Science, Technology & Innovation : The blossoming teamwork between McGill’s Macdonald campus and Thailand’s BIOTEC News

Science, Technology & Innovation : The blossoming teamwork between McGill’s Macdonald campus and Thailand’s BIOTEC

On May 20, 2015, Ambassador Vijavat led a team from the Embassy to visit McGill University’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the Macdonald campus for a meeting with Professor Chandra Madramootoo, Dean of the Faculty, and Dr. Alan Watson, an expert on biocontrol.  The objective was to follow up on the research collaboration between McGill and Thailand, which started last year and has been going strong ever since.

              

From left to right: Minister Nantana, Ambassador Vijavat, Dean Madramootoo,
and Dr. Watson

 

 

Readers may recall that it was in March 2014 that Ambassador Pisan first visited McGill University, when he was invited by the Principal, Dr. Fortier, to return for another visit to the Macdonald campus.  In July 2014 we took up the invitation and had a very fruitful meeting with a group of researchers from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, led by Professor Madramootoo.

One concrete outcome of the meeting was the connection made between the Faculty, especially Dr. Watson, and our National Center on Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) in the area of biocontrol.  Dr. Watson, who is an expert on biopesticides and bioherbicides, was invited by BIOTEC to join the 10th International Mycological Conference in Bangkok in August 2014 and met with BIOTEC and other universities’ researchers who shared the same interests.  The visit was a success and the report of Dr. Watson’s visit can be found here.



Thanks to the first contact, we are very happy to report that Dr. Watson will be making another visit to Thailand this June (June 2015) for a Workshop on Beauveria bassiana (a type of fungus used as biopesticide) organized by BIOTEC and partly funded by our embassy. 

Dr. Watson will be meeting with BIOTEC researchers, local rice and chili growers, and biopesticide producers in order to exchange knowledge and experience on biopesticide production, licensing, and application on farms.  The workshop would be an important stepping stone towards an expansion in the production of this type of biopesticide and a wider use among local growers.

We also learned about another potential project between McGill and BIOTEC that builds on the biopesticide collaboration.  This project, which is at a proposal stage, seeks to expand on the scope of collaboration to include researchers, food growers, and potential biopesticide producers from ASEAN and Canada.

We are following this development closely and will report to you on its progress.  It is surely a delight to witness this dynamic relationship which has potential benefits for both Canada and Thailand. 


                                            

This very productive visit ended with Dr. Watson presenting fresh asparagus grown on campus to Ambassador and Minister.  Yum!                                                                                                         

 

    Reported by

Supanai Sookmark
    27 May 2015