Open engineered microbial systems have a crucial role to play in the development of sustainable technologies for the 21st century. The solution, ecology-based design of engineered biological systems, is urgently needed. This meeting united disciplines by integrating ecological theory with microbial ecology and engineering aims. The meeting spanned the scales from genome to the systems. The organisers of this meeting believe that engineering across these scales will accelerate progress in the many systems where researchers’ engineering aspirations can be met by exploiting the power of microbial communities.
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