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August 28th 2007

Contributing to Biotechnology Research in Bangalore India
—Olympus Establishes Imaging Laboratory with the National Center for Biological Science—

Olympus Corporation (President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) and the National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS, Bangalore, India, Director: K. VijayRaghavan) have jointly established the NCBS/Olympus Micro-Imaging Center within the NCBS. The new facility will become operational on September 1, 2007. By making the advanced Olympus optical equipment available to NCBS researchers and students, the NCBS/Olympus Micro-Imaging Center will help to introduce bio-imaging technology, which is essential to life science research, and contribute to the advancement of biotechnology research in India. The NCBS is one of India's most advanced biological research institutes. This is the first time that a laboratory has been established within the NCBS in collaboration with a private sector company.

Exterior view of the NCBS Interior view of the NCBS/Olympus Micro-Imaging Centre
Exterior view of the NCBS Interior view of the NCBS/Olympus Micro-Imaging Centre

Background

The rapid development of India's IT sector has been possible because of the existence of a large pool of highly educated people skilled in mathematics, physics and other related fields. In recent years, India has also built an international profile in life science fields, such as pharmacology and biotechnology. In 2005, the Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India's Ministry of Science & Technology announced a "National Biotechnology Development Strategy". Under this strategy, India is expected to build a biotechnology industry capable of generating income of $5 billion and one million jobs by 2010, and to reap economic benefits in fields ranging from medical science and agriculture to food and the environment. Especially in Bangalore which has become known as the "Silicon Valley of India" because of its concentration of high-tech industries, the development of the biotechnology industry is actually outstanding alongside the IT industry. Many major foreign companies, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, have already invested in the area.

The NCBS, with which Olympus has established the new laboratory, has its headquarters on the campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore. This advanced research institute is part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research founded by Dorabji Tata Trust, India's biggest industrial conglomerate. Its mission is to provide leadership in basic research relating to the biotechnology industry.

Olympus has used optical imaging technology based on decades of involvement in microscope development to develop systems and applications that have made an important contribution to life science research, including the investigation of disease mechanisms and drug efficacy. Bio-imaging, which is used to observe biological phenomena on the molecular level, has become a powerful tool in the relentless efforts of the biotechnology industry to discover new drugs and create new therapies.

The Micro-Imaging Center established by Olympus and the NCBS will provide researchers and students in India, including those affiliated to the NCBS, with opportunities to use the most advanced equipment. It will support research and educational activities using state-of-the-art bio-imaging technology.

Activities

Olympus will install advanced optical imaging equipment to support research and educational programs for researchers and students, including those affiliated to the NCBS, using the most advanced bio-imaging technology. Feedback from users of this equipment will be applied to the development of new technology that will further enhance the effectiveness of Olympus optical equipment.

The Micro-Imaging Center will host training programs, workshops and seminars as educational and training opportunities for researchers and engineers, and as forums for the presentation of research findings. These activities will contribute to the increased use of bio-imaging technology, and to the networking of researchers and engineers.

Profiles

NCBS/Olympus Micro-Imaging Center

Center Director : Dr. Satyajit Mayor (currently professor at NCBS)
Address : National Center for Biological Sciences
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
GKVK, Bellary Road,
Bangalore 560065, India
Area : 77.5m2
Equipment to be installed : · Live cell imaging station (IX81-ZDC)
· Molecular fluorescence imaging system (IX81-TIRFM)
· Disk scan confocal microscope (BX61-DSU)
· Fluorescence macro-microscope (MVX10)
· Fluorescence stereomicroscope (SZX16-RFA)

National Center for Biological Sciences

Director : K.VijayRaghavan
Address : Bangalore, India
Establishment date : 1991
The National Center for Biological Science of India (NCBS) belongs to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Its mission is to carry out basic biotechnology research from various perspectives, including the investigation of molecular, cellular and in vivo phenomena. It has built a team of specialists in various fields, including computer science, mathematics and the natural sciences, and actively collaborates with other research institutes in India and overseas.
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