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


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 Objective

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.


DAY 1 – 15 October 2017
10:15 10:20 Welcome remarks MC
10:20 10:25 Opening remarks by Executive Director of Regional Centre for Biotechnology Dr. Sudhanshu Vrati (Director, RCB)
10:25 10:30 Opening remarks by Director and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi (Director and Representative, UNESCO)
10:30 10:35 Opening remarks by Head, Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) of  the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific (ESCAP) Ms. Michiko Enomoto (Head, APCTT)
10:35 10:40 Introduction  to  the  workshop and expected outputs Dr. Ai Sugiura (UNESCO Office Jakarta) [Download]
10:40 10:55 Tea Break
10:55 11:25 RCB cluster initiatives, RCB facilities, DIALAB vis‐a‐vis the capacity to meet the regional requirements of skill needs for the regional countries in the biotechnology Dr. Sudhanshu Vrati (Director, RCB)
11:25 12:55 From Research to Innovation – Role of technology transfer and innovation to implement the SDGs

Ms. Michiko Enomoto (Head, APCTT, ESCAP) [Download]

Dr. Krishnan Srinivasaraghavan (Coordinator, APCTT, ESCAP) [Download]

Dr. Satyabrata Sahu (Coordinator, APCTT, ESCAP) [Download]

13:00 14:00 LUNCH BREAK
14:00 14:15 Professor Manoj K. Dhar (FNAAS Genome Research Laboratory School of Biotechnology, University of Jammu)
14:15 14:30 Dr. AJAY PARIDA, Director (Institute of Life Sciences, (Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of India), Bhubaneswar, India) [Download]
14:30 14:45 Dr Prof. Vinod Pravin Sharma (Sr.Principal Scientist & Quality Manager, CSIR‐Indian. Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, INDIA) [Download]

Achievements of the UNESCO Biotechnology School in Asia project

· Download Presentation of UNESCO International Training Course: Past, Present and Future

· Download Presentation of Achievement of the UNESCO Biotechnology School in Asia Project – Thailand’s Experiences

Programme partners from Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam (15 min presentation by consortium)


DAY 2 – 16 October 2017
08:30 08:35 Opening MC
08:35 10:35 Discussion on necessary mechanisms for multi‐lateral research and scientist mobility in Asia and the Pacific region All participants with report from participating 10 confirmed countries (overview only from ASEAN WG Myanmar, Lao and Cambodia, Singapore)
10:35 10:50 Tea Break
10:50 12:50 Drafting session on guidelines form necessary mechanisms for multi‐ lateral research and scientist mobility in Asia and the Pacific region All participants
12:50 13:50 LUNCH BREAK
13:50 15:50 Drafting session on Expert recommendations on the current hot‐spots and priority challenges for biotechnology sector to achieve SDG 17 All participants
15:50 16:05 Coffee Break
16:05 16:15 Key Takeaways for the UNESCO Biotechnology School in Asia & its Programmes Dr. Ai Sugiura (UNESCO Office Jakarta) [Download]
16:15 16:25 Address by the Japanese Embassy in India H.E. Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu (Ambassador Extraordinary and Pleni potentiary)
16:25 16:35 Address by officials and Representatives
16:35 16:45 Address by officials and Representatives
16:45 16:55 Address by officials and Representatives
16:55 17:05 Closing remarks from RCB Dr. Sudhanshu Vrati (Director, RCB)
17:05 17:15 Closing remarks from UNESCO Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi (Director and Representative, UNESCO)
17:15 17:25 Closing remarks from APCTT, ESCAP Ms. Michiko Enomoto (Head of APCTT-ESCAPE)
17:25 17:35 Group Photo All Participants
19:00 21:00 Official Dinner All Participants


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
Phone: 91 129 2848800