South Africa and Cuba to cooperate on biotechnology science
Posted: 19 May 2009 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]
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SAPA

South Africa and Cuba have agreed to work together in the field of technology, the department of science and technology said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said the focus would be on biotechnology, climate change, renewable energy technologies and nanotechnology.

He explained that Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and her Cuban counterpart Fernando Gonzalez Bermudez agreed to work together after a bilateral meeting in Pretoria on Monday.

Bermudez was in the country at the invitation of former minister of science and technology, Mosibudi Mangena.

In 2001, South Africa signed the Science and Technology Agreement with Cuba.

Part of the agreement is collaborative research activities in biotechnology.

HPV Rotavirus project

The signing of the agreement was followed by a number of exchange visits between the two countries, with the aim of sharing information on science and technology and clarifying areas of co-operation.

“The visit by Dr Bermudez to South Africa was therefore to strengthen and further the relations between the two countries, and to finalise agreement on the main topics for collaboration,” said Ngqengelele.

The biotechnology projects being pursued between the two countries are the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Rotavirus project and the pre-clinical drug development project.

The HPV Rotavirus project is co-ordinated by Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town, while the pre-clinical drug development project is co-ordinated by BioPAD and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The department of science and technology has been funding the HPV Rotavirus project since 2008 and funding would last until 2011.

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