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Chevron Forward Sustainable Development

Harmonizing Synthetic Biology with Sustainability

"The Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people." – Ban Ki-moon

Pathoglow and Sustainable Development Goals: A Vision for Sustainable Future

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations are embodied in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, a shining example of creativity and scientific cooperation. IGEM, a global platform for student-driven synthetic biology research, provides an exceptional chance to use scientific discoveries for sustainable development.

The iGEM ethos naturally adheres to sustainable development's guiding principles. Teams are encouraged by the competition to use synthetic biology to solve real-world problems. These problems frequently involve several different industries, such as agriculture, healthcare, and environmental preservation. By encouraging innovation in biotechnology, genetic engineering, and the creation of sustainable infrastructure, iGEM projects in this context greatly contribute to SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure).

Addressing Health and Well-Being (SDG 3)

A large number of iGEM projects focus on enhancing global health, directly advancing SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being). Teams work to produce accessible, inexpensive, and effective solutions for problems like illness detection, drug development, and diagnostics. Early diagnosis, customized treatments, and ultimately better health outcomes for people and communities are the results of these initiatives.

Sustainable Solutions (SDG 12)

iGEM places a strong emphasis on ethical biotechnology use and responsible research methodologies in line with SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). Teams take into account how their projects will affect the environment, frequently aiming to reduce waste, energy use, and resource depletion. Additionally, iGEM encourages open access to research findings, encouraging the scientific community to consume knowledge responsibly.

Education for All (SDG 4)

iGEM places a strong emphasis on ethical biotechnology use and The purpose of iGEM is fundamentally based on education. The SDG 4 (Quality Education) is actively promoted by iGEM teams through outreach, mentoring, and educational initiatives. They interact with the general public, educators, and students to spread knowledge about biotechnology, synthetic biology, and the wider ramifications of their projects. iGEM supports inclusive and equal educational opportunities through sharing knowledge.

Reducing Inequalities (SDG 10)

The international community of iGEM promotes inclusivity and diversity. It contributes to SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) by recognising and valuing the diversity of teams, backgrounds, and cultures. This openness encourages a diverse range of viewpoints, ideas, and solutions, fostering justice and societal harmony.

Partnerships for Progress (SDG 17)

The iGEM ethos is centered on collaboration. Teams collaborate, share information, and interact with stakeholders in a way that embodies SDG 17's (Partnerships for the Goals) core values. These collaborations go beyond the competition and result in the ongoing development and use of iGEM initiatives for societal good.

Sustainable Development as a Guiding Light

Incorporating sustainability into innovation is one of the most important yet challenging aspects of coming up with solutions. We worked together to find a solution that advances the sustainable development goals of the UN.

Our initiative prominently connects with a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations due to its ground-breaking paradigm for disease identification and the significant social effects it has. The project, which is rooted in innovation, supports the aspirational principles of sustainable development by weaving a tapestry of scientific endeavour that touches upon several aspects of world improvement

Our Project, “PathoGlow”, targeted to achieve 6 Sustainable Development Goals:

  1. Goal 3 - Good Health and well-being
  2. Goal 4 - Quality Education
  3. Goal 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  4. Goal 10 - Reduced Inequality
  5. Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  6. Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Rapid and accurate pathogen identification is a critical component of our initiative, which directly advances SDG 3 by fostering health and well-being. Our technology enables prompt therapies and improved health outcomes by providing early and accurate detection of diseases, including microbial infections and complex ailments. This reduces the burden of illness and mortality.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

The novel DNAzyme-based technology being created by PATHOGLOW and its potential use in organic logic circuits align with SDG 9. Our research represents a significant advancement and helps to develop the robust industrialization infrastructure, innovation, and technological capabilities required to meet global concerns. We promote innovation and advancing current infrastructure through our COVID-19 awareness program and our workshops and instill the idea of SDG9.

SDG 4: Quality Education

Our dedication to engaging the public with science and working with educational institutions advances SDG 4, which strongly emphasizes inclusive and equitable quality education. We promote sustainable development by holding workshops, webinars, and educational events that help future scientists and innovators become more knowledgeable and capable. We actively worked with Schools and Colleges to promote the essence of quality education and spreading the spirit of science, thus advancing SDG 4.

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

Our project's primary tenet is inclusivity, consistent with SDG 10. Inequalities are decreased, and social inclusion is promoted through our team's attention to diversity and inclusivity within the project and the aim of making our technology available to everyone, regardless of economic status or geographic location. Our team also represents an equal share of members from the queer community. We interviewed Chetan Sadhotra, a valuable member of the queer community, to promote open dialogue and celebrate queer people in STEM.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 12 is supported by our project's consideration of the environment, sustainable laboratory practices, and long-term profitability. We achieved the objective of sustainable resource management and lessened the environmental impact of our research activities by emphasizing responsible use and production.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

The spirit of SDG 17 is best exemplified by collaboration with stakeholders, healthcare organizations, educational organizations, and the iGEM community. Completing sustainable development goals requires forming partnerships and cooperating with various organizations and people.

SDG 5: Gender Equality

We instilled the spirit of Gender Equality by promoting Women in STEM, celebrating women scientists, and ensuring an equal share of women working on our team. A similar representation of women in the workforce exemplifies the spirit of equality promoted by SDG 5. We have continuously upgraded working with women scientists and involved their opinions to shape our project, make improvements, and encourage more and more young women to volunteer for our project, thus promoting the idea of Gender Equality.

Please check our Communication and Education Section to learn more about our work.


  1. Fast Facts - What is Sustainable Development? - United Nations Sustainable Development
  2. UNESCO and Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Sustainable Development Goals - Wikipedia