India, Oz sign agreement to boost Horticulture research


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Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Enterprise of Government of India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) for launching a joint funding call to support Research and Development (R&D) organizations and other eligible entities to undertake novel and cutting-edge strategic translational research in horticulture at affordable costs.

The event took place at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi and was presided over by H E Ms Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to India, and Prof K VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India.

As stated by Prof VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT & Chairman, BIRAC. "BIRAC's vision is to stimulate and enhance the strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry, particularly start-ups and SME's, for the creation of affordable products addressing the needs of the largest section of society. Considering the gap between demand and supply for crops, it is of paramount importance to stimulate an enabling environment for research and development in both the regions. Through the signing of this MoU today, we along with Hort Innovation aim to create a supportive ‘innovation ecosystem' for researchers to undertake high-level research and promote horticulture techniques."

The focus of the joint call is to undertake horticultural research in order to develop and deploy modern tools of plant biotechnology to improve crop productivity.

The funding commitment from BIRAC and Hort Innovation is up to AUD 6 million over a period of 3 years.

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