HCM City resets its bio-tech focus

16:01 | 09/11/2016 Science - Technology

New applications of stem cell and gene technologies as well as nanotechnology will be the focus of HCM City’s bio-tech program to 2020, the deputy head of the city’s Department of Sciences and Technology has said.

HCM City resets its bio-tech focus

New applications of stem cell and gene technologies as well as nanotechnology will be the focus of HCM City’s bio-tech programme to 2020 (Photo: VNA)

Speaking at a two-day national conference on bio-tech application that ended on November 1, Dr Nguyen Ky Phung said more research projects would be undertaken during this period, including studies about new seed varieties and the storage and processing of agricultural products.

In the health sector, technologies for grafts, organ transplants and cell therapy will be given priority for research and application.

Research and production of monoclonal antibodies, new-generation vaccines, and new kits for diagnosis will also be part of the bio-tech program as well.

To encourage further research, the department will provide funds for innovative ideas, and the private sector will be asked to work with public agencies on research projects.

Between 2011 and 2015, the city’s expenditures for scientific and technological programs accounted for 2.53 percent of the total budget. These programs had helped raise labor productivity to 5.6 percent, Phung said.

Scientific and technological services are among the top nine service industries in the city, including finance-banking, logistics and real estate. The innovation growth rate for technologies in general was 15 percent during this period.

The application rate of scientific research results from 2011 to 2015 was 35.5 percent, contributing to development of the city’s six “breakthrough programs” and economic growth.

Bui Chi Buu of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences for Southern Vietnam said that advanced bio-tech applications had been used to increase crop productivity and quality, improving plant tolerance to flooding, drought, heat and salinity.

Scientists in the region are also making headway in research related to nucleotide changes and phenotypic changes, which has been a challenge in molecular genetics and the breeding of rice, cassava, soybean and maize, according to Buu.

These efforts have revealed new opportunities to accelerate both the genetic dissection of complex traits and the integration of genomics with crop breeding.

Vietnamese scientists are capable of mastering advanced technologies used in gene transformation if they receive proper funding, Buu said./.

 

Source: VNA

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