While diplomacy may not offer an additional bouquet of science, science itself bolsters diplomacy because the common concerns of the countries of the world are the same– food for all, home and shelter, hygiene, nutrition, a disease-insulated society and cure from ailments. India has emerged as a biotechnology hub in the Asian region. There is an increasing need for scientific capacity building to match the increasing global challenges. International collaborations are an important vehicle for accelerating the pace of growth in research and development. DBT over the decade has strategically developed strong international collaboration with numerous countries and non-governmental organisations.
Department has been partnering with Canadian agencies ISTP, NRC-Canada, Grand challenges Canada and IC-IMPACTS. Agreement signed for collaboration on convergent medical technologies; application to clean technologies and Bio-pharma and health with the International Science and Technology Partnerships (ISTP). In plant sciences with Department is collaborating with National Research Council of Canada. Department and Grand challenges Canada are partnering to address Women and children’s health, early child development, global mental health, scaling innovations at proof of concept stage and point of care diagnostics and with IC-IMPACTS, the collaboration is in thematic area of WATER FOR HEALTH. Under the collaboration five Partnership Development Activities (PDAs) have been accomplished and there are 12 ongoing projects.
United State of America****
Department is partnering with different agencies in USA. Programmes executed under the collaboration are Vaccine development programme; contraceptive research and reproductive health; agriculture biotechnology and vision research with the National Institute of Health, USA Biodesign programme with Stanford University. Total 32 projects funded so far in contraception and reproductive health research.
The Khorana Programme for Scholars and the Technology Transfer Course:* DBT initiated the programme in alliance with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF). Some other major areas of collaboration are Programme on vision research, bilateral brain research collaborative programme, DBT-NIH fellowship programme and programme on low cost diagnostics.
A MoU was signed between the two countries in 2012 to support collaborative research activities in the areas of healthcare, agriculture and bioenergy. DBT is implementing the MoU and has prepared a joint call for proposal on mutual agreement.
Department is collaborating with Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Denmark to develop joint projects in Medical biotechnology (stem cell research; chronic and infectious diseases); agriculture biotechnology and environmental biotechnology. Joint call for proposals announced in the area of health science biotechnology. In collaboration with Denmark, Department has 12 ongoing projects.
Department in its quest for high end science, innovation and development of enterprise has partnered with the Academy of Finland (AoF) and Tekes, a Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. Joint projects are focused around Vaccine development and technologies therein; development of new, innovative diagnostics, using different technologies and computational biology related to drug development, synthetic biology and bio-energy. Department has 31 ongoing projects in partnership with Finland.
Department is closely partnering with United Kingdom in different sectoral areas. Key partnering agencies of UK are DFID, BBSRC, and MRC. Department under its POC with BBSRC has jointly announced project in areas of Sustainable bioenergy and biofuels, Farmed Animal disease and health and Crop genomics and technologies. Department has signed POC with MRC. Department has funded four projects in the area of sustainable crop development in partnership with DFID and BSSRC; Cancer research programme project with Queen’s University, Belfast. Joint projects funded in area of sustainable bioenergy and biofuels and Farm Animal and Disease health.
A Programme of Cooperation has been signed with Directorate General for Enterprise and Innovation, Ministry of Economic Affairs Agriculture and Innovation, Government of Netherlands, in the areas of plant sciences, food and nutrition and medical biotechnology. Join call on “Plant sciences creating societal and commercial perspective towards crops with improved tolerance to heat and drought” has been announced in partnership with Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Under the joint collaboration, there are two ongoing projects.
Department signed a Programme of Cooperation with Centre for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), Spain. Thematic focus of the collaboration is to develop market driven products, processes and technologies with involvement of Industry and Academia. Two joint calls were announced in the area of biotechnology encouraging Industrial partnership with Industry participation mandatory on Spain side. Under the collaboration, two projects are ongoing.
A joint agreement between DBT, India and CNRS, France for establishing International Associated Laboratories (LIA) in the areas of System Immunology and Genetics of Infectious Diseases (SIGID) is under final stages for signature of various stakeholders.
AIST and DBT had signed an MoU on February 12, 2007 to work jointly in advanced areas of Science & Technology. This MoU involved bilateral collaboration on three themes Bioinformatics, Biomedicine, and Glycoscience. During the last 5 years, AIST and DBT scientists have been collaborating on eight selected projects. Four workshops, two at each side have been held so far. In order to promote close and effective collaboration, AIST and DBT have set up a lab (DAILAB) at the Biomedical Research Institute of AIST in AIST Tsukuba. The lab will initially focus on generating knowledge and reagents for health and medical industries to combat old age pathologies (cancer and neuro-degeneration) and later venture into other fields of research.
The department has signed a programme of co-operation with the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 2012 aiming to promote and develop human resource and collaborative research activities in agriculture and healthcare. Initiation of joint scientific proposals, exchange of scientists and future workshops are being discussed.
Agreement signed for collaboration in important areas of biotechnology viz aquaculture and marine biotechnology, vaccines, bioremediation, bioenergy and biofuel, stem cell, transgenic breeding, food technology with the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training. Proposals were invited in the area of immunomodular, immunotherapeutics, Biotechnological intervention for improved agricultural productivity and vaccines.
In 2013, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, India and Russian Ministry of Education and Science, Russian Federation signed a Programme of Cooperation (PoC) in the area of Biotechnology. The priority areas identified are Bioenergy, Nano-biotechnology, and Bioinstrumentation, Affordable diagnostics in Human Health and Agriculture, Affordable Devices in Human Health and Agriculture for implementing the PoC. The PoC is under implementation stage.
International Bureau (IB) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany and German Research Foundation (DFG) are the strategic partners of the Department. Department signed a Programme of Co-operation (PoC) with the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2012. Under the POC, the following will be developed: Collaborative Research Centres (CRC), International Research Training Groups (IRTGs) and Research Projects. Department has 49 ongoing projects under collaboration with Germany.
Department has signed a MoU with Ministry of Education & Research of the Republic of Estonia in the field of biotechnology. Joint calls are likely to be advertised in 2014 2015.