Support Center for Developing Russian Biotechnologies to Be Launched in Novosibirsk 7 August 2023
Joint Laboratory by Novosibirsk State University, Institute of Cytology and Genetics (IC&G) of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and EFKO

Novosibirsk State University, Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and EFKO who is the largest food producer in Russia (trademarks Sloboda, Altero, Hi! plant-based meat and milk) signed a cooperation agreement and negotiated to launch a joint biotechnology laboratory in the framework of Arkhipelag-2023, project and educational intensive course.

The project will pool together the efforts of leading Russian scientists in the field of genetic research and EFKO as an industrial partner for the rapid implementation of joint results of scientific research into production.

An important component of joint work concerns training staff capable of responding to the challenges that biotechnology faces. This discussion, as well as ensuring technological sovereignty and advancing the development of domestic technologies, was one of the main issues of the track "Man+" in the framework of the project and educational intensive course Arkhipelag-2023.

“The main task of the laboratory housed by Novosibirsk State University and the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the RAS will be to develop platforms for growing highly effective producer strains necessary for producing ingredients for food industry and agriculture, – Vladislav Romantsev, Director for Strategic Development at EFKO, says. The second important field is developing and applying genomic editing technologies for agricultural plants and creating platforms for genomic selection. This is the first step towards launching a large contemporary support center for developing biotechnology in Russia.”

Mikhail Fedoruk, the rector of NSU, and a member of the RAS, emphasized that launching a joint laboratory will strengthen their science at the university and allow students to combine fundamental research with practice-focused tasks in the learning process. “Akademgorodok in Novosibirsk is one of the few places in Russia with the most powerful competencies in the field of biotechnology. Doubtless, research objectives must meet both the needs of Russian manufacturers and stay one step ahead. Cooperation with such a major partner will contribute to keeping with the most relevant agenda and train specialists able not only work in this market but also change it.”

“Developing genetic technologies and applying it for addressing urgent challenges of industry, agriculture and medicine is one of the key tasks of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences,” – Alexey Kochetov, Director of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the RAS, the member of RAS, set forth his vision. Cooperation with a responsible industrial partner who is ready to invest resources in developing a domestic technological platform, with which we can discuss venues for future cooperation is of extreme importance for us. And, of course, cooperation with Novosibirsk State University, our alma mater is crucial. Construction of a research building and new scientific departments within relevant areas of science has already been implemented in the framework of our development program.”

BACKGROUND
EFKO and the leading Novosibirsk-based biotechnology schools are united by a great experience of cooperation. In particular, the company together with IC&G and NSU studied and developed the taste of plant-based meat, implemented a project related to creating new varieties of soybeans, etc. Novosibirsk also hosts one of the four scientific and technical councils by EFKO – the one in Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry directed by Pr. Valentin Parmon, a member of RAS, Chairman of the Presidium of the Siberian Branch of the RAS, and Doctor in Chemistry.
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