21 Jan 2020
The XVII Convention of the Society was held as International Conference on New Horizons in Biotechnology organized by the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Trivandrum during November 20-24, 2019. Drs K Madhavan Nampoothiri, Rajeev K Sukumaran and P Binod were its main organizers.
NHBT-2019, the international conference on New Horizons in Biotechnology was jointly organized by the Biotech Research Society, India (BRSI) and CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Trivandrum during November 20-24, 2019. This was 16th Annual Convention of the BRSI. The venue for the event was Hotel Residency Tower, Press Road, Trivandrum. The conference was attended by nearly 500 delegates from 33 countries.
NHBT-2019 focused on the recent developments on the frontier areas of Biotechnology and brought together scientists, engineers and other experts from across the world to deliberate on global developments in this area, especially on internationally and nationally relevant areas such as green energy and materials through biotechnology, emerging threats of multidrug resistant drugs and the strategies to combat them, microbial products, genomics and molecular biology, industrial microbiology and biotechnology and environmental biotechnology. The conference had four parallel sessions during 21st – 23rd November where the delegates presented and discussed multiple topics. There were also two mini symposia, one on Biofuels and Biorefineries and the other on Healthcare Biotechnology as part of the conference. Some 267 posters were presented in the different topics on 21st and 22nd November at YMCA hall adjacent to the main venue.
The conference was actively supported and participated by the international professional bodies –Elsevier (UK); CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur; International Bioprocessing Association: International Forum on Industrial Bioprocesses (IBA-IFIBIOP); International Organization for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IOBB); Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability-India; MACFAST, Thiruvalla, and Khanal Foundation, Nepal. Several academic journals, namely, Bioresource Technology, Bioresource Technology Reports, Industrial Crops and Products, Bioengineered, Amylase, Energy & Environment, Journal of Energy and Environmental Sustainability and Indian Journal of Experimental Biology would bring out special issues based on the presentations made in the conference.
NHBT-2019 was formally opened on 20th November 2019 in which eminent speakers, including Prof TP Singh, Chairman, BRSI; Prof C Larroche, Administrator, IBA-IFIBiop, France; Prof RD Tyagi, INRS, Quebec, Canada; Prof Alok Dhawan, Director, CSIR-IITR, Lucknow; Dr Anjan Ray, Director, CSIR-IIP, Dehradun; Prof Ashok Pandey, Chief Mentor, BRSI & General Chair, NHBT-2019 addressed the audience. This was followed by the BRSI annual awards function in which winners under different categories were honoured for their outstanding contributions in different domains of Biotechnology. Dr Madhavan Nampoothiri welcomed the delegates and thanked all the stakeholders associated with the event for its success. Dr Rajeev Sukumaran gave a glimpse of the technical details of the event. Dr P Binod, COE, BRSI conducted the award ceremony as Master of ceremony.
Scientific sessions started on 21st November morning with lectures from BRSI awards winner. This was followed by three keynote presentations Dr. Alok Dhawan, Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research on the role of toxicology in environmental research; Dr. Anjan Ray, Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum on establishing a national supply chain of lipids/oil for biofuel applications, and Prof Roger Ruan from University of Minnsotta, USA on sustainable circular economy technologies development and applications. Subsequently, oral presentations were held in four parallel sessions in which 17 plenary speakers and 121 invited speakers presented their talks.
The conference was unique in offering two workshops, and an Industry- Young Researcher Interactive session. Among the two workshops, one was on scientific writing mentored by Dr. Eldon Rene from Institute of Water Education, Delft, Netherlands and the other on how to do rapid fire presentations by Prof Michel Saur, Institute of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
The Industry-Young Researcher Interactive Session was attended by leading Biotech companies of the country and their officials/R&D heads would interact with students and young scientists on the Biotechnology R&D Scenario of the country and the opportunities, challenges and employment possibilities in this area. This was moderated by Dr Raghavendra Gaikaiwari, CMD, Hitech Biosciences, Pune and supported by Dr Vivek Agarwal, CMD, CDC India, Jaipur; Dr Vivek Morya, CEO, Aditha Biotech, Lucknow and Dr Ramesh Shettar, Godawari Biorefineries, Bangalore.
The closing session of NHBT-2019 was held on 23rd November 2019 in which awards were conferred by Prof CG Dussap, Charter President, IBA-IFIBiop, Prof RD Tyagi, Vice-President, IBA; Dr R Gaikaiwari, CMD, HTBS, Pune and Dr V Agarwal, CMD, CDC India to winners under different category, including Research Excellence awards sponsored by Khanal Foundation, Nepal and by the Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability-India, Lucknow. Also, BRSI awards for best presentation under RFP and posters were conferred. Dr T Bhaskar, General Secretary, BRSI conducted the awards ceremony during this session. Prof Sunil Khare, Vice-chairman of BRSI announced Jaipur as the host city for the 17th BRSI event to be held during November 8-11, 2020. With this, the event came to a close.