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Canada-India agreement to advance biotechnology research


Ottawa, ON – The National Research Council of Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of India to extend scientific collaboration in the field of biotechnology.

NRC vice-president, Dr Roman Szumski, and Dr S Natesh, senior advisor, department of biotechnology, India, signed the MOU on behalf of their respective organizations during a ceremony which took place in New Delhi on December 6, 2006. Also in attendance at the event were India’s union minister for science & technology and earth sciences, Mr. Kapil Sibal, and Dr MK Bhan, secretary of India’s department of biotechnology, who signed a separate agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The agreement signed by NRC will strengthen research collaboration in the field of biotechnology of mutual interest to both countries by encouraging and facilitating close and frequent consultation between NRC and DBT through greater exchanges of information and research experts.

“These international activities are important. Not only do they enhance access for Canadian researchers to world-class science facilities and global research and information networks but they also develop relationships that will open doors for private sector ventures,” says Dr Szumski.

Areas of focus for collaboration include harnessing plants to improve human and animal health, and understanding and exploiting genomics of plants of common interest to the benefit of both countries. Collaborations in additional areas such as vaccine design, production and delivery systems, and biodevices will also be explored.

NRC is already supporting India in setting up “Knowledge City” in Mohali, India. This 350-acre site will consist of the Indian National Institute for Nanotechnology, the Institute of Science Education and Research as well as India’s first cluster, an agri-food grouping of facilities and companies working on innovative food processes and products.