Brazil to boost biotechnology sector

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 7 (IANS) Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has urged scientists to design a programme to promote biotechnology research and industrial production.

President Rousseff "recommended creating a biotechnology programme to be developed by the Science and Technology and Education ministries", Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marco Antonio Raupp said Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

Rousseff made the remarks at a National Science and Technology Council meeting. She urged council members to focus on key sectors to promote biological technology and industry, calling for investment in laboratories that can be used by both academics and companies, according to Raupp.

The government also wants to expand the network of laboratories at state universities, Raupp added, saying that "the federal university system is expanding and we need to equip labs, (and students) need to learn by doing experiments, using laboratories".

The National Industry Confederation released a statement Wednesday describing 2012 as "a lost year" for a 2.7-percent slip in Brazil's industrial production, which grew 10.5 percent in 2010 and a scant 0.4 percent in 2011.


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