This week, the fourth annual BioHack Academy has started. Over a period of ten weeks, two full days a week, participants at half a dozen locations all over the world will learn to build a small biotechnology lab, deploy it, and share the results.
The course is based on the Open Source BioHack Kit, which contains all the necessary source code, 3D designs, electronic schematics, drawings, and bills of materials. The kit has been developed by the Dutch civil society organisation Waag Society and combines maker culture and personal biotechnology.
The Open Source BioHack Kit also plays a role in the Sparks Project, a European initiative aiming to engage citizens with Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). As part of the travelling exhibition 'Beyond the Lab: the DIY Science Revolution', the kit is on show at four (changing) locations simultaneously in Europe.
The Sparks Project describes an approach to research and innovation that takes into account its impacts on the environment and society. It is part of the Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development of the European Union and funded through the current Horizon 2020 programme.