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On June 28, 2018, a delegation from American University of Sharjah (AUS), UAE led by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS, visited China National GeneBank (CNGB) to discuss on areas of cooperation such as establishing a joint research center in Sharjah. The delegation included Dr. Wei Zhao, Chief Research Officer of AUS; Dr. James E. Gannon, Professor and Head of Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, AUS; Dr. Xiaobo Xu, Professor of School of Business Administration, AUS.
Dr. Jian Wang, Co-Founder and President of BGI; Dr. Ren Wang, Special Advisor to the BGI Chairman; Mr. Duncan Yu, Executive Vice President of BGI; Dr. Doris Yang, Vice President of BGI College; Dr. Hui Jiang, COO of MGI warmly welcomed the guests.
The delegation was given a tour of CNGB’s facilities to understand its functions, they were briefed on BGI’s commitment on reducing the cost of sequencing by manufacturing higher-throughput, lower-cost sequencing platforms.
During the meeting, the two sides exchanged their views on future cooperation. Dr. Björn Kjerfve expressed strong intention to cooperate with BGI, he also empathize on genomics being one of the key development directions of AUS. The two sides will focus on the establishment of technical platform, talent cultivation and promoting scientific research.
Dr. Jian Wang stated that, BGI is willing to share its experience in sample storage, data management and security based on AUS needs. He also introduced the plan for global innovation center in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, which was highly appreciated by AUS delegation.
Dr. Ren Wang said, on May 25, BGI together with International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, UAE and other partners jointly initiated the Belt and Road Life Science and Technology Advancement Alliance. As an important country along the Belt and Road Initiative, UAE has always been a strategic partner of BGI. In future, the multifaceted cooperation between the two sides will further benefit countries and people along the Belt and Road by utilizing advantages of BGI’s gene technology.
This visit of American University of Sharjah delegation was a follow-up to review ongoing collaboration between two sides and explore new ways of working together to improve people’s livelihood and well-being. The partnership began back in February this year when Dr. Jian Wang led a delegation to visit UAE to discuss all-round cooperation in the areas of research, commercial services, and joint programs for talent development. In April, H.E. Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security of UAE led a delegation including, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA); and Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in joint education and talent exchange. In May, BGI together with International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, UAE and other partners jointly initiated the Belt and Road Life Science and Technology Advancement Alliance.