Novosibirsk Creates Russian Biotechnology Support Center

During the educational Forum "Archipelago 2023", Novosibirsk State University, the Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS (ICG), and "EFKO", the largest food manufacturer in Russia signed a cooperative agreement to establish a joint biotechnology laboratory. The project will combine the efforts of leading Russian scientists in the field of genetic research and EFKO, as an industrial partner, to rapidly move joint scientific research results into production. 

EFKO and the leading Novosibirsk biotechnology schools have experience cooperating on projects. Specifically, together with ICG and Novosibirsk State University, the company studied and developed the taste characteristics of vegetable meat and implemented a project to create new soybean varieties and other products. One of four scientific and technical EFKO councils is based in Novosibirsk under the leadership of Professor Valentin Parmon, RAS Academician, Chairman of the SB RAS Presidium, and Doctor of Chemical Sciences.

Training personnel who are ready to respond to challenges in the field of biotechnology is an important component of joint work. This was among the main issues discussed in the Human+ track at Archipelago 2023. Other topics included ensuring technological sovereignty and advancing the development of domestic technologies.

Vladislav Romantsev, EFKO Director for Strategic Development, explained, 

The primary objective of the laboratory being established on the basis of Novosibirsk State University and the Institute of Cytology and Genetics will be to develop platforms for creating highly effective producer strains necessary for the production of ingredients for the food industry and agriculture. Another key area is the development and application of genomic editing technologies for agricultural plants and the creation of platforms for genomic selection. This is the first step towards establishing a large, modern support center for the development of biotechnologies in Russia.

Mikhail Fedoruk, NSU Rector and RAS Academician, emphasized that the creation of a joint laboratory will strengthen science at the University and as part of the learning process it will give students the opportunity to combine fundamental research with practical application-oriented tasks, 

Novosibirsk Akademgorodok is one of the few places in the country with high level competencies in the field of biotechnology. And, of course, it is important that research meets the needs of Russian manufacturers and work ahead of the curve. Cooperation with such a large partner will allow us to maintain the most relevant agenda and train specialists who are ready not only to work in this market, but also to change it.

Alexei Kochetov, ICG Director ICG and RAS Academician, described his vision,

The development of genetic technologies and their application for solving urgent industry, agriculture, and medical problems is a key ICG objective. It is extremely important for us to cooperate with a responsible industrial partner who is ready to invest resources in the development of a domestic technological platform and with whom we can discuss areas for future cooperation. And, of course, on-going interaction with Novosibirsk State University, our alma mater, whose development program is already implementing the construction of a research building and the organization of new scientific departments in relevant areas of science.