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China and Belgium Establish Joint Center of Synthetic Biology

Dec 10, 2020

Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie-Flanders Institute of Biotechnology (VIB) signed an agreement on December 9 to co-establish TIB-VIB Joint Center of Synthetic Biology (TV-SynBio).

TIB Director Prof. MA Yanhe and VIB’s Managing Director Dr. Jo Bury signed the agreement on behalf of the both sides, unveiled the nameplate for the joint center, and issued appointment certificates for the co-directors, Prof. JIANG Huifeng from TIB, and Prof. Kevin Verstrepen, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology who will take charge of daily operations and management of the TV-SynBio. Participants watched the publicity video of the National Technology Innovation Center of Synthetic Biology (NC SynBio).

NC SynBio, co-built by CAS and Tianjin Municipal Government, was the third National Technology Innovation Center in China and the only one on biotechnology. TIB is the host Institute of NC SynBio. NC SynBio hopes to build a bridge from synthetic biology R&D to synthetic biology industry, and thus to promote the industrialization of major research achievements of synthetic biology.

To achieve this goal, NC SynBio is working with leading international organizations to establish international Joint Centers, to build a global R&D network for collaborative innovation on synthetic biology, to promote in-depth industry-university-research cooperation, thus to promote the innovative development of synthetic biology and bioeconomy together, according to MA Yanhe.

The TV-SynBio, as one of the International Joint Centers of the NC SynBio, is targeted to provide a synthetic biology platform for joint R&D, staff exchange, information & resources sharing, technology transfer and industrialization on between the two sides.

As a world leading research institute in life sciences, VIB has strong advantages and basis in the research of synthetic biology, also strong ability in tech transfer. TIB is the only whole institute in China working on synthetic biology for industrial biomanufacturing. "The formal establishment of the TV-SynBio will not only link TIB and VIB more closely but also play an important role in promoting the S&T innovation and transformation of S&T achievements in Synthetic biology both for China and Belgium," said MA.

For the first phase of collaboration, both sides will focus on “Yeast synthetic biology and biotechnology” and “Biosynthesis of plant natural products”. After the online signing ceremony, a workshop on Yeast Synthetic Biology was held to discuss detailed collaboration.

 

The Cooperation Agreement on TV-SynBio was signed. (Image by TIB) 

 

Prof. MA Yanhe and Dr. Jo Bury unveiled for the joint center. (Image by TIB) 

 

Appointment Certificates for the co-directors of TV-SynBio (Image by TIB)

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