Biotech Center Attracts Chinese, British Scientists

A Sino-British inter-university biotechnology research and development center was established yesterday in Shanghai to promote research on growing more productive crops.

Jointly launched by Fudan and Jiaotong universities in Shanghai and Nottingham University in the United Kingdom, the research center will have more than 40 scientists working collaboratively at the three universities.

Scientists say the research of basic plant and plant-related science issues are too long-term, multidisciplinary and highly risky to be conducted by single investigator grants.

"We all feel that it is necessary and the right time to establish a special plant biotechnology center," said Sir Colin Campbell, vice-chancellor of Nottingham University.

The researchers will have a virtual laboratory using wireless technology. They will also travel to each other's campuses to collaborate more closely and work more efficiently on plant biotechnologies they are interested in, he said.

The center will focus its study on the molecular cloning of functional genes from wild plant resources; the use of plants as a bioreactor to produce pharmaceutical products or functional foods; molecular farming for Chinese medicine; biosafety and field assessment of genetically modified crops; and fundamental research in plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology.

The center will also try to establish an interactive network with private industries and public institutions worldwide to facilitate rapid commercialization of new products and technologies.

Lord Sainsbury, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science and Innovation, said this was one of the United Kingdom's efforts to establish a good relationship and scientific collaboration with China, hoping the two countries will learn from each other in terms of science and innovation.

More projects are on the way, including a nationwide Leading Edge Britain showcase in China in 2002 and 2003, he said.

(China Daily 10/09/2001)

In This Series

Scientists Call for Better Use of Bio-tech in Farming

Advanced Biomedicine Designated As Nation's Priority

Cooperation in Science on the Rise

First Chinese President in University of Nottingham



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