Department of Biotechnology Current Affairs
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Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Union Ministry of Science and Technology has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Energy Agency (IEA) for enhancing innovation for Clean Energy Transition. The MoU seeks to deepen co-operation in support of clean energy innovations to accelerate research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies in India. It will also help support generation of data for policymaking and improve knowledge of good policy practices for innovation in India and around the world.
The MoU will ensure cooperation for sharing of energy policies on RD&D and sharing of best practices on data collection and analysis. It also has provision for activities such as training and capacity building and accelerating energy innovation by identifying sources of finance. The MoU will be coordinated for Union Ministry of Sceince & Technology by Mission Innovation India Unit set up by DBT and for IEA it will be coordinated by its International Partnership and Initiatives Unit (IPI). It will be initially valid for three years.
International Energy Agency (IEA)
IEA is an inter-governmental organization established in 1974 as per framework of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It was established in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis after the OPEC cartel had shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices. Presently it has 30 member countries including India. It is headquartered in Paris, France.
Its prime focus is on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development and environmental protection. It also seeks to promote alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co-operation. It acts as energy policy advisor to 29 member countries and also non-member countries like China and Russia.
The two day international conference on Sustainable Biofuels was held in New Delhi. It was jointly being organized by Department of Biotechnology and Biofuture platform.
It aimed to provide common platform to Government policy makers, industry, investors and research community to exchange experiences and challenges related to development and scaling of advance biofuels. It also focused on concerns of private sectors to speed up large scale production of sustainable biofuels.
The conference also aimed to provide clear understanding of development in bio-economy made by participating countries, increase awareness of policy makers about challenges faced by industry-investor for commercial scale up of advanced biofuels.
It also provided common platform to experts and delegates from 19 countries including representatives from mission innovation member countries in Sustainable Biofuels sector to take stock of current knowledge, share information and best practices, and build consensus on the actions most needed to move forward.
Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Ministry of Science & Technology is nodal agency coordinating and steering activities of Mission Innovation (MI) in India. Mission Innovation India unit was set-up in 2017 by DBT at ICGEB, New Delhi. DBT has lead in ushering R&D in advanced biofuels and has set up four large Bioenergy Research Centres.
DBT also has established Sustainable Biofuel Innovation Challenge (SBIC) under MI. It aims to accelerate research, development and deployment of low cost, high GHG impacting advanced biofuels. It will build on existing knowledge of individual participating countries and international institutes like IEA, IRENA and in collaboration of Biofuture Platform coordinated by Brazil as program Secretariat. The aim of this cooperation is to avoid duplication of efforts and define clear areas of collaboration for speeding up of innovations in this area.