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UK, India, Planning 'Omics, SynBio Collaborative Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) –The UK and India plan to fund genomics and systems and synthetic biology research projects under a £10 million ($15.7 million) partnership focused on developing new sustainable bioenergy technologies, the UK Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts said on Tuesday.

The planned funding call will be supported by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Indian Government Department of Biotechnology (DBT), with each country supporting the research efforts conducted by their investigators.

The program is the product of a workshop held in New Delhi in October between UK and Indian bioenergy researchers, who agreed upon three major possible areas for collaboration, including using genomics to improve algae for biofuel product; using systems and synthetic biology to develop microbes capable of producing biofuels from sugars found in the indigestible regions of woody plants and algae; and identifying and characterizing new enzymes from processing plants and algae for bioenergy.

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