India, UK sign agreements for collaborations in crop science

New Delhi, Feb. 24 (ANI): Department of Biotechnology, functioning under Ministry of Science and Technology, and a consortium of top UK research institutions signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here on Wednesday for establishment of a joint India-UK collaboration programme in crop science.

The aim of the agreement is to enhance collaborative research, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security.

The agreement was signed by Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, and the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz on behalf of the University of Cambridge, and by Nafees Meah on behalf of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of UK.

It was also signed by representatives from the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB), in Cambridge; the John Innes Centre, UK; the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, UK; and Rothamsted Research Institute UK.

After the signing of the agreements, Professor Borysiewicz said, “This collaboration builds on the close links already established between leading researchers in the United Kingdom and India and is another great example of both countries’ commitment to growing our partnerships in translational and applied research.”

Professor Raghavan said that United Kingdom has been a long-standing partner with the Government of India in Science and Technology, adding that the collaboration had grown from strength to strength.

“Our partners are the best in the UK and together we can be the best anywhere, working together to address a key global problem. This collaboration will create opportunities for leading experts in the UK and India to come together to tackle global challenges in the areas of food security, crop science and biotechnology,” he said.

All parties agreed on the importance of crop science as an area of enormous potential for scientific collaboration, and of great importance for global food security in India and beyond. The agreement foresees joint projects focusing on the fundamental science underpinning yield enhancement, disease resistance and drought resistance; research into crop re-breeding; and the translation of fundamental research into sustainable agriculture practice. It also contemplates the establishment of a joint Indo-UK Plant Science Centre in India. (ANI)

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