Even though collaborations are not part of the medal criteria we know how valuable it is to work with others and we did not want to let go of that part of the competition. One of our project values is unity and collaborations are one way of honoring it.

Team Edinburgh - shared love of cyanobacteria

Our project revolves around Synechocystis because we are passionate about the little fellow and its wonderful ability to use light and carbon dioxide. When we saw a message from team Edinburgh we were glad that someone else had chosen this not so well-known model organism. To spread knowledge about photoautotrophic organisms, we wrote a report for the general public about cyanobacteria and biosafety. We advertised the report on our social media accounts and handed out printed versions in our events.

Here is the final report as a PDF file:

Aalto-Helsinki - we Finns stick together

To keep the Finnish teams strong and united we worked with Aalto-Helsinki in multiple ways this year.

We first met on the 9th of May on Zoom. We talked about our project topics, planned our possible collaborations and got to know each other. After some research and planning we decided to continue the tradition of organizing Heureka workshops together and having a joint talk in the Science Basement Afternoon Talks.

Figure 1. Zoom meeting with Aalto-Helsinki to discuss collaborations

Day in Turku - 24th of July

Figure 2. Together with Aalto-Helsinki we visited University of Turku campus

We invited Aalto-Helsinki to visit us and see Turku on the 24th of July. We visited our lab facilities, walked together along the Aura river and spent a lovely summer day getting to know each other. (Figure 2.) Also it was wonderful to talk about our projects, the struggles we have faced and to share ideas on how to overcome those obstacles.

Heureka - 2nd and 16th of September

We organized DNA, RNA & Protein education workshops on the 2nd of September and 16th of September. (Figure 3.) Together we could teach the visitors about this power trio of molecular biology and also learn at the same time about science communication to different age visitors. You can read more about it on the Education page.

Figure 3. Sara and Ida preparing the RNA models for the Heureka workshop

Science Basement Afternoon Talks - 30th of September

Figure 4. Ami, Ida and Sara in Science Basement.

Both of our projects are related to bioremediation and therefore we wanted to have a joint talk about it. We first introduced iGEM, our project and then went over what bioremediation is, what advantages and disadvantages it has and some current solutions which use bioremediation. To prepare for the talk we had a meeting with Aalto-Helsinki via Zoom to go over our presentation slides and in addition a training session for presenting hosted by The Science Basement.

Nordic iGEM Conference - the meet-up of this summer

Figure 5. Joakim holding the Golden Pipette trophy for winning this years Nordic iGEM Conference

Our team attended the Nordic iGEM Conference, NiC for short, and had the chance to deepen the unity of the Nordic and Baltic iGEM teams. This year’s NiC was hosted by the lovely iGEM SDU. We had inspirational events planned for the weekend: lectures about wiki writing and how to hold a presentation, a panel of iGEM alumni and even a Hackathon. On top of these we presented our projects and had time to get to know each other.

We won the conference and now the Golden Pipet (Figure 5.) and the honor to host next year has been passed onto us. We will gladly continue this tradition and hope that we can make the conference as wonderful as it was this year. Thank you iGEM SDU for organizing this and to every team that attended for making this weekend so memorable.

World Environment Day - celebration we organized

To contribute to the iGEM community and to celebrate World Environment Day on the 5th of June we organized a collaboration video to our social media account. We contacted several iGEM teams from all over the world to join us in this celebration. We sent instructions for the videos and edited them together.

Also we signed up for being an official event for the UN World Environment Day on their website. Our event was on a map on their website and we got an official event card. (Figure 6.)

Figure 6. Official World Environment Day event card granted to us

Thank you Aix-Marseille, UniCRETE, Thrace, MIT-MAHE, TU-Braunschweig and TU-Dresden for making this collaboration possible!

Tampere Sekvenssi ry - helping with the first steps

We had a meeting with the newly built Sekvenssi ry association from the University of Tampere that aims to bring people together who are interested in synthetic biology. The association was interested in the iGEM competition so we introduced it to them, talked about the different requirements and about our team. We want to help them with their first steps regarding iGEM and possibly next year some of them could join our ABOA team. In the future when they have established a stable ground for themselves we want to be there to support their very own iGEM team building because we are excited to have another Finnish iGEM in the world.

GU-Frankfurt - for safer waters

Figure 7. Zoom meeting with the GU-Frankfurt team to discuss our projects and wastewater treatment

We met with the GU-Frankfurt team on the 27th of September via Zoom. We discussed our projects and wastewater treatment. It was interesting to hear more about the antibiotic problem their project is regarding and how last-resort antibiotics are used for livestock. Regarding the wastewater treatment we discussed that new better solutions are needed and how bacteria can be part of those. It was wonderful to share thoughts and gain insight on iGEM experiences and new water treatment solutions.

Social media collaborations - way to keep teams united

Click tabs below to see all social media collaborations!

The Patras-Med team approached us at the beginning of our iGEM journey. They had a great idea about doing a World Health Day collaboration. We of course wanted to participate and join the collaboration by choosing a from Joyce Meyer: “I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is healthy you”. (Figure 8.)

Here is a link to their instagram post!

Figure 8. Sara, Ami and Tiia with the Joyce Meyer quote sign

“Stop littering the environment!” We agree and this is why we participated in the Earth Day collaboration that the Bulgaria team organized. We cleaned a sidewalk in front of our university spaces together as a team and encouraged others to do the same.

Here is a link to their instagram post!

Figure 9. Saana, Satu, Sara, Ida, Tiia and Ami holding up a sign that says “Stop littering the environment”.

“iGEM is exponential growth towards a better future.” - ABOA 2023

This is the message we wanted to spread in the collaboration organized by the Thrace team. Different teams across the world told what iGEM means to them and we are glad to be part of this wonderful collaboration.

You can go watch the collaboration video on iGEM Thrace's instagram here!

To celebrate biodiversity, the UniCRETE team had a wonderful idea to showcase the national animals of different countries. Finland’s national animal is the brown bear and we wrote a short info text about it for the collaboration. Did you know that there are over 200 names for the brown bear in the Finnish language? And also a beer has been named after it!

Here is a link to their instagram post!

Figure 10. Tiia, Sara, Satu, Ville and Ida acting like brown bears for the collaboration picture

The IISER-TVM team approached us with a Yoga Day collaboration idea and we wanted to be part of spreading the message about this powerful tool for well-being.

Here is a link to see the video on iGEM IISER's instagram!

We participated in the JulyGEM, a virtual event to practice our presentation skills, that was organized by the Calgary team. We unfortunately couldn’t make it in the scheduled time but luckily were able to send a prerecorded video of our presentation. We got great feedback and new insights that helped us enhance our presentation and scientific communication. Thank you Calgary and every team that participated in this wonderful event.

You can see their instagram post here!

Our little green mascot Synechocystis got some friends! We sent a picture of our mascot (Figure 11.) to the INSA ENS Lyon 1 team and they combined several team mascots into one cute Instagram post.

Here is a link to their instagram post!

Figure 11. Our mascot Synechocystis made by Jesse