India to partner with Russia on biotech research

The researchers from two countries will work on various aspects of biotechnology for the period of three years

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New Delhi: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, India and Russian Ministry of Education and Science (RMES), Russia have invited joint research proposals in the area of biotechnology under recently concluded programme of cooperation.

The objective is to broaden and deepen cooperation in science and technology in the field of biotechnology; to encourage industrial R&D and related investment flows, bilaterally and/or regionally in the field of biotechnology and to promote transparency through exchange of information and cooperation among relevant institutions.

The total grant earmarked for this call is Rs 7.8 crore with a maximum of up to Rs 2.6 crore per project spread over three years. The funding agency in each country will support expenses for their own respective national researchers.

The minimum requirements for proposal submission in response to the present call for proposal are only a joint proposal having at least one Indian and Russian investigator will be accepted. Joint Proposals written in English language with exceptional quality having a strong translational component will be preferred. Proposal must mention the joint objectives for a proposal with distinction of the components to be performed on Indian and Russian side with time lines. Investigator must hold a regular position in any Indian institution.

In the area of biotechnology, the research areas that will be given priority in the present call for proposal include genomic and proteomics instrumentation; nano-devices; bioenergy – photosynthesis based only bio-reagents. Proposals submitted for translational research or proof of concept for technology development will be given preference. Proposals from an Indian industry having to collaboration with an Indian academic institution will be preferred. The principal investigators from Indian academic or industrial institutions/organizations of each side who fulfill national eligibility rules for research grant application are eligible to apply. Non-resident Indians are not eligible to apply.

Any Indian national holding temporary position in any Indian institution may also apply with a certificate from the organization stating that ‘the institution will extend the laboratory facilities and provide the administrative flexibility without affecting/influencing the R&D activity proposed to be carried out. Furthermore, the temporary investigator has to sign an agreement (a copy needs to be submitted to DBT) with the institution that the investigator will not leave the project before its completion and in case it is absolutely necessary then the investigator can leave the institution only after the satisfactory submission of the financial documents necessary for foreclosing a project’. Investigator from an Indian Industry (having >51% shares) has to sign a bond with DBT that the investigator can’t leave the project before completion.

The age of the Indian investigator should not exceed 55 years at the time of grant of a project Proposals screening and evaluation criteria may include but, in general, will be separate from the minimum submission requirements. An originally signed letter or email from a Russian collaborator must accompany with the initial proposal. The detailed information and the application form may be accessed under call for proposal at DBT website.