A two day conference identified areas in which Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) could collaborate expanding the expertise that EMBL has developed over the years for the benefit of the Indian scientific community.
Focusing on imaging, structural biology and bioinformatics, the collaboration aims to strengthen training, set up partnership labs, closer interactions at different levels and establish strong facilities that will address gaps in these areas at different locations in India.
It would include access to EMBL facilities in Europe to Indian scientists and also opportunities for organizing joint collaborative research in the areas of bio-imaging, structural biology and bioinformatics.
“We already have the verticals for setting up the mechanism in India to proliferate the benefits of such collaboration, but we have to overcome the approach of working in siloes and set up enabling models that will make such collaboration effective,” said DBT Secretary, K VijayRaghavan. He pointed out that such collaboration would entail huge investment and scientists should have the enthusiasm to derive the maximum benefits from it for the entire scientific community.
Professor Iain Mattaj, Director General EMBL pointed out that India being a country with a young population was well placed to benefit from the latest facilities that EMBL has to offer. He said that once some of the younger scientists are trained, they could further train more scientists and this would benefit science in general. Professor Mattaj also stressed on the need for systematic career path for the scientists trained at EMBL.
The scientists who came together at the conference discussed the need for extensive training in image and data analysis, microscopy training at the undergraduate level and development of a protocol for training. Mechanisms through which the benefits can be distributed like clusters of institutions, the inter-university centres were discussed. Existing facilities in some of the best institutions in India were presented and the ways in which they could benefit from such collaboration were deliberated upon.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences.
EMBL is at the forefront of innovation in life sciences research, technology development and transfer, and provides outstanding training and services to the scientific community in its member states.