LabSurfing: Couchsurfing for iGEMers
At the jamboree you get to know a lot of interesting people from all over the world. But according to our experience of the last years it is hard to keep in touch with other iGEMers after the jamboree. Therefor we created a platform for all teams and their members to be able to stay in contact with this community after finishing the annual project. The second main advantage is the opportunity for iGEM teams to get to know each other in an early stage of the competition. This facilitates meetups and collaborations right from the beginning.
With our interdisiplinary team we created this website that is loosely based on the idea of Couchsurfing. On our platform, everyone can create his own personal-profile with all their information including academic degree, available couches and scientific interests. The personal profiles are connected to team-profiles, where the teams can present their projects.
The project descriptions and corresponding lists of team members will be maintained after each year’s competition. This way alumni are not just registered to their team in general but also assignable to the year their participated in iGEM.
A registered member can search on the world map for his desired iGEM team or member and send a couch request. Also as a team you have the option to send requests to other teams.
Take a look here!
As a further improvement we cooperated with the iGEM team NTNU Trondheim. They developed the program iGEM Matchmaker. Here every team project is characterized by keywords. Based on these a matching algorithm chooses teams with similar characteristics. After finding your adequate collaboration partner you can use LabSurfing to get easily in contact and arrange your first meeting.
By strengthening the network between iGEMers we wanted to improve the social community. This way we hope that everyone can benefit from an international pool of knowledge and have even more fun during iGEM.
iGEM 2015 „Escape the lab”-Tour
In order to launch the LabSurfing webpage we decided to visit a couple of iGEM teams ( iGEM Team Tübingen, iGEM Team UNITN-Trento , Freiburg, iGEM Team ETH Zürich, iGEM Team FAU Erlangen ) in a big trip through europe. Here we not only let them test a beta version of our page, but also we experienced how it is to be a LabSurfer. The result: definitely fun for both sides! Beside the iGEM teams, we visited alumnis of our team, contacts and experts from last year and the international Exhibition in Milan.
Of course we used the opportunity to present our projects to the other teams and reverse. Furthermore we discussed our application idea and received a lot of crucial feedback for our final web version of LabSurfing. We motivated every iGEM team to pass on a gift for the next team on our way. This way all teams offered and received a gift. We hope that this will enhance the contact between those teams on the jamboree (please visit the section collaborations for further details and pictures).