US$3 billion bid to boost biotech in Brazil
[RIO DE JANEIRO] A Brazilian consortium has unveiled a multi-billion-dollar strategy aimed at making the country a world leader in biotechnology.
The Brazilian Forum of Biotechnology Competitiveness, which includes government agencies, the private sector and academic institutions, announced the plan last week (4 July).
It identifies research areas of that have the potential to boost the competitiveness of Brazilian industry, increase Brazil's participation in global trade, speed up its economic growth, and create jobs.
The overall cost of putting the plan into action will be US$3 billion, which will come from the public and private sectors.
Of this, more than US$530 million is earmarked for health-related biotechnology, including the production of drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases and cutting-edge research in the fields of genomics, proteomics, nano-biotechnology and stem-cell science.
The plan entails creating new funding mechanisms, training, and improving the infrastructure of research institutions.
"It is from an immediate, intense and integrated effort of government, industry and academia that Brazil will be capable of appearing, in 10-15 years, among the leaders in the biotechnology industry, especially in the areas of human health, farming and cattle raising and industrial biotechnology," says the document.
The plan will be presented to president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for approval later this year.