What We Do
There is increasing international recognition that science- and technology-intensive solutions can significantly improve quality of life. This is particularly true, where biotechnology is concerned, since this field is of paramount interest for health (including the development of new medicines, vaccines and diagnostic procedures), agriculture (through the generation of plants with improved nutritional value and biotic- and abiotic-stress resistant crops), and the environment (by reducing waste and pollution).
To be effective, such research-driven solutions, however, must not be restricted to developed countries, but need to be directly implemented in developing countries themselves. Towards this goal, a serious effort is required to build human capacities through a global approach, which includes training in science and in the applications of science, fostering innovation, building entrepreneurship and valuing intellectual property.
These issues are central to the mission of the ICGEB: a unique research institution blending high standard academic goals, focus on developing countries and a mandate on capacity building. Across its three Components, in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa, cutting-edge research is carried out, with scientific excellence as a major objective. Research activity focuses on issues of utmost relevance for developing countries, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, plant biotechnology, as well as on basic research topics that can be effectively tackled through a science-based approach focusing on research and on the ensuing biomedical and agricultural applications.
Members can share intellectual property rights generated by ICGEB research and specific programmes are in place for direct technology transfer.
ICGEB plays an important role in biosafety-related issues and in the environmentally sustainable use of biotechnology.
The Centre provides an on-line, biobliographic database on Biosafety, a search mechanism on risk assessment for the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). ICGEB is active in enhancing the safe and peaceful use of biotechnology and is promoting the adoption of ethical codes for researchers working in life sciences, while developing original policies to intellectual property. In addition, technical advice is provided to Member States on request for the formulation of national bioscience policy; definition of research goals; development of national bioindustries, and the establishment of national biotechnology laboratories.
Cooperation with other International Agencies is promoted to harmonise and speed up projects of common interest. Some of the Organisations with which ICGEB maintains close contact and collaboration are:
Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physic ICTP (Trieste)
Elettra Synchrotron (Trieste)
European Commission EC
European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO
International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA
International School for Advanced Studies SISSA (Trieste)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD
The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World TWAS (Trieste)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO
United Nations Environment Programme UNEP
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO
World Health Organization WHO