An MoU was signed between the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Government of Australia on 19th April, 2016. Ms. Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to India and Professor K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt of India signed the MoU. This is an extension of an existing collaboration of 10 years between the two countries in the field of Biotechnology.
The overall objective of the Indo-Australian Biotechnology Fund (IABF) is to develop and support collaborative research activities, which draw upon strengths in India and Australia. The fund supports Indian and Australian scientists to collaborate in cutting-edge areas of science and technology. It facilitates India’s and Australia’s access to the global S&T system. Nine rounds have been announced till date. So far, 50 projects and 10 workshops over 8 rounds have been supported in the areas of Healthcare, Agriculture and Bioenergy.
Joint call for proposals for the ninth round was widely publicized and proposals were invited in the priority areas Food and Agribusiness and Clean energy technologies. Four proposals recommended for support in the field of Food and Agribusiness have been processed for sanction of funds.
Indo-Australia research investments support work led by more than 100 principal and co-investigators, with many postdoctoral researchers and students working alongside them has been quite successful. Hundred and Seven exchange visits by the Scientists and Forty by students have taken place. One hundred and forty one students have been trained so far. One hundred and thirty two papers have been published in various journals, 68 papers were presented in conferences. Seven patents have been filed. Fifteen technologies and 13 products/processes have been developed so far.