A New Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Opens at UAEU

A New Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Opens at UAEU

Posted on 20 Jun 2014 Views ( 2078 )

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, opened the Khalifa Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KCBGE) at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) campus in Al Ain, in the presence of Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of UAEU, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, and Minister of Education Humaid Mohammad Al Qutami. The center is the first of its kind in the region and specializes in the genetic fertilization of plants with the aim of increasing agricultural production.

On the occasion, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan took a tour of the center’s various departments and laboratories and listened to a presentation on the center’s vision and goals. He appreciated the center which is named after Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE and the patron of the nation’s overall development and achievements and expressed his support. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan further pointed out that the ongoing directives from the President of the UAE provide the driving force behind the agricultural achievements of the country and are consistent with the strategy to achieve local food security, where local communities can meet their food requirements by depending on local resources and avoid exacerbating current world food deficit problems.

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasized how keen Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, is to maximize the optimum use of human and economic resources to contribute to finding a radical and lasting solution, to support research centers in order to find solutions to the agricultural challenges that face the community, to use advanced techniques for the genetic improvement of plants, to support the strategic integrated agricultural development planning of the nation, to achieve sustainable development in agriculture and plant production, and to advance the UAE's international reputation in scientific research.

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan applauded the wise leader’s support for the various research centers throughout the country and also lauded the continued interest of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan concerning the establishment of the Khalifa Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. This center will form as an international center for research and collaborate with other international and academic research institutions. It will become the location for research on the genetic propagation of local plants, increasing the opportunities for the permanent provision of crops and the control of harmful pests. Adding to that, the center will soon have a strategic aspect to ensure leadership and excellence in higher education and scientific research from local level, regional level and international level as well. It will also contribute positively to the progress of the UAE by making available research centers on a par with the international standards. The center is looking at how to develop knowledge transfer in case studies and in research. It will also increase the opportunities to deliver the knowledge and skills required by university students in genetic engineering, biotechnology, and agriculture as well.

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Noaimi, the Vice Chancellor of UAEU, was honored in the opening ceremony at the University being conducted by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “It is already considered as one of the most important specialist centers in the advancing and developmental processes that play a vital role in agricultural research and the development of the country,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that Khalifa Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering was established with the support of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs with additional support from Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It is one of the most important specialist research centers for the genetic fertilization of plants and one of the few centers in the Arab world concerned with the quantity and quality of agricultural production.

The center can help facilitate a response to the issue of food consumption and help to avoid a future food gap due to potential overpopulation. Adding to that it helps improve the performance and effectiveness of the agricultural sector, increases agricultural productivity through the introduction of modern agricultural technologies and contributes to the development of intra-regional trade at the local level while promoting marketing capabilities in agricultural commodities. It also supports the economic integration of agriculture and provides a state-of-the-art agricultural environment that keeps pace with the strategic goals and future visions for the agricultural development of the country; and at regional and international level by establishing partnership collaborations, exchanges, and investment in the different agricultural sectors.