Investment in Colombian bio-economy
Great Britain this month agreed to invest $25 million (£20 million) in a Colombian bio-economy research program, whose goals include the development of plant-based drugs, as well as bio-fertilisers that sustainably increase crop yields.
The program will also seek to reverse deforestation, mainly in southern Colombia, which is part of the Amazon river basin.
Great Britain previously committed $55 million (£45 million) to deal with the deforestation issue.
The bioeconomy program will be administered by Colciencias, part of the National System for Science, Technology and Innovation, a division of the Presidency.
One of the main operations of Colciencias involves support for academic research in Colombia and abroad, including subsidies for masters degrees and full scholarships for doctoral studies.
At the pre university level, Colciencias helps students participate in internships in academic and other research programs, and in local projects.
Colciencias in addition collaborates with private enterprise in research projects, in areas which include agriculture, environment, marine biology, and bio- and info-technology.
In Britain, the program will be supervised by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), created last July as a result of a merger between the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
“The United Kingdom is Colombia’s number one partner for research collaboration and a vital ally in the fight to halt and reverse deforestation”, said Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, a division of BEIS.