Queensland Government funds biotech research with India

The Queensland Government is planning to boost Australia’s plant production by investing more than $200,000 in funds towards a joint biotechnology research project in India.

Scientists from the University of Queensland and the National Research Centre for Plant Biotechnology in New Delhi will receive $248,352 towards a project to develop rice and tomatoes resistant to the soil fungus Rhizoctonia solani.

Speaking in India today, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the joint funding of the projects was an important milestone in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Queensland and India in June 2008.

"As part of our Memorandum of Understanding, Queensland and India committed to a collaborative science and technology program that would not only support joint research projects in biotechnology but create opportunities for our researchers," she said.

"These opportunities will allow them to contribute to important research underway in both countries and broaden their international experience and networks.

Ms Bligh said India was a developing leader in global scientific research.

"India is now coming into its own in terms of research capacity with scientific output growing significantly over the past decade and predicted to surpass most G8 nations between 2015 and 2020,” Ms Bligh said.

"This is an exciting time for Queensland to be partnering with Indian research institutions – together we can pool our resources and expertise and make great advances in science."

Ms Bligh discussed the research projects and the strengthening science relationship between India and Queensland during her meeting today with India’s Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Shri Prithvirai Chavan.

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