The opening ceremony of Shenzhen Overseas Innovation Center was held successfully in Shenzhen Citizen Center on May 9, 2017 by the Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality. Zhang Hu, executive vice mayor of the city, attended the ceremony and awarded the nameplates to the first group of seven outstanding overseas innovation centers, including BGI Global Innovation Center - Seattle & San Jose. Responding to the promotion of Shenzhen as an open and international city by the government municipality, BGI set up a global innovation center based on its sequencing capability and extensive overseas cooperation, with the initial phase of operation platforms in Seattle and San Jose. It leads the exploration of BT-IT dual-core scientific research & industry innovation modes in Shenzhen, attracts diversified senior partners for the city and promotes the two-way flow of talents and products between the city and overseas high-tech clusters, building a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
BGI has signed an MOU with the Medical Institute of South Africa to jointly build a precision medicine research center. The MOU, signed April 25 in South Africa during the Ministerial Conference on Medical and Health Cooperation Between China and Africa, reflects the close agreement both sides reached in enhancing cooperation in genomic medicine and promoting the development of genetic testing of epidemic and chronic diseases in South Africa. The signing of an MOU is just the starting point of the bilateral cooperation under national strategic policies and mechanisms. Later, through the formation of a gene sequencing and training center and the establishment of a localized precision medical service system, genomic science and technology will be utilized to reduce birth defects, make early screening and prevention of cancers, and ultimately improve the qualify of life of African people.
Aiming to improve wheat yield and wheat adaptation in a changing agricultural climate and tackle the increasing global demand for food，the Australian government has awarded the university a grant of $1 million for this program involving UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment, School of Biological Sciences, Institute of Agriculture, the crop breeding company InterGrain Pty Ltd, and six Chinese partners: the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Inner Mongolia Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Sciences (IMAAAHS), Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GAAS), Hebei Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (HAAFS), and BGI. In the course of the implementation of this project, BGI will provide technical support in the areas of genomic sequencing and information analysis for wheat breeding.
With the approach of the 24th “International Thalassemia Day,” BGI launched a public welfare campaign to “care for thalassemia” in Stage 1 in southern cities, in collaboration with the Hua Foundation (a part of Shenzhen Media Foundation) and well known medical institutions and public welfare groups in Guangzhou, Shaoguan and Haikou. The campaign, from May 7 to 14, involved popularization of knowledge on prevention, control and treatment of thalassemia, a free clinic by experts on the scene, free screening of thalassemia genes, registration of thalassemia cases and free high-resolution HLA zygosity testing services. The campaign encourages people to consult cooperating hospitals and participate in programs to contribute to the prevention and control of birth defects related to thalassemia in China.
On May 13, 2017, BGI, together with YongLin Healthcare Foundation, Taiwan University, Nantworks and HudsonAlpha, announced a cooperative effort to form a league against cancer and formally take joint actions against cancer affecting Chinese populations. Terry Gou, founder of YongLin Healthcare Foundation, announced that the Foundation would provide free gene detection and clinical research for patients with breast cancer and leukemia over the next 10 years and carry out in-depth medical research to benefit more cancer patients. On March 12, YongLin Healthcare Foundation, BGI and the National Taiwan University Cancer Center jointly launched the public welfare program aiming to“cure breast cancer to safeguard Chinese women’s health.”
The Huashan-BGI Center for Precision Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases was launched April 29, 2017, during a signing ceremony for strategic cooperation in Huashan-BGI Precision Medical Center in Shanghai. BGI’s sequencing platforms BGISEQ-500 and BGISEQ-50 have been arranged in the Infectious Diseases Department of Huashan Hospital and a deep sequencing platform has been formally established there. The platform will focus on molecular diagnosis of infectious diseases and can provide patients with acute, critical and serious infection diseases with stronger medical support. In the future, the two partners will carry out more extensive and deeper cooperation, and build a more efficient, convenient, accurate, comprehensive and cost-effective platform for diagnosis of infectious diseases. They will also further assist the clinic in carrying out etiological precise diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, and benefit patients with infectious diseases to improve the overall health of citizens.