The alchemists/2: first version of the concept note ready


Following a discussion on the Biofab forum, we have been looking into the possibility of doing a research project together with the biohacking community. It looks like we will try for it! The architecture of community involvement is as follows:

  1. ReaGent is to be a full partner (with @JasperB in the lead). I also stole the lovely image above from their website. :slight_smile:

  2. Other labs in the community (@rachel, @ramykim, @dfko, @thomasmboa, @Dorsaf …) to participate via fellowships that will be run by Reagent. This call is big on international (extra-EU and EEA) cooperation, so we need to make sure you non-European labs are fully paraded in the call. I do not yet know how: we will seek assistance from other partners.

  3. Other non-community partners include the Lisbon Council (BE), T6 (IT) and DESIS network (IT).

The deadline is March 15th, and we are likely to need some help. For now, you can read the first version of the concept note here (especially you, Jasper!). Since the EU has the tradition of giving vaguely Cold War-military acronyms to research projects, I called this one EPICS, for EPistemological Insights on Citizen Science. :smile:


Hi @alberto, @rachel @ramykim @dfko, @thomasmboa, @Dorsaf. An update from our side, which explains why were silent. In the last weeks, our team at Reagent and Glimps (our biofabrication agency, have decided that we need to shift priorities from bigger projects towards more community work. Also personally, I won’t have time for managing these type of big projects, because there are too much other opportunities at this point, which fit within our community work here in Ghent.

In short, we won’t be able to fully partner on this EPICS proposal nor manage a work package, but we’ll be able to still host one of the fellows within the framework of the project. We can help finding for a new full partner (Counter culture labs, @ramykim or Hackuarium, @rachel? or others?). My apologies that this news comes in so late, but actually I couldn’t communicate any earlier on this as we only decided very recent on this shift in priorities.


Hmm. This also disrupts our “Ghent cluster” with U Ghent. Hmmm.


Dear All!
Hackuarium is moving into its new space (with a metro stop very close), and we are still keen to join in for the proposal… Our Association’s general assembly meeting will be held at the end of the month (27feb), and we will discuss this further with members. We are still working to get our P1 lab up and running, which would be needed for us to participate in the Open Insulin project, but for the urban garden project (pea plant symbiosis) or the cheek cell micronuclei we should be good to go.
We have friends in both the UNIL and EPFL, which might help if there is need of institutional backup - but this would require further discussion…
Thanks for keeping up the good efforts!


@rachel you are still in Zurich?


I am closer to Lausanne, in the French part of Switzerland.
Two Hackteria members, Maya M and MarcD are in Zurich, (and another is in Luzerne).
Maybe our new cooperative could help administer the grant funding??
sorry I am super busy and should still turn on notifications for this (so mails don’t end up in my junk too!)!
after Weds I can make more time for this, I hope!


did make time and really like the concept note.
only two points lacking from my perspective - differing levels of participation and funding. Some (a great part?) of citizen science really gets pushed by a few motivated individuals, not huge pools of active participants, and finding sustainable ways (with salary) can be huge challenges for even the most talented… (one might mention differing types of course too - from the small project ‘extreme’ local DIT research, vs. the public as sensor or collector of data (often for sponsored work, for the free hands).

I may have time for discussion tomorrow afternoon @alberto (Sunday 24 Feb), but otherwise, after my village admin and general assembly meetings next Weds for our new coop and Hackuarium, could be better. Then, I will have more time for discussing details and and also to look into finding partners/friends to help take on administration of funding moneys for the biohackers of Switzerland. It could entail using the new cooperative we founded for our new space, or potentially bringing in an academic, a colleague from the UNIL’s new ColLaboratiore, which branched off from their more educational group ‘L’Eprouvette’ … (depending on weds, I too will have better ideas of which of these might be the right choice). ciao for now, Gotta run!
hi to all - @nadia @noemi @winnieponcelet :blush: (maybe I should get our Hackuarium treasurer to join edgeryders? others??) :smile:


Noted with thanks, @rachel. What is the second point lacking? :slight_smile:


the first point was the levels of participation, the second point was the problem of funding…
btw, I hope to see the ColLaboratoire person soon!


just wondering if anything further happened in this regard - wasn’t today the deadline?
Marc D was working on something last week - could it have all come together??
In Hackuarium news, just for an update, we have really dove in, with our first gel run successfully in our fresh and fun biolab (for some microbiome tests with two bioartists!), but the shock that something may actually be growing in our microscope’s immersion oil! Our ‘inner sanctum’ workspace is going to be perfect for the cheek cell comets, which we are doing an OpenFlexure build for (3D printed microscope) with epifluorescence!
I think that the coop we have founded could be a great way to admin research funds, by the way, not needing to call on our academic friends (though they are nice)!


Deadline is April 2nd. This is still happening. Stand by…