Reiss’ Faculty of Natural Sciences Dean’s Fund Story
I chose to study at the College for the cutting edge research in synthetic biology. This area of science is one that I am very interested in pursuing after I graduate.
The facilities on campus are brilliant and the unique enterprise opportunities offer a great wealth of experience to students. For example, the Enterprise Lab teaches us how to be effective entrepreneurs (e.g. putting market research before product development) and the Advanced Hackspace enables enterprising students to pursue product development. Together they provide a clear linear pathway to build new, effective start-up companies.
My favourite part of the course is the labs and getting hands on experience with molecular biology techniques. These practical skills help me apply the theory that I have learned and have helped me in my start-up and future career.
I am currently working on a project with a team of students called Synthesea. 52% of the fish we eat come from fish farms and these fish need omega-3 to thrive and be nutritious. Omega-3 is sourced from fish oil extracted from wild fish taken out of the ocean. It takes approximately 816 wild-caught fish to provide enough omega-3 to just one farmed salmon over it’s lifetime, and there can be more farmed salmon in a single fish farm than wild salmon in the entire ocean. Our project Synthesea will address the unsustainable process currently in extracting oil by building a biological technology platform that converts plant oils into sustainable omega-3. The economic benefit of this is that it will be up to 80% cheaper than fish oil.
The Dean’s Fund provided vital support in the development of our proof of concept for Synthesea which is ongoing. This support in the early stages of our project has a huge impact as in the future we hope to raise seed funding to expand our product.
I would like to thank generous alumni and friends for supporting the Faculty of Natural Sciences Dean’s Fund. If it wasn’t for your generosity, truly impactful sustainability start-ups such as Synthesea would not be possible. The impact you have on the lives of individual students is huge – enabling us to gain new experiences that help us long term both within our careers and personal development. Thank you.