“We are going to have a biotechnological center functioning in research, technological transfer, training and biotechnological production to serve agriculture, health and environment. The Ho Chi Minh City Biotechnological Center will be a new high-rated model in Southeast Asia”, Dr. Duong Hoa Xo, the director of this center says in delight.
The center will be based in District 12 in an area of 23 hectares, engaging in doing research and applying genetic technology, especially in vaccine production and biological pharmacy (pharmaceutical re-combining protein).
It is a new model with four functions: fundamental and applied research of biotech-related scientific subjects in service of agriculture, health and environment; transfer, consultancy and development of modern biotechnological techniques for biological production; experimental training and professional improvement for the scientific staff; organization of biotech-related businesses.
The center also plans to invite experienced foreign consultants to design such a big modern center. The first phase is to build the Administrative Building, the experimental area and laboratories in three years (2006-2008). The main building will be the office of two hundred researchers. The second phase will be completed in 2010.
At the moment, re-evaluation of the potentials and situation of Ho Chi Minh City biotech market is being carried out at the universities in Ho Chi Minh City as well as throughout the country with a focus on biological products to serve the shrimp and fish culture, gene-transferred plants, orchid multiplication.
Some staff has been sent to Canada, Japan and the US on working visits for the best model for the center. Also, scientists are being selected for further domestic and overseas training to prepare for efficient use of laboratories in the future.
By 2010, the center’s workforce must be at least 200 researchers. Currently, there are only twenty including two doctors and three masters. Thus, the center plans to attract trained human resources as well as foreign biological experts.
According to Mr. Xo, the biggest concerns are human resources and effective management measures. Many other difficult tasks are also given to their scientists.
However, with the city leaders’ determination, it is strongly believed that the projected center is starting to take shape for the modernization and industrialization of the city and the whole country.