Since times immemorial, human quest for understanding the mysteries of nature has surpassed political boundaries. Scientific ideas, research and innovations develop and thrive across nations. Most of the breakthrough R&D that we enjoy today has resulted from years of exchange of ideas across the world. Hence, science can be central in developing sustained friendships between nations and nurturing them through the years.
DBT’s international collaborations in science have gone a long way in helping to nurture many such friendships. Not only has it helped develop India’s scientific capability in biosciences, it has also helped contribute to international science and highlighted India’s image in scientific prowess, the world over. Such friendships has become even more important in an era when many of the problems that we face are international in nature, be it tackling climate change or fighting diseases.
Over the years India has collaborated with numerous countries all over the globe exchanging knowledge, expertise, infrastructure as well as technical capabilities with them.
|Australia: The priority areas of collaboration are food and agribusiness and clean energy technologies.|
|Brazil: Priority areas of partnerships are agricultural biotechnology focusing on sugarcane, biofuels and red & white Biotechnology.|
|Canada: The department has ramped up its collaboration with different Canadian agencies. A major initiative was announced during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to Canada in April, 2015. In it, five health innovations in India will be funded by Department and Grand Challenges, Canada, funded by the Government of Canada. Department in collaboration with IC IMPACTS (the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability), Canada under the ongoing programme “Water for Health” have funded four projects. In order to further collaboration with IC –IMPACTS a joint call in the area of “Portable Diagnostics and Analyzers” was announced. Focusing on the development and evaluation of new diagnostics and analyzers for Infectious Diseases, Maternal and Infant Health, Nutritional Deficiency and Interdisciplinary Approaches and Platform Technologies will be supported.|
|Denmark: Department in collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark (previously Danish Council for Strategic Research) invited proposals for Strategic Research Projects within Human Health Biotechnology. Under the call one project was jointly recommended for funding.|
|Finland: Department in partnership with TEKES, Finland (a funding agency for technology, innovation and industry collaboration) invited proposals in the area of “Innovative health and well-being solutions for all” through joint call.|
|France: Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University Pierre ET Marie Curie (UPMC) and The Centre National DE LA RechercheScientifique (CNRS) for the establishment of a National Institute of Marine Biology and Biotechnology in India. The MoU was signed by Secretary, DBT, in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and the Hon’ble President of France during the Prime Minister’s visit to France in April, 2015.|
|Germany: In collaboration with German Federal Ministry, Science Research and Technology (BMBF), the Department has agreed to participate in inviting proposals focusing on Biotechnology for reuse of biodegradable urban solid waste and Biotechnology for reuse of biogenic raw materials in agriculture.|
|Netherlands: Department and its subsidiary company the Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Ltd (BIBCOL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute for Translational Vaccinology (Intravacc) of the Kingdom of Netherlands on “Development of Vaccines”. The MoU was signed during the visit of the Prime Minister of Netherlands to India on 05th June, 2015. Intravacc and BIBCOL have agreed to partner with the aim of setting up of a measles-rubella vaccine plant for BIBCOL.|
|Russia: Under the ‘Programme of Co-operation’ (PoC) between and Russian Ministry of Education and Science, Russian Federation in the area of Biotechnology five joint proposals in area of Nano-biotechnology, Affordable diagnostics and devices in Human Health and Bioenergy have been supported.|
|Spain: DBT has collaborated with CDTI, Spain (The Centre for Industrial Technological Development) an enterprise of Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Spain for technological development and innovation of Spanish companies.|
|Switzerland: A new collaborative network project titled “Improvement of pigeon pea for plant type, pod borer resistance and moisture stress tolerance” was initiated with Indian investigators from National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology (NRCPB), Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and National Bureau of Plant Genetic resources (NBPGR), New Delhi; and Swiss investigators from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, and School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL), Zollikofen with the objective to develop pigeon pea varieties with improved productivity and resistance to pod borer, which can be marketed, processed and priced in line with cereals and competing crops.|
|Sweden: Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) is partnering with the Department with three joint calls for proposals successfully accomplished. In the current year, a call for proposals partnering DBT, India and VINNOVA, Swedish Research Council was announced in the area of Biotechnology.|
|Tunisia: Under the joint programme of cooperation, Project entitled “Assessment of the protective effect against Tuberculosis, of a new vaccine composition” has been sanctioned at ICGEB. Major focus of the project is on development of a novel method of vaccination, against tuberculosis (TB), based on enhancement of BCG-mediated apoptosis through FOXO3 activation. The aim of the study is to use a novel vaccine composition made of the classical BCG mixed to FOXO3 activators (Commercially available chemicals and/or drugs capable to strongly activate FOXO3). Such composition would induce higher apoptosis of infected cells than the classical BCG alone and may confer a higher protection against TB.|
|U.K.: Department in collaboration with U.K partners (BBSRC, NERC, MRC, AMS, British council, DFID, Newton fund, INNOVATE) has launched programmes which touch upon an array of global challenges, which are relevant in local Indian context. Flagship programmes initiated in partnership with U.K are directed to address key issues of health, environment (atmospheric pollution), climate change and agriculture, antimicrobial resistance, vaccine development and tackling loss of farm produce. Programmes also address the need for improving upon quality of research through bilateral student exchange programmes.|
|USA: A Statement of Intent was signed between (DBT) and Prakash Lab, Stanford University, USA for ‘Development and Deployment of an origami microscope called the Folscope from Prakash Lab’. The Statement was signed by Secretary, DBT in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on his visit to USA during the India-US STARTUP Konnect event. DBT and Prakash Lab have agreed to enter into an agreement for a pilot programme through the DBT Star Colleges scheme, where the Foldscope will be used as an educational and training tool to understand physics, chemistry, biology and instrumentation. Workshops and training programmes will run by Prakash lab in collaboration with Indian laboratories.|
|Japan : DAILAB (A collaborative laboratory called DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine) at the Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI), Tsukuba campus of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan is the first International laboratory in Life Sciences & Biotechnology. It emerged as a step up from bilateral MoU and aimed to promote close and effective research collaboration and networking, and was established on Oct 3, 2013. The DAILAB-TENJI (Training for Technology Exhibit & Networking to Jump for Innovation and Industrialization) B has been participating in industrial trade fairs held in the India and Japan to skill technology exhibiting and networking for innovation and industrialization.|
|EU: The Department (in order to foster multi country relations) is partnering in the fourth joint transnational call in the area of ‘Human infectious disease research” under Infect-EraNet. Under ongoing initiative with geographical era-net INNO INDIGO, the Department has funded five proposals in area of “Clean Water and Health”. Under the project “Integrating Bio-treated Wastewater Reuse with Enhanced Water Use Efficiency to Support the Green Economy in EU and India (India side)”.|