1. HISTORY OF ESTABLISHMENT
Name of Biotechnology Research and Development Institute was initially Department of Microbiology founded by Prof Tran Phuoc Duong since the 1960s. Prof Tran Phuoc Duong also held concurrently Dean of the College of Science at that time. The Department of Microbiology met abundantly to the demands of the society like: bread yeast, mushroom yeast, microbial fertilizers. To exploit abundant biological nitrogen sources in the Mekong Delta, the Can Tho University (CTU) Rectorate established Biological Nitrogen Fixation Research Center in 1981. The primary mission of the Center was to study the exploitation of biological nitrogen, such as single-cell protein, yeasts, or biological nitrogen fixation from the symbiosis between rhizobia and legumes such as soybean, peanuts, etc…. Besides, The Center has been responsible for teaching in general microbiology, soil microbiology, animal microbiology, aquatic microbiology, industrial microbiology, and in supervising the theses for students not only from other colleges within CTU but also from other centers and institutes in the Mekong Delta. The Center also had a permission from the Ministry of Education and Training for training of doctoral level in microbiology (1985).
In 1991 the Minister of Education and Training signed a decision to change the name of the Center into Biotechnology Research and Development Center belonged to the CTU Rectorate. Later, the Decision No. 2960/GD&DT on August 26, 1995 the Minister of Education and Training renamed the Center into Biotechnology Research and Development Institute (BiRDI) belonged to the CTU rectorate.
From the retirement of Prof Tran Phuoc Duong in 2003, Can Tho University appointed Dr Ha Thanh Toan to be the director of the BirDI until October 2008.
2. FUNCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Function of BiRDI is doing research, transfering technology and training on Biotechnology in order to serve for production with the purpose of increasing income and improve living conditions of farmers in the Mekong Delta. Besides, biotechnology research and development is also a part of training program for BSc level and further higher levels (MSc, PhD).
The main objectives of BiRDI are :
- Integrate activities in scientific research, training and technology transfer on Biotechnology meeting to the requirements of production in the Mekong Delta.
- Establish and expand research projects on Biotechnology relating to problems in the Mekong Delta. In order to serve scientific research and technology transfer, BiRDI is actively seeking and effectively developing the budget supported by the government and provincial collaborations, companies and international cooperation.
- Offer BSc. and MSc. in Biotechnology and PhD-Microbiology program.
- Take a part in training for undergraduate and graduate students from CTU as well as from other colleges/schools in the Mekong Delta, conducting experiments for their theses at BiRDI, using the facilities and under the guidance of BiRDI staffs, offering the advanced BSc course in Biotechnology.
- Do research and transfer the technology relating to Biotechnology.
- Transfer new developed technology to improve traditional processes and to develop advanced technology serving economic and social development, emerging to regional and international market.
- Manage and improve quality of products in the Mekong Delta in molecular level for microorganisms, plants, animals, post-harvest technology, foods and environment. It is the scientific markers for product certification in nationwide and international.
- Manage and exploit effectively facilities of BiRDI, use in effectiveness the investment of central and local government, international organizations and with enthusiastic effort of staff members, BiRDI has developed the human resource, upgraded the facilities, transfer high technologies and trained staff with advanced knowledge of Biotechnology.
* Board of directors: 01 director for general management; 01 vice director for permanent management in production and finance; 01 vice director for research and international collaboration.
* Groups of specialization:
1) Molecular Biotechnology:
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Laboratory of Enzyme-Protein
Laboratory of Plant-Molecular Biology
2) Food Biotechnology
Laboratory of Food Microbiology
Laboratory of Food Biochemistry
Laboratory of Microbiology
Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology
4) Official group
Head of the office responsible for organization, equipment and chemical agents
Deputy Head of the Office charging academic affairs.
5) Service and Production group
Trial production from research works
Advertising and transfering technologies
4. MATERIAL FACILITIES
BiRDI has 12 laboratories with a total of 1,200m2, including service rooms such as offices, stores, meeting room, computer room (50m2), one production pilot (130 m2) and one pilot plant to produce new products to serve society (400 m2). Most of facilities were built up at the beginning of the year 1980s, some of them have been newly established or renovated to be available with new activities and modern equipment. In 2002, Minister of Education and Training accepted the project “Strengthening the facilities for the microbial laboratory of BiRDI” with budget of 3,58 billions VND. The Rectorate also assigned for BiRDI 2/3 of the three-floor building with 1.440m2 to establish the center for examining and detecting the microbial pathogen by modern techniques on plants, shrimp, food etc., and other research activities.