International workshop on Promoting Biotechnology Education, Research and Knowledge Transfer in Asia and the Pacific

 JFIT-logo-IHP Logo_UNESCO_RCB  Logo_APCTT

 Final Dissemination Workshop for UNESCO Biotechnology School in Asia
Co-hosted by UNESCO, the Regional Centre for Biotechnology and APCTT
Faridabad, India
15 – 16 October 2017

Background

The UNESCO-JAPAN International Post-Graduate University Course in Microbiology (1973 to 2003) and the UNESCO-JAPAN Postgraduate Inter-University Course in Biotechnology (2004 to 2007) were successful and long-running human resource development programmes. These two courses trained 459 young researchers from Asian countries who are now playing active and leading roles in biotechnology research and education in the region, contributing both to the development of their own country and consequently Asia, and to the establishment of a stronger biotechnology network spanning the region. Now, more than 30 years after the initial Course’s inception, biotechnology-focused human resource development in Southeast Asia has come to a turning point, meriting a review and redesign in response to the evolving needs of the region and new global challenges such as food security, energy issues, environmental conservation, infectious diseases and climate change.

With the support of the Japan Funds-in-Trust, UNESCO has been implementing with the International Center for Biotechnology, Osaka University the UNESCO Biotechnology School in Asia programme from 2012 to 2017. This international Master-degree programme in biotechnology was developed for three cohorts for individuals from less-developed countries in Southeast Asia-Pacific region. The purposes of the programme, as a UNESCO-sponsored course, are to foster talented individuals to become biotechnology leaders and policymakers in their home countries, and to increase the ability of the host countries in the region to accept and educate students from less-developed countries. This UNESCO-sponsored Master-degree programme integrated advanced research training with pre-existing or newly launched Master Courses in universities of Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. Bachelor-degree holders were cross-placed in the more-advanced countries to receive Master-level training and research experience. The programme also contributed to the advanced countries’ capacity for educating Master students with different educational backgrounds and for administering an international and cooperative educational programme.

This programme also incorporated sustainability science and research practices to foster an integrated understanding of sustainability among the scientists throughout Asia and introduces a new form of institutional partnerships among participating countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam). In 2014, the third and last cohort (8 participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Philippine, Thailand and Vietnam) started their MSc Programme in 2014, and a total of 32 students enrolled (among them more than 20 women) in the course of the three cohorts of this programme.
Now coming to an end to this programme, there is a need to reflect back on the lessons learnt and on what is left to be achieved in the region in terms of Strengthening science, technology and innovation systems and policies, nationally and regionally (Strategic Objective 4, 37/C4) and Promoting international scientific cooperation on critical challenges to sustainable development (Strategic Objective 5, 37/C4). Moreover, there is a need to liaise the outputs of this programme with the wider UN family and programmes on Biotechnology promotion at academic, training, research and knowledge transfer level in Asia and the Pacific region through each co-hosts’ networks namely UNESCO, the Regional Centre for Biotechnology under the auspices of UNESCO and the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology on UNESCAP as well as ASEAN working group on Biotechnology.

Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) is an academic institution established by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India with regional and global partnerships synergizing with the programmes of UNESCO as a Category II Centre. The primary focus of RCB is to provide world class education, training and conduct innovative research at the interface of multiple disciplines to create high quality human resource in disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas of biotechnology in a globally competitive research milieu.

APCTT is a Regional Institution of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) servicing the Asia-Pacific region. Technology transfer is increasingly important for the Asia Pacific. The changing business environment, including the globalization of technologies and the shift in emphasis from manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy sets up new challenges for the competitiveness of countries and companies. It has provided tremendous opportunities for technological leapfrogging by developing countries as they seek to address growing social, economic and environmental challenges. The activities of APCTT are focused on three specific areas of activity: Science Technology and Innovation, Technology Transfer and Technology Intelligence. Our emphasis is on technologies such as renewable energy, biotechnology and nanotechnology which have high growth potential and can address the collective challenges of the region.

Workshop Objetives

The main objective of this 1.5-day workshop is to report and formalise the lessons learnt on the institutional mechanisms required for the successful establishment of a regional platform of national consortia of biotechnology universities in the Asia and the Pacific region and identify the remaining gaps and challenges to deliver in the field of Biotechnology, SDG 17 : Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, targets 17.6 to 17.9 in Asia and the Pacific region.

Expected Output

  • Formulation of a guideline on necessary mechanisms for multi-lateral research and scientist mobility in Asia and the Pacific region
  • Expert recommendations on the current hot-spots and priority challenges for biotechnology sector to achieve SDG 17.

Venue

Regional Centre for Biotechnology
NCR Biotech Science Cluster
3rd Milestone, Faridabad-Gurgaon Expressway
P.O. Box No. 3, Faridabad – 121 001
Haryana (NCR Delhi), India
E-mail: registrar@rcb.res.in
Phone: 91 129 2848800

 

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