Achievements of International Cooperation in glance (2015-16)
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between DBT; The University Pierre ET Marie Curie (UPMC) and The Centre National DE LA Recherche Scientifique (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.
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Ltd. (BIBCOL) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of the Republic of India and 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.
The Department of Biotechnology and the Research Councils, UK signed RCUK- DBT letter of intent to work together in Climate Change and Agriculture, Antimicrobial Resistance and Vaccine Development as part of their joint grand challenges. This new initiative was announced during the November 2015 visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to UK and was endorsed by Prime Minster of UK.
India-USA joint working group on Agriculture Biotechnology was set up.
A Statement of Intent was signed between Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Prakash Lab, Stanford University, USA for ‘Development and Deployment of Products 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.
Achievements in Agriculture
In collaboration with Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Netherlands Department announced a joint call for proposals in the area of “Crop sciences: improved tolerance to heat and drought”. Three joint proposals in crop sciences were funded.
Department under Joint call “Global Research Partnership in Aquaculture” in collaboration with BBSRC, UK and DFID, UK has recommended four projects for funding.
The Department has announced Joint call of proposals with the Innovate UK on tackling challenges in agriculture food sector with particular reference to post-harvest losses. The aim of the call is to form collaborative partnerships with Indian counterparts and translate the outputs of excellent research into new solutions. These solutions being in the form of commercial products, processes and services fit for the Indian market.
Department in collaboration with BBSRC, UK has approved setting up of four Virtual Joint Centers in Agricultural Nitrogen with India. The aim of the centres is the effective management of Nitrogen use within farming systems.
Virtual Joint Centres
India-UK Nitrogen Fixation Centre (IUNFC)
Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal
University of Oxford
Cambridge-India Network for Translational Research in Nitrogen
Indo U.K Centre for the improvement of Nitrogen use efficiency in wheat (INEW)
Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal
Newton-Bhabha Virtual Centre on Nitrogen Efficiency of Whole-cropping Systems for improved performance and resilience in agriculture (NEWS India-UK)
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi
Achievements in clean water and air
Department under joint collaboration with IC IMPACTS (the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability), Canada cofounded four projects in the area of “Water for Health”.
Department has partnered with geographical era-net INNO INDIGO for joint call of proposals in area of “Clean Water and Health”. Five proposals were recommended for funding.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT; Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences (ESSO-MoES), India Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK have announced a call for proposals on ‘Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity’.
Achievements in Medical Biotechnology
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, announced an investment of $2.5 million in five health innovations in India. This announcement was made during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to Canada in April, 2015.
Department of Biotechnology, Medical Research Council and DFID partnered in a joint Global Research Programme: Addressing the health needs of women and children in the most disadvantaged populations globally. Projects having Indian, UK and a low-income country participation were received and 7 proposals were funded.
Establishment of Joint virtual centers in area of medical research in collaboration with MRC, U.K: Under the collaboration three joint centres are approved for funding:
a. Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistant Tuberculosis partnering National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai and University of Cambridge.
b. UK-India Centre for Advanced Technology for Minimising the indiscriminate use of Antibiotics (UKICAT-MA) partnering LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad and University of Sheffield.
c. A Joint Centre for Cancer Biology & Therapeutics partnering INSTEM, Bangalore and University of Cambridge.
Achievements in Human Research and Development
Department has announced Newton-Bhabha PhD placement programme in collaboration with British Council, U.K. under aegis of Newton-Bhabha agreement. Under the programme PhD students will have an opportunity for international exchange and will enable them to learn valuable new skills or techniques, access facilities or resources and build relationships with potential new collaborators, including industry partners where relevant. DBT and BC, on behalf of Department of Business Innovation and skills will support exchange of 20 students each on respective sides.
Department in its endeavor to promote research in the area of Clinical Sciences under the MOU has been in talks for initiating Clinical Research Fellowship of two years on reciprocal exchange basis with The Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom. The Academy of Medical Sciences, UK will use funding from Newton fund. Fellowship programme will be operational for three years.
A series of Foldscope (a foldable; origami paper microscope costing about 50 cents; a great example of frugal science) workshops and talks in India were held. The “India-Prakash Lab Stanford Foldscope training camp: North eastern region twining was held at Delhi, Guwahati and Kaziranga National Park from 16th-21st December 2015.