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The third open-innovation Bio4Comp Award is for novel ideas that conceptually or technically advance the field of parallel computing with biological agents in a substantial manner. The call deadline is on 17 July 2021. The third challenge is about

Applications for network-based and bio-inspired computation technologies.



All scientists, students or professionals interested in the field of biocomputation. Persons employed by partner institutions of Bio4Comp (Lund University, Technische Universität Dresden, Linnaeus University, Molecular Sense Ltd, Bar Ilan University, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft) are excluded from the awards.

Each person can only get an award once.

All participants agree that the winning contribution will be published on the project website or an open repository for maximum impact (open innovation), after the announcement of the winner. Contributions that do not win can at that point choose to opt out of publication. Publication before participating in the contest is possible.

To participate, please submit a description of your idea (max. 3 pages) as a pdf-attachment by e-mail to the Innovation System Committee.


This is the e-mail address:


Applications for network-based and bio-inspired computation technologies

The competition asks for

a) Applications for network-based computers using bio-molecular agents; or

b) Applications in the field of diagnostics or lab on a chip devices utilized by molecular motor propelled filaments; or

c) Applications or application scenarios which are enabled by network-based biocomputation and contribute to biotechnological challenges;

The combinatorial nature of many important mathematical problems, including so called NP-complete problems (nondeterministic-polynomial-time-complete  problems), places a severe limitation on the problem size that can be solved with conventional, sequentially operating electronic computers. While a number of parallel-computation approaches, such as DNA computation, quantum computation, and microfluidics-based computation, have been reported in the past, these approaches have so far not proven to be scalable and practical from a fabrication and operational perspective.

One alternative is network-based computation (NBC) where a given combinatorial problem is encoded into a graphical, modular network that is embedded in a nanofabricated planar device. Exploring the network in a parallel fashion using a large number of independent agents (e.g. cytoskeletal filaments propelled by molecular motor proteins) then solves the mathematical problem.

This approach uses orders of magnitude less energy than conventional computers, thus addressing issues related to power consumption and heat dissipation (see: Nicolau et al., PNAS, 113(10), pp. 2591-2596, 2016).




Applications will be evaluated according to:

(i) novelty and excellence of the idea,

(ii) potential impact for the research area, and (iii) feasibility.


Decision about the winner(s) of the contest will be made by the Innovation System Committee in agreement with the Bio4Comp General Assembly.

After announcement, the decision will be final and cannot be contested.

The winner will receive a 5 000 Euro prize by bank transfer from Lund University to an account specified by the winner. Taxes depend on the winner's tax residence and will be deducted from the prize according to Swedish law.

The deadline is on

July 17, 2021