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On September 24, 2018, a delegation from Queensland, Australia visited China National GeneBank (CNGB) in Shenzhen to discuss prospects of cooperation with CNGB and BGI-Research. Prof John Hooper, Team Leader of Cancer Biology in Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland; Mr. Stephen Williams, Deputy Director Queensland Alliance for Agriculture & Food Innovation (QAAFI) among others were in the delegation.
Dr. Wang Ren, Senior Vice President of BGI; Dr. Bicheng Yang, Director of BGI Australia; Mr. Jason Chen, Director of Global Partnership Business Development of CNGB, and Ms. Casey Zheng, Director of Public Affairs, BGI Global Development and other representatives warmly welcomed the delegation.
Two sides discussed the cooperation on tropical rainforest research and gene bank in Australia and signed the Collaboration Agreement to jointly carry out genomic research on tropical rainforest phytocoenosis, aiming to provide scientific guidance for the development of local tropical rainforest conservation strategies.
The delegation was shown around the CNGB's facilities to fully understand an integrated infrastructure of "Three Banks and Two Platforms", and briefed on the application of gene technology and new development of BGI’s high-throughput sequencing solutions.
During the meeting, Dr. Wang Ren briefed the delegation on the global development of BGI and international cooperation and alliances. He also highlighted BGI’s commitment to reducing the sequencing cost by manufacturing higher-throughput, lower-cost sequencing platforms. Dr. Yang Bicheng, Director of BGI Australia, introduced the BGI strategic plan and the progress of the projects that have been carried out in Australia.
Following the talks, Mr. Jason Chen and Mr. Stephen Williams signed a collaboration agreement on scientific research of tropical rainforest in Australia, the signing ceremony was witnessed by the representatives of both sides. CNGB and BGI-Research will collaborate with research teams of the University of Queensland, the Australian Tropical Herbarium, and the Queensland Tropical Herbarium to carried out genomics research for a reinterpretation of observed continental-scale patterns in genetic diversity and species, community dynamics, as well as new testable hypotheses in biogeographic studies, and adaptive potential.
This newly extended cooperation is built upon the already existing cooperative relationship. CNGB, BGI-Research, and QAAFI also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this year in April on scientific research in Australian Gene Bank project. CNGB has established long-term cooperative relationships with more than 30 enterprises including research institutions, universities, botanical gardens, museums and zoos in Australia. The two sides will make good use of their advantages on collaborative research in biodiversity and to further promote the talent cultivation. CNGB will continue to actively explore opportunities for global cooperation and leverage its technological advantages in Australia and the world.
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation:
The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is a world-leading research institute, comprised of three inter-related research centres, with a focus on the challenges facing tropical and sub-tropical food and agribusiness sectors in the tropical and subtropical systems. Established in October 2010, QAAFI benefits from the collective strengths of the Queensland Government and The University of Queensland. The institute brings together high-level expertise in the plant, animal, and food sciences to deliver high-impact research and development outcomes across the agriculture and food sectors. QAAFI researchers work across three broad disciplines – animal science, nutrition and food sciences, and plant science.