The XX Convention of the Society was held as International Conference on New Horizons in Biotechnology (NHBT-2023), jointly organized by the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Trivandrum, India and BRSI during November 26-29, 2023 at the hotel Residency Tower, Trivandrum. Drs Rajeev Sukumaran and P Binod were its Conveners along with Dr V Vivekanand, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur and Dr T Bhaskar, CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun as Co-conveners. Prof Sudhir Sopory, President of the BRSI was the conference chair; Drs Vivek Agarwal and Madhavan Nampoothiri were co-chairs and Prof Huu Hao Ngo, University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Prof Claude Gilles Dussap, Universite Clermont Auvergne, France and Prof Samir Khanal, University of Hawaii, USA were conference international chairs.Prof Ashok Pandey, Chief Mentor of BRSI was General Chair of NHBT-2023.
NHBT-2023 was participated and supported by the International Bioprocessing Association, France; the Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (CEES)-India; Centre for Developments Communication (CDC)-India, and Elsevier, UK. It was co-sponsored by the AKS University, Satna; Khanal Foundation, USA; TKM Institute of Technology, Kollam; Shree Bhuddha College of Engineering, Kolam; MACFAST, Thiruvalla and CSIR-NISCPR, New Delhi. Biotech Express was its media partner and Taylor & Francis was its book publication partner.
The scientific program of the NHBT-2023 included six themes, viz., Agriculture and Plant Biotechnology, Environmental Biotechnology, Food Biotechnology, Industrial Biotechnology, Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering.
The opening session of NHBT-2023 was held on 26th November 2023 at 1630h in Galaxy in which Dr T Bhaskar, General Secretary, BRSI welcomed the dignitaries on the daisand invites and other participants. Prof Sunil Khare, Vice-President of the Society gave a brief account of the BRSI to the audience and invited them to join the Society as member. Prof Sudhir Sopory, President of the BRSI presided over the function. In his welcome address, he briefly talked about the recent developments taking place in various domains of Biotechnology, especially considering the emerging trends due to AI tools. The guests of honours, Prof Javed Iqbal and Prof Christian Larroche also welcomed the participants; Prof Iqbal gave a brief account of latest development in the areas of drug and vaccines development; Prof Larroche elaborated the activities of the International Bioprocessing Association, which is an associate of BRSI. Prof GD Yadav, the special guest welcomed the delegates and gave a brief account of emerging development and challenges in the areas of energy and fuels. Prof Ashok Pandey, Chief Mentor of BRSI also welcomed the invitees and other delegates and gave the details of NHBT-2023 programs as well as the activities of the Society. He thanked all the sponsors and supporters associated with the organization of NHBT-2023 and made a special acknowledgement and expressed gratitude to the speakers, especially those coming from overseas countries for the participation and support for NHBT-2023.
During the opening session, the Abstract book of the NHBT-2023 and the Yearbook-2023 of BRSI were released by the dignitaries on the dais. This was followed by the release of (i) Special Issue (SI) of the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology (IJEB), which comprised peer-reviewed selected papers presented in the XIX Convention of the Society, held at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati on Dec 1-4, 2022; Mr RS Jayasomu, Editor of IJEB presented the copies of the SI to the dignitaries on the dais, (ii) Special Issue of the Biotech Express (the media partner of BRSI) on BRSI which captured the history and development of BRSI since its establishment in 2003; Mr Kamal Singh, editor of the magazine presented the copies of the SI to the dignitaries, and (iii) release of the three books published by the Taylor & Francis (the book publishing partner of BRSI) for which the editors of the books joined the release on the dais; the books were presented by Dr Bhavik Sawhney to the dignitaries and editors to release. Dr Sawhney also addressed the audience informing them about the BRSI-T&F partnership and invited themembers to join us in various activities being done together.
After the opening session, the most awaited event- the BRSI annual award function was held in which the winners of 2023 Fellows and 2022 annual awards were announced. The dignitaries on the dais gave away the awards to the winners. This was followed by the BRSI Foundation Day Lecture-2023 delivered by Prof Javed Iqbal, CEO, Incor Renovis, Hyderabad, India, who spoke on ‘Natural product inspired differentiation of Human Stem Cells to Neuron-like cells: The implications to neurological disorders’. This was an extremely informative and deep science lecture which saw many questions and comments from the audience. Subsequently, Dr Kartik Rajendran, winner of Young Scientist Award and Dr Bhuwan Mishra, winner of the Industrial Medal Award give brief presentations of their works. With this, the opening session came to an end.
This was followed by the closing session in which the winners of the Best Posters were declared and prizes were given away by the Guest of Honours- Prof Samir Khanal, University of Hawaii, USA and Prof Manoj K Dhar, Director, AcSIR, Ghaziabad. Then the venue for the XXI Convention of the BRSI was announced by Prof Ashok Pandey, who declared Dr DY Patil Institute of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Pune as the host for the convention, which will have Prof Neelu Nawani as its Convener. Prof Nawani made a brief presentation on the plans of conference, which will be an international conference on Advances in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (ICABB-2024) during November 26-29, 2024. Prof Nawani invited the audience to attend the ICABB-2024.
Prof Pandey also announced that a pre-conference as International Conference on Biotechnology will be held on November 23-25, 2024 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, which will be convened by Prof Kashyap Kumar Dubey, Dean, School of Life Sciences, JNU. On behalf of Prof Dubey, Prof Pandey invited the delegates to join the conference. Prof Pandey also reminded to all that the dates for the BRSI main conference and pre-conference have been put in alignment with the XI Biennial International Forum on Industrial Bioprocessing, which will be held on December 1-4, 2024 in Hong Kong.
During November 27-29, 2023, there were a total of 48 plenary talks, 82 invited talks, and 30 short oral presentations were scheduled in 28 sessions. Plenary and invited talks were delivered by internationally acclaimed speakers. A total of 171 posters were presented by the delegates on November 27 and 28, which were evaluated by the independent juries to select the Best Posters. The technical program and posters presentations were coordinated by Dr T Bhaskar, CSIR-IIP, Dehradun; Prof Archana Tiwari, Amity University, Noida; Dr Ayon Tarafdar, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research institute, Izzatnagar; Dr Bavya Balagurumurthy, CSIR-IIP, Dehradun, Dr V Viekanand, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, Dr Ranjna Sirohi, SRN Agricultural University, Jaipur and Dr Preeti Chaturvedi, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow. A total of about 400 participants from 40 countries attended the conference.