On 25-26 May 2006, BIOTEC welcomed the visit of Dr. Jean-Marcel Ribaut, Director of the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) and Dr. Carmen de Vicente, Director of GCP Sub Program on Capacity Building. The objective was to learn about the research activities on plant biotechnology in Thailand and to explore potential research collaboration under the framework of the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP), in which BIOTEC has been accepted to join the membership since December 2005. The visit program included the Forum on Drought Tolerance, the touring of BIOTEC research facility at Thailand Science Park and the visit of research facility of BIOTEC's Rice Gene Discovery Unit, BIOTEC's Plant Genetic Engineering Research Group and Kasetsart University's Agricultural Biotechnology Center.
Dr. Kanyawim, Director of BIOTEC Central Research Unit, and BIOTEC researchers hosted the touring of BIOTEC research facility at Thailand Science Park.
The Forum on Drought Tolerance was an exchange of information about drought tolerance research in Thailand and in GCP's consortium. Dr. Ribaut gave a presentation focusing on the importance of molecular study in plants for countries where drought is a constraint to economic growth. Key researchers in Thailand were invited to present current status of drought tolerance research in various crops in Thailand such as rice (Rice Gene Discoveryt Unit), ground nut (Khon Kaen University), sugarcane (R&D Division of Mitr Phol Sugarcane Co., Ltd.), maize (Maize and Sorghum Research Station).
Apart from potential research projects in rice and maize that Thailand could contribute to the GCP Consortium, BIOTEC would also work with GCP on capacity building program to organize regional training courses in the near future.