Conferences and Summer Schools

Blueprint for an Artifical Cell

ECLT Summer School

Venice May 4-17, 2008



Recent advances in biology, chemistry, computing and engineering have brought us close to the point where it will be possible to build artificial living cells. This is the theme of“Blueprint for an Artificial Cell”a multidisciplinary summer school, organized by the European Center for Living Technology with funding from the European PACE project. The school will provide tutorials to familiarize participants with relevant concepts and techniques from outside their own fields of specialization, offer them with an up to date vision of the“state of the art”, expose them to advanced research, described by leaders in the field, and make them aware of the key research challenges that still need to be answered.


Admission to the school was open to all students and researchers with a degree or equivalent experience in biology, chemistry, computer science, or other relevant disciplines (e.g. micro-fluidics). No previous experience with artificial cells was required. The school admitted a maximum of 30 students chosen through a selection procedure administered by the school. The selection was based on candidates’previous experience and current research interests and aimed to create a mix of researchers from different scientific backgrounds


Conference on Living Technology

ECLT, Ca’Minich, 25-26 May 2007

Organizers: I. Poli, N. Packard, K. Lindgren, S. Nolfi



Living technology is broadly construed to be development of techniques, methods, and implementations that manifest essential qualities of life in a significant way. These qualities include self-maintainence, self-reproduction, self-repair,robustness, and evolvability that enables ongoing innovation.The ECLT includes a broad range of inter- disciplinary scientific activity as examples of living technology, and the program of the current conference is designed to reflect this breadth. The ECLT believes that fundamental progress in understanding living systems, both natural and artificial, is needed to enable future engineering of complex systems that have the potential of life.


International Conference on Morphological Computation ICMC07

ECLT, Ca’Minich, March 26-28, 2007

Organizers: Norman Packard, Rolf Pfeifer, Mark Bedau, Fumiya Iida



The conference will be broadly interdisciplinary, including discussions in the area of computation (robotics, computation theory), chemistry and molecular biology (micro-patterning with biological polymers, interacting self-assembled micro-structures), and material science (intelligent micro materials, complex physical materials, complex surface patterning). One key goal of the conference is to help identify a new and fruitful center of gravity at the heart of these overlapping research areas. Our guiding idea is that the time is ripe to formulate and develop a new paradigm for fully embodied computation, which might be quite different from the conventional Turing computational paradigm based on symbol manipulation. The breadth of the endeavor will naturally bring together people from different research communities, so that they can learn of their overlapping interests and converging research.



Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Evolution

ECLT, Venice International University, September 28-October 1, 2005

COST Action D27

Organizer: Günter von Kiedrowski



At the beginning of the 21th century, chemistry is facing a formidable challenge. Inspite of the wealth of insight derived from existing forms of life biology by itself has not been able so far to answer the question concerning the origin of its subject. Finding the roots of biology in chemical systems calls for an integrated endeavour in which chemistry interfaces with molecular biology, theoretical biology and complex systems research. COST Chemistry Action D27 was founded in early 2002; its main objective was seen in the development of the chemistry connected with the origin of life and early evolution of life on Earth, while giving special emphasis on self-replicating systems, prebiotic synthesis of nucleic acids and polypeptides, as well as simple protocells as early models of biological cells. In the course of the Action six European workgroups were established who will report on their activities on the meeting. These reports will be embedded into a framework of keynote and invited lectures from internationally leading scientists whose work and vision is important for the future development of the Action.

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