A report on International Conference on New Horizons in Biotechnology (NHBT-2015)

The conference was a mega event and one of the series organized every year by BRSI headquartered at CSIR-NIIST Thriuvananthapuram


Industry-Young Researchers Interactive session panelists (from Left) Swaroop Saranagn, Narayanan Suresh, Mahendra Savadikar, PM Sarma

The International Conference on New Horizons in Biotechnology 2015 (NHBT-2015) was organized by the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology jointly with the Biotech Research Society,India (BRSI)during November 22-25, 2015 featuring the latest developments in the frontier areas of biotechnology, including industrial biotechnology, biofuels and bioenergy, agricultural biotechnology, biotechnology in diagnostics and therapeutics, biotechnology in environmental remediation and waste management at Hotel Residency Tower, Thiruvananthapuram,Kerala.

The conference brought together leading scientists and technologists from industry and academics in the area of biotechnology and allied subjects to share their thoughts and views on various topics and to develop possible collaborative linkages in cutting edge areas of biotechnology. The conference was a mega event and one of the series organized every year by BRSI headquartered at CSIR-NIIST Thriuvananthapuram.

The conference was attended by about 600 delegates from across the world. The line-up of speakers consisted of international experts such as Patrick Hallenbeck from University of Montreal, Canada, Robin Anderson from US Department of Agriculture, Mohamed Taherzadeh from University of Boras, Sweden, GR Castro from University of La-Plata, Argentina, Claude- Guilles Dussap from University Blaise Pascal, France, Michael Bott from Institute of Bio and Geo Sciences, Germany, Andres Floto from University of Cambridge, UK, DJ Lee from National Taiwan University Taiwan, Hao Huu Ngo from Australia, Christian Larroche and Philippe Michaud from Polytech Clermont Ferrand, Institut Pascal, France, Michael Herrmann from Germany, etc and renowned Indian scientists, including CS Nautiyal from NBRI, Lucknow; Dr DB Sahoo, IBSD, Imphal; RS Sangwan, CIAB, Mohal; Javed Agrewala, IMTECH Chandigarh; S Venkata Mohan, CSIR-IICT Hyderabad; T Bhaskar, CSIR-IIP, Dehradun; Pramod Wangikar, IIT Bombay; IS Thakur, JNU, New Delhi; SN Upadhyay, BHU, Varanasi; Swaroop Sarangan, Reliance Industries Ltd, etc. The conference was attended by India's leading industrial R&D houses. There were 24 technical sessions, organized into three parallel sessions each day with a total of 106 invited lectures on the most advanced topics in different disciplines.

The conference opened on 22nd November and in his welcome address, Prof Ashok Pandey, Chairman, NHBT-2015 mentioned that the NHBT forum, which was holding its sixth edition of 4-yearly Biotechnology Conference being organized by CSIR-NIIST in collaboration with the Biotech Research Society, India has been extremely successfully in attaining its aims of disseminating the knowledge and developing networking and collaboration across the globe, not only for scientific R&D but also for industrial linkages. In his inaugural address, Dr Ajayaghosh, Director, CSIR-NIIST inaugurating the conference emphsized the need for need-based research, which addressed the welfare of the society at large. Dr K Madhavan Nampoothiri, Convener, NHBT-2015 provided the details of scientific program and Dr Rajeev Sukumaran, Co-Convener provided the details of social programs and general information. Subsequently, NHBT-2015 abstracts book and BRSI Yearbook 2015 were released by the dignitaries on the dais.

Prof DJ Lee, Chairman, IFIBiop, Prof CG Dussap Charter President, IFIBiop and Prof D Madamwar, President, BRSI felicitated the gathering. Subsequently, the annual awards function of the BRSI was held in which awards under different categories were declared and given away by the dignitaries on the dais. These included Overseas Fellow award to Dr Sunil Kaul, AIST, Japan; Honorary Fellow to Prof Kasturi Datta, JNU New Delhi, Fellow to Dr RS Prakasham, CSIR-IICT Hyderabad, Prof RS Verma, IIT Chennai & Dr Shailendra K Saxena, CSIR-CCMB Hyderabad; Life-Time achievement award to Prof SN Upadhyay, BHU Varanasi & Prof P Gunasekaran, MKU Madurai; Woman Scientist award to Dr K Pandima Devi, Alagappa University, Karaikudi; Young Scientist award to Dr Amit Mishra, Devi Ahilya University, Indore; AU-CBT Excellence awards for research scholars to Mr GN Nikhil, CSIR-IICT Hyderabad; Ms Leya Thomas, CSIR-NIIST, Trivandrum; Nagarajan Raju, IIT Chennai and Mr Suresh Babu, CSIR-IICT Hyderabad; Malaviya Memorial award for Senior Faculty to Prof Rintu Banerjee, IIT Kharagpur & for Young Faculty to Dr Rajesh Rastogi, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

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