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BGI Opens Asia-Pacific Regional Office, Inks Agreements With Queensland Researchers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – BGI has signed agreements with researchers at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Griffith University, and James Cook University to collaborate on genomic projects related to human medicine and health, sports health, marine science, biodiversity, agriculture, and aquaculture.

CSIRO Agriculture and Food Research Director Graham Bonnett noted in a statement that the partnership will support his organization's efforts to explore a new millet cropping option. "CSIRO has deep expertise in farming systems and crop improvement, and works successfully with a range of partners," he said. "With BGI, we are keen to collaborate on a joint research program that leads to a profitable production system that includes high performing millet cultivars."

For its part, Griffith University's collaboration with BGI will focus on areas such as immunology and chronic fatigue syndrome research, according to Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Ned Pankhurst. "Collaboration with BGI will complement our capabilities in genome sequencing and could lead to development of new genetic tests and approaches to treatments," he said in a statement

Financial and other terms of the agreements with these institutions were not disclosed.

BGI also said today that it has opened its new Australian and Asia Pacific headquarters at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. The new office will initially employ 10 people.

According to BGI President and co-founder Jian Wang, the strength of Queensland's existing life science institutions, industries and networks made it an obvious choice for BGI's new research and development, and commercialization center. "BGI has already established some very strong links with Queensland research institutes on genomics research related to biodiversity, crop improvement, environment and diseases," he said in a statement. "Today's agreements deepen these relationships further and we look forward to working together to improve our future and life."

Wang said that BGI plans to pursue additional collaboration opportunities in the Queensland area and other parts of Australia.

Earlier this week, BGI announced that it will begin offering products developed by Israeli ag-bio bioinformatics firm NRGene as part of its genomics analysis services for use in agricultural research projects.