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RCB-AIST Agreement for Joint Research Training and Capacity Building in Bio-imaging and Biotechnology

The Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan announced a new partnership to further capacity building initiatives in bio-imaging and biotechnology. The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed on March 4, 2014 by Dr. Dinakar M. Salunke, Executive Director, RCB and Dr. Yoshihiro Ohmiya, Director, Biomedical Research Institute, AIST on behalf of the participating institutions in a function presided over by Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Chairman, BoG of RCB and Secretary to the Govt. of India, Department of Biotechnology. Also present on the occasion were, Dr. Noboru Yumoto, Director General (Life Sciences), AIST, Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO, Delhi Office, Mr. Yasuhisa Kawamura, Charge d' Affaires, Embassy of Japan in Delhi and Dr. Madhan Mohan, Advisor, DBT, Govt. of India. The initiative through the partnership will enhance career opportunities for scientists and researchers working in biomedical, clinical, and other related areas of biotechnology and thereby complementing the existing bilateral research cooperation between the Govt. of India and the Govt. of Japan.

The Governments of India and Japan had signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2007 under the Bilateral Research Cooperation. The Dept. of Biotechnology (DBT) and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, Japan (AIST), a national public funded multidisciplinary education & research institution, executed this MoU. As part of the bilateral research, the participating Institutions in India and AIST had taken steps for research in advanced areas of Bioinformatics, Biomedicine, and Glycoscience.

With the aim to enhance research outputs, DBT and AIST set up an exclusive laboratory on Oct 3, 2013, named as DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine (DAILAB). The primary objective was to focus on the collaborative research in biomedicine & disease therapeutics and to promote exchange of young researchers between both the countries.

The present MoA, will enable RCB and AIST to jointly organize advanced research training in bio-imaging and biotechnology, including in vivo and in vitro imaging, cryo-electron microscopy crystallography and such other technologies. Key features of the agreement are: to set up a DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Bio-imaging (DAILAB) at RCB and to facilitate joint collaborations engaging Indian and Japanese scientists and to support selected Indian researchers for training in specialized areas of bio-imaging and biotechnology at AIST as well as other laboratories outside AIST in Japan.

The new agreement provides an opportunity for both the institutions in capacity building, training and research collaborations and will benefit young scientists not only in India and Japan but also from the UNESCO member countries in the Asia-Pacific and SAARC regions. Indeed, through the current initiative, RCB, an institution engaged in broad-based multidisciplinary training, education and research is poised for broadening its horizons and will facilitate bridging science and knowledge dissemination for betterment of mankind.

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