The University of Karachi and Foshan University of the People’s Republic of China, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Foshan University, according to a press release issued on Sunday.
The Director of the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilisation, University of Karachi, Professor Dr Bilquees Gul on behalf of Karachi University signed the documents while on behalf of Foshan University, Hao Zhifeng inked the MoU.
The MoU is designed for the interest of academic exchanges and scientific research cooperation, on the basis of equality, friendship, mutual assistance and benefits.
The MoU aims to promote modern agriculture in the belt and road countries based on the International Research centre for Environmental Membrane Biology at Foshan University and the Guangdong International Science and Technology cooperation Base for Environmental Membrane Biology.
According to the MoU, both parties have agreed to set up Guangdong Belt and Road Institute of Plant Environmental Sensing and Signaling for modern agriculture.
They have also agreed to set up China International Science and Technology Cooperation base for environmental membrane biology and to set up joint laboratory for environmental membrane biology and plant sensing and signaling.
For the interest of substantial implementation, they have also agreed to organise international conferences, forums and seminars regularly.
They will be involved to apply and to accomplish research projects related to plant membrane biology and modern agriculture. Karachi University and Foshan University have also decided to cooperate with the Belt and Road countries sharing modern agricultural development and provide funds for early career researchers from the Belt and Road countries going to Foshan University for short-term study or scientific research.
According to the MoU, funds and other facilities would be provided for outstanding young scientists from China and Belt and Road countries doing joint PhD programme and to exchange scientists and specialists participating in international scientific events as seminars, conferences, symposia and exhibition.
The representatives of both universities also agreed that any activities mentioned in this Memorandum of Understanding should be negotiated and determined by both parties before virtual practice.
The memorandum would be valid from the date of formal signature by both parties for a period of five years, and would be automatically renewed.
Earlier, the Director ISHU Karachi University, Professor Dr Bilquees Gul, who had participated in first One Belt, One Road Plant Membrane Transport Protein Biology Forum, held from April 08-10 in Foshan University, briefed the participants about latest research being conducted at the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilisation, University of Karachi, and also shed light on the achievements of the Institute’s scholars.
She mentioned that the idea was to bring together some salinity experts at one place to do some brainstorming and discuss how to make their collaboration more efficient and productive. “China and Pakistan have very special relations, and this meeting was very essential to formalise (and boost) collaboration between both countries.” She highlighted that the key idea of the Forum was to bring together plant researchers working in the field of membrane transport biology to discuss recent progress in the field and provide the opportunity for professional networking and collaboration.
Amongst other topics, presentations and discussions at the Forum cover the membrane transporters in stress signaling and adaptation, membranes and plant development, plant nutrient acquisition and processes at root-rhizosphere interface and molecular mechanisms of regulation of transporters activity.
She said that the Foshan University wants to discuss their recent data and explore some possible ways for the collaboration between the laboratories of both universities in the future such as joint publications, grant applications, and co-supervision of research students.