from airport terminals T1, T2, T3 and T4 to the centre of Madrid. Take it and get off at O´Donell stop. The journey takes 40 minutes, but the fare is most expensive, 5.00 €. In O´Donell Street look for the underground station with this name and take line 6 to Republica Argentina.

2.- From Atocha Train Station to the Venue

  • By taxi – Take a taxi from Atocha to Serrano St. 117. The journey takes about 20 minutes and the fare is approximately 15.00 €.
  • By train – Take the Train (lines C1, C2, C3, C4, C7, C10), to Nuevos Ministerios. From Nuevos Ministerios train station stop, it is possible to walk to the venue (10 minutes walking) or take the underground line 6 to Republica Argentina.
  • By bus – The bus line 19 or line 27 stop near the Congress venue. In both cases, you have to walk a few metres from the stops Velazquez/ López de Hoyos or Nuevos Ministerios, respectively.

Organizing committee

Prof. Marileen Dogterom, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, TU Delft, Netherlands
Prof. Petra Schwille, Max-Planck Institute Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
Prof. Hagan Bayley, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Prof. Cees Dekker, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, TU Delft, Netherlands
Dr. Laurent Blanchoin, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA)
Dr. Manuel Théry, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA)
Prof. Germán Rivas Caballero, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)