New marine biology institute in the offing
doi:10.1038/nindia.2015.48 Published online 13 April 2015
India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and France's University Pierre Et Marie Curie (UPMC) and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) will collaborate to set up a frontier institute of marine biology in India in the next five years.
The Marine Biology Institute is expected to be the hub of multidisciplinary marine biology and biotechnology research, according to a DBT release. India and France signed a memorandum of understanding last week (10 April 2015) during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France to give shape to the institute.
France will provide the expertise of CNRS and UPMC in developing high standard stations in that country to help design, construct and maintain the institute. India will bring its proficiency in cell and molecular biology and biotechnology to the table, according to the DBT sources.
The institute is expected to provide Indian researchers access to the French marine stations (Roskoff, Banyuls and Villefranche which are linked to other European marine stations) and benefit from collaborative research programmes and training. India’s several marine zones offer resources which can be tapped for such research, the release said.
The collaboration will also help India tap potential applications of molecules and bio-materials from marine sources for human and animal welfare. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is currently charting the country's island diversity. The new marine biology institute will add to the effort and help translate this biodiversity by upgrading human resources, boosting capacity and using sophisticated technology, the release said.
The Indo-French collaboration is expected to set up a high-tech hub to train a new generation of marine biologists and bio-technologists in the use of the best scientific methods and techniques. India is hoping to develop its own marine stations through the collaborative learning, according to the release.