BANGKOK: The Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance, Ltd., (APSA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate with Thailand's National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in promoting seed sector collaboration, innovation and development in Asia.
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From left: Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey (APSA Executive Director); Mr. Tahir Saleemi (APSA President); Dr. Prasit Palittapongarnpim (NSTDA Executive Vice President) and Ms. Walaithip Chotiwongpipat (NSTDA Vice President). Scroll down for full photo gallery[/caption]
The MoU was signed on July 31 by NSTDA's Prof. Dr. Prasit Palittapongarnpim (Executive Vice President), and APSA's Mr. Tahir Saleemi (President), with NSTDA Vice President Ms. Walaithip Chotiwongpipat and APSA Executive Director Dr. Kanokwan Chodchoey signing as witnesses.
Held at NSTDA's Business Center in Thailand Science Park, north of Bangkok, the signing ceremony was attended by APSA Vice President Mr. Wichai Laocharoenpornkul, APSA past presidents Mr. Manas Chiaravanond and Dr. Chairerg Sagwansupyakorn, and NSTDA and APSA Secretariat staff.
Fortifying PPP Priorities
Prof. Dr. Prasit Palittapongarnpim opened the ceremony by noting that NSTDA has been active in the "seed cluster" since 2006, working directly with research institutes and private companies as part of a greater "seed hub" strategy to develop the seed industry by addressing R&D needs of key stakeholders -- especially through promotion of downstream value-addition and by emphasizing exports.
In his remarks, APSA President Tahir Saleemi suggested that signing of the MoU only fortified an already-strong relationship. He pointed out that APSA member companies recently collaborated with researchers from NSTDA's National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) in developing a disease resistant screening protocol for tomato. (More details here
"Though APSA has collaborated with the NSTDA, this MoU will effectively be the first under our newly-registered entity name, the Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance, but certainly not our last. This fact underlines the great importance that APSA and the NSTDA place in R&D, specifically in the development of the seed sector of Asian countries through a proven PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model."
Mr. Saleemi added that more than 80% of APSA members are based in Asia, and more than 50% have their own R&D facilities in-house.
"All of these companies have direct links to end users – the market and, indeed, the farmer," he said. "Marrying these factors with the NSTDA’s advanced technological resources and cutting-edge expertise will only have synergistic results for all, and I’m proud to play my part with the signing of this agreement."
Following the signing ceremony, NSTDA staff led the APSA President, Executive Director, Past Presidents and Secretariat Staff on a brief tour of a few labratories: NSTDA's Genome Technology Research lab, led by Dr. Sithichoke Tangphatsornruang, and NSTDA's Monoclonal Antibody Production Labratory, led by Dr. Oraprapai Gajanandana.
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