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Boost for bio-technology

Update: November, 23/2013 - 09:29
Staff at the HCM City Centre for Applying Science and Technology Advances check plant growth in a laboratory. The city will develop the bio-technology industry until 2015 by applying advanced research and technology in agricultural production to raise productivity and quality. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City targets developing the bio-technology industry until 2015 by applying advanced scientific research and technology in agricultural production to raise productivity and quality.

"The city will also promote the development of bio-technology in the medical field to serve people's healthcare," said Pham Minh Tan, director of the HCM City Department of Science and Technology.

Tan spoke at the third National Conference on Biotechnology in southern Viet Nam held in HCM City yesterday.

The conference attracted 350 scientists, managers and enterprises from the south to review the results of research over the last two years and discuss measures to develop the industry in HCM City and southern provinces until 2015.

Professor Tran Linh Thuoc, rector of the National University of Science, said: "The city has invested about VND17 billion (US$803,800) in 20 research projects and pilot production projects, which have created a number of hi-tech products serving agriculture, health care and environment."

In agriculture, for instance, the projects have contributed significantly in the development, breeding and conservation of high-value flowers, vegetable seeds as well as new vaccine products for veterinary and aquaculture, he said.

In healthcare, the scientific products from applications of stem sell technology, monoclonal antibodies technology, recombinant protein technology, nano technology and others have contributed to the creation of products serving diagnosis and treatment.

However, despite making significant strides, the bio-technology industry in the city as well as in the whole country remained at low level compared to other countries in the region.

"Bio-technology has yet to meet increased demand of socio-economic development, environmental protection and improved living standards," Thuoc said.

Most studies halt at the laboratory scale or pilot stage, he said, adding that complete research, trial production and commercialisation was needed.

Bio-technology needs competent scientists, modern facilities, huge investment, and extensive research and testing, he said.

But it has a short product life and faces difficulties with regard to copyright protection.

To improve the situation, besides continuing to promote research to create new technologies, the city's bio-technology programme in the 2013-15 period will focus on hi-technology in all sectors as well as commercialisation of scientific research.

It will also invest more in facilities and staff for research and development.

HCM City will promote co-operation among the Government, scientists and enterprises, with enterprises being at the centre, Tan said.

He said more and more enterprises were paying attention to technology development, including bio-technology, but they were afraid of risks.

If enterprises and scientists work together on what businesses need, the Government would support 30 per cent of the expenditures, he said.

The conference was co-organised by the HCM City Department of Science and Technology, the HCM City Bio-technology Centre and the Pasteur Institute of HCM City. — VNS


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