The First Meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Biotechnology Research Center (BTRC), Libya.
The event will take place in the framework of the UNESCO Project “Enhancing Capacity of the BTRC” and consist of two parts: a one-day symposium on research activities of the BTRC, followed by the official 1st meeting of its International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), which will take place in Hotel El Mouradi Gammarth in Tunis, Tunisia, 30-31 August 2016.
Nowadays research in biotechnology has an impact on many sectors and is essential in addressing a number of local, regional and national issues in a wide variety of domains, such as agriculture, agro-industry, food security, medicine and sustainable use of local natural resources.
In order to benefit from advances in this field and to contribute to strengthening human and institutional resource capacities in this regard, a project was launched in 2000 within the framework of the UNESCO-Libyan Funds-in-Trust cooperation and its outcome was the establishment of the Biotechnology Research Centre (BTRC) in Tajura, near Tripoli, Libya. In view of recent security situation in Libya, implementation of this project was stopped momentarily. The new framework of this project will put emphasis on human resources capacity needs and take into consideration the current transitional period in Libya. The project aims at strengthening the capacity of BTRC through development of international cooperation and will include the implementation of a number of training activities in collaboration with scientific institutions and universities outside Libya. Stimulating high level endogenous research and innovation will remain a core priority. Emphasis will be put on setting priorities in terms of research and training and developing a training programme for BTRC’s staff, as well as updating these as the situation and needs evolve.
A crucial activity is the re-establishment of an ISAB. The Board will assess the scientific outputs of the BTRC and the quality of its principle investigators and post-doctoral fellows. It will work in close collaboration with the local scientific advisory committee to objectively advice on specific needs of the Centre. The 1st meeting of ISAB will be held on 31 August 2016.
In addition, on 30 August 2016, a scientific symposium will be held in which members of the BTRC will give presentations on research of their departments including the department of Nanotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Cell and Human Tissue, Environment, Food and Biotechnology, Plant Tissue Culture and Microbiology, for the benefit of ISAB and to feed their discussion on the 2nd day.
It is envisaged in the long term that the Centre will continuously update its priorities based on a self-driven mechanism with the support and guidance from ISAB working together with the local scientific advisory committee of BTRC. In the long term, the project will have an economic impact on the whole country, especially in the fields of agriculture and medicine by bringing new ways of tackling local problems and by fostering entrepreneurship in biotechnology at the local level. The BTRC could also aim at being a focal point for biotechnology in the region.