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Merck and CSIR-IMTECH open high-tech skill development centre

Joint academia-industry-led lab is equipped with genome-editing, single-molecule biomarker detection and other technologies

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Merck has announced the opening of a new, non-profit centre where Indian students and researchers can learn the latest genome-editing and single-molecule biomolecule biomarker detection technologies from Merck experts.

“With the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry in India and demand for therapies, researchers who collaborate with us will benefit from our expertise to enhance their scientific competency and develop advanced technologies to accelerate development and production of new therapies,” said Sunil Punjabi, Country Speaker and Head of Research Solutions, Life Science, India. He also added, “They will gain hands-on experience and enhance their skills in areas such as cancer research and novel drug development, conducting real-time analysis on their samples as part of workshops here.”

The centre was developed by Merck in collaboration with CSIR-IMTECH, an institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, under the aegis of Ministry of Science and Technology. It focuses on research, development and training in new drug discovery, affordable healthcare, fast and accurate diagnostics as well as agriculture biotechnology. Located in Chandigarh, the centre augments the Indian government’s initiative for life science skill building in the country.

Dr Shekhar C Mande, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR, said this  collaboration would be a new benchmark for upscaling employability skills for graduates and postgraduates who are interested in life science careers. “India is a country today with 65 per cent of its youth in the working age group (15-59 years) and more than 54 per cent of its total population below 25 years of age,” said Dr Mande. “If ever there is a way to reap this demographic advantage, it has to be through skill development of the youth and I am happy that IMTECH has a role to play,” he added.

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