Marine Biotechnology in Vietnam

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National strategy for biotechnology

A Development Programme in Biotechnology was established in 1994 for the period 1995-2010 managed by MOSTE, the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. A National Commission on Biotechnology was established in 1997.

National strategy for marine biotechnology

There is no national strategy for marine biotechnology. However, VAST, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, issued a President’s Letter in August 2012 that foresees increased efforts in ecology and marine biotechnology for sustainable use of Vietnam’s marine biodiversity, noted as one of the 16 top ‘hot spots’ in the world [1]. There is a State Biofuel Development Program of 2007, which provides a framework for use of marine biomass for bioenergy.

Centres of marine biotechnology research

VAST [2], has several institutes relevant for marine biotechnology, including Ecology and Biological Resources , Natural Products Chemistry , Marine Environment and Resources , Biotechnology and NITRA, the Nhatrang Institute of Technology Research and Application . NITRA works on genetic resources and cultivation improvement for seaweeds, high-value enzymes from marine organisms, biotechnology for aquaculture development and new bioactives. The Institute of Biotechnology at the National Centre of Natural Science and Technology researches microorganisms and basic biotechnology.

Several Universities in Vietnam are involved in marine biotechnology:

The Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology at VNU, Vietnam National University [3] hosts the Vietnam Type Culture Collection VTCC and works on biodiversity, taxonomy, enzyme and protein technology, molecular genetics, microbiology, microalgae, fungi, fermentation and downstream processing technology. IMB uses genomics to identify potential novel bioactives with applications in medicine, agriculture, and food processing;

The Department of Aquatic Resources Management carries out some biotechnology work concerned with discharge reduction for fish and seafood production; molecular biotechnology is included in the degree course [4];

The Department of Biotechnology at Ho Chi Minh International University works on marine bioactives and biofuels, advanced aquaculture and environmental remediation [5];

Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University was a partner in the EU-funded project COLORSPORE, which aimed to find new natural carotenoids from, among other organisms, marine Bacillus species;

Ho Chi Minh City Biotechnology Center has developed PCR-based tests for shrimp diseases.

Seaweeds are farmed in Vietnam for food and industrial purposes, including Kappaphycus alvarezii, Sargassum and Gracilaria tenuistipitata, and these are being investigated for biofuels use.

Infrastructures

Work on the Ho Chi Minh City Biotechnology Park began in 2010 with an investment of US$100M, incorporating the HCMC Biotechnology Center. 6 of the 12 planned laboratories will be used for aquaculture, seafood and environmental biotechnology.

References

  1. http://www.vast.ac.vn/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1188:investigating-and-accessing-vietnams-marine-biological-resources&catid=28:national-science-and-technogory-news&Itemid=34
  2. http://www.vast.ac.vn/index.php
  3. http://www.vnu.vn/en/contents/index.php?ID=939
  4. http://www.wix.com/iuaquatic/ardweb
  5. http://csc.hcmiu.edu.vn/biotechnology/index.php/deparment-of-biotechnology/research

Disclaimer

This draft country profile is based on available online information sources and contributions from various country experts and stakeholders. It does not aim nor claim to be complete or final, but should be considered as a dynamic and living information resource that will be elaborated, updated and improved as more information becomes available, including further inputs from experts and stakeholders.

The information on this page is based on information initially compiled by Meredith Lloyd-Evans (BioBridge) as part of the CSA MarineBiotech Project activities (2011-2013).