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Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) (RAEng) 2009This report aims to define the term ‘synthetic biology’, review the state of the field and consider potential future developments and their likely technological, economic and societal impact. It also attempts to assess the requirements for the development of the field and to identify key policy issues. The report makes the following three recommendations: 1. The Government needs to develop a national strategy for synthetic biology in the UK. 2. Investment in training and research infrastructure is required. This should focus on funding new centres for synthetic biology which would carry out both teaching and research. 3. Synthetic biology research needs to be conducted in collaboration with social scientists and philosophers in order to raise awareness of the ethical and societal issues.