BioHack Academy

Design, build and use your own biolab

Are you interested in do-it-yourself (DIY) biotechnology, but you don’t have a background in either biology or technology? Do you like to make things yourself and tinker with technology? Do you have a creative and innovative mindset and want to work with biomaterials?

Join the bio revolution!

Bio-technological developments follow each other at a rapid pace. Inventions, such as the CRISPR-Cas9 technique that allows genetic editing of DNA, can have far-reaching consequences. The BioHack Academy promotes wider access to knowledge and tools outside institutional science and allows for a wider distribution of biotechnological literacy. In the BioHack Academy the focus is on learning the basics of biotechnology, working with biomaterials and collaborating building your own lab equipment. We will teach you how to join the bio revolution and build your own lab equipment using a local makerspace or Fablab.

BioHack Academy #8


The BioHack Academy has a duration of 10 weeks. Participants are expected to be present on Monday and Tuesday.


BioHack Academy is taught in English.


  • Early bird price: ca. 3.570 euro 
  • Reguliere price: ca. 4.175 euro
  • Scholarship: ca. 1.755 euro 


The call for 2022 is closed. It is possible to register for the waiting list. 

What is the BioHack Academy?

The BioHack Academy is a 10-week course. After completing the BioHack Academy you will have learned the basics of biotechnology, 3D design, digital fabrication, programming and electronics.

Under the guidance of our BioHack teachers you will follow lectures and workshops two days a week. The other days a week you are able to work on your own project in the Open Wetlab.

During weekly classes, students quickly gain skills needed to grow their own fuel, food, filaments, pharmaceuticals, fragrances, fungi and much more funky bio stuff at home. The simplicity and low costs of many techniques make it possible to apply biotechnology outside laboratories or research institutions and to carry out experiments. BioHack Academy students work with biomaterials varying from bio-pigments to bio-textiles as well as with microbes, algae, genetics and other forms of biotechnology.

With this course you will obtain a lot of knowledge that will provide a base to continue your own research for many years. 

Build and share

You will learn the principles behind machines, such as incubators, microscopes and centrifuges, that will enable you to build your own biolab. Along the way you will learn how to operate them and put them to use in your own project. Whether that’s a new type of bio ink, bio polymer, bio fuel or other kind of biohack is entirely up to you.

In addition to gathering new knowledge, the BioHack Academy is also about sharing knowledge. All lab equipment manufactured within the BioHack Academy is open-source. This means that everyone is completely free to improve the design, adapt it according to their own preferences and continue experimenting.

Moreover, the BioHack Academy is a truly international course. In the past editions, partner labs from the US, Latin America, Asia, Australia and Europe have followed the course simultaneously via remote video. We expect new partners to join this upcoming edition as well, and grant you the opportunity to collaborate with biohackers from all over the world!


What do you learn?

Introducing the BioHack Academy

- Biohacking, Biosafety and Documentation

Week 1
Module 1: (un)Making the Lab (hardware)

- Deconstructing existing lab hardware
- Making your own lab hardware with open source blueprints

Week 2 & 3
Module 2: Operating the Lab

- Wetlab in action: following protocols: making media and growing organisms
- Wetlab in action: tweaking protocols: DIY-biomaterials, produce and biosensors

Week 4 & 5
Module 3: Bio-engineering

- Recoding life in silico: Designing DNA digitally
- Cell free expression with CRISPR-Cas9: using CRISPR-Cas9

Week 6 & 7
Module 4: Individual Experiment

- Choosing a personal project:
1. Redesigning lab hardware
2. Growing your own materials
3. Designing DNA

Week 8 & 9
Final presentations
Week 10

BioHack Academy at Waag

All classes take place at Waag’s Open Wetlab, a unique BioHack space on the crossover of art, science and technology and the Fablab Amsterdam. Have a look at results and projects by students of the previous BioHack Academy: 2015201620172018.

General terms and conditions

Read the general terms and conditions for participation in the BioHack Academy here

International partnerlabs

The BioHack Academy is a truly international course. In the past editions, partner labs from the US, Latin America, Asia, Australia and Europe have followed the course simultaneously via remote video. We expect new partners to join this course as well, and grant you to opportunity to collaborate with biohackers from all over the world!

Are you interested in becoming a partnerlab during BioHack Academy #7? Drop us an email.

More information

For more information on the annual BioHack Academy, contact us via email.


Lucas Evers
head of the Open Wetlab
Kas Houthuijs
Coordinator of the BioHack Academy

Lucas is head of the Waag’s Open Wetlab programme and has profound knowledge of the intersection of biology, design and art. 

He has an education as an artist and teacher in the creative arts and studied politics at the University of Amsterdam. He is co-initiator of the Do It Together Bio series and the Bio Art & Design Award. 

Kas Houthuijs is freelance coordinator of BioHack Academy at Waag. Next to this, he works on various projects within the European consortium of Hybrid Lab Network.

Kas has a background in neurobiology and biomedical sciences, but his focus is on the borders between these research fields, asking the question if the variety of visions can be connected and enhanced. He has a love for education and formerly worked as a teacher at University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, where he used to teach BioLab for Designers as a course.

BioHack for your organisation

Besides the annual BioHack Academy at Waag we can also develop tailor-made programmes for your organisation in which part of the curriculum is taught. Contact us to explore the possibilities or discuss a specific question.

Contact us