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BGI Partners With Smithsonian Institution on Biodiversity

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – BGI and The Smithsonian Institution today announced a Memorandum of Understanding at BGI headquarters in Shenzen, China that sets the stage for a collaboration on biodiversity.

The agreement provides a framework of collaboration between the two organizations, which plan to collaborate on environmental and biological science, including genomics-driven research on biodiversity, evolution, ecology, economically important species, and conservation. The partners will also establish global networks for information sharing and develop training initiatives for scientists.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and recently established the Smithsonian Institute for Biodiversity Genomics.

Smithsonian and BGI will also collaborate on developing science education and popularization. "Smithsonian has set up a brilliant example in this way for the whole world, by using the language understood by all the general citizens," BGI Chairman Huanming Yang said in a statement. "I believe our collaboration will be win-win concerning both research and education science."

In 2013, the Smithsonian collaborated with the China National Genebank to advance biodiversity research. In July, it announced an initiative to capture half of the living plant genomic diversity on Earth.