Newsroom  Press releases  2003

31) ICRISAT explores agri-biotech partnerships with Canadians (12 February 2003)

Scientists from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) explored the possibilities of collaborating on agri-biotechnology with a Canadian delegation of scientists and policy makers. It consisted of senior officials from Canadian institutions dealing with agri-biotechnology in the public and the private sector: from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Saskatchewan and Ag-West Biotech Inc.

The discussions also focused on the incubation of technology companies that can help the resource poor farmers in the semi-arid regions gain greater access to productivity increasing farm technologies.

Dr Barry Shapiro, speaking on behalf of ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar, said that the first step of cooperation with Canadian institutions has begun. This can lead to more formal interactions on agri-biotechnology R&D and commercialization.

Foremost among these is Ag-West Biotech, which has been promoting entrepreneurship in agri-biotechnology through incubator and innovation parks for the last 12 years.

Working jointly on business projects, developing research collaborations, exchanging scientists and students, and encouraging business visits are among the areas of collaboration envisaged. The Canadian delegation also offered to help in developing a business model for ICRISAT's Technology Innovation Centre and its Agri-Business Incubator project.

The Technology Innovation Centre at ICRISAT, launched in December 2002 by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, aims at promoting a whole gamut of agri-technologies that will help resource-poor farmers. Ranging from farm-based to advanced biotechnologies, these can be transferred to entrepreneurs for commercialization through the newly established Agri-Business Incubator. ICRISAT is implementing the Incubator project jointly with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India .

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.