03.04.2018 - Natural Sciences Sector

Enhancing partnerships in biotechnology: the Maghrebian-Finnish Biotechnology Symposium 2018

Can pea plant’s immune system be stimulated to defend them against pathogens in Morocco? How can forest biomass be used in a sustainable way to produce biobutanol in Finland as fuel for transportation? What are the current advances in pharmacogenetics testing in Libya, to understand individual responses to drugs? How can new generation DNA sequencing approaches contribute to better characterizing human papillomavirus infections in women in Tunisia? How can the nutritional status of patients suffering from systemic scleroderma in Algeria be evaluated? These were some of the issues discussed during the Maghrebian-Finnish Biotechnology Symposium 2018 (MFBS 2018) held in Juva, Finland, from 19 to 23 March 2018.

The Symposium was officially inaugurated on 20 March by the Chairmen of the Organizing Committee, representatives of Libyan universities and UNESCO as well as the Tunisian Ambassador in Finland and the Mayor of the Municipality of Juva.

The event brought together scientists and researchers, working in different areas of biotechnology, from Finland and North African countries (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia). It included keynote lectures given by eminent international experts and UNESCO representatives, as well as oral and poster communications presented by senior and young researchers. Participants shared information on the latest scientific and technological developments and explored means to enhance multilateral partnerships in four major topics: Enzymes and Microbial Biotechnology, Plant and Animal Biotechnology, Environmental Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical and Health Biotechnology.

UNESCO presented its programmes in biotechnology worldwide, including the role played by Centers of excellence (Category 2 Centers), networks of resource centers and UNESCO chairs, as well as actions in biotechnology education, advocacy and policy. Particular emphasis was given to the presentation of one project especially designed to reinforce human capacities in biotechnology in one country of the Maghreb region through international collaboration in training activities and scientific research, namely the UNESCO-Libyan funds-in-trust Project “Enhancing Capacities of the Biotechnology Research Center (BTRC)”.




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