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ESRF Access Program

Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) and European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) have entered into an agreement concerning the medium-term use of synchrotron for non-propriety research for the benefit of the Indian scientific community as a whole, and notably the structural biology research groups. The program provides access to Indian investigators to experimental stations for macromolecular crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering and Cryo-Electron Microscopy located in ESRF. The DBT-supported ESRF access program of the RCB helps Indian researchers to carry out experiments at this unique facility located in Grenoble, France. The program, in its current form, was initially flagged off in June, 2017 by the Honourable Minister for Science & Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in the presence of Prof. Sudhanshut Vrati and the then DBT Secretary, Prof. K. VijayRaghavan. The initial agreement was renewed by Prof. Vrati and Dr. Francesco Sette (Director General, ESRF) for another three years till January, 2023.

In the last five years, researchers from 28 different institutes from all over India have obtained X-ray diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering or Electron Microscopy data for different macromolecules and macromolecular assemblies. The list of institutions are as follows: - Institute of Microbial Technology (Chandigarh), Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi), Institute of Life Sciences (Bhubhaneswar), Institute of Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine (Bangalore), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (New Delhi), Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), Poornaprajna Institute of Scientific Research (Bangalore), Regional Centre for Biotechnology (Faridabad), Indian Institute of Science Education & Research-Pune, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur, National Centre for Cell Sciences (Pune), Indian Institute of Science Education & Research-Thiruvananthapuram, Central Drug Research Institute (Lucknow), Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (Kolkata), St. Xaviers College (Kolkata), National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (Bangalore), National Institute of Science Education & Research (Bhubhaneswar), CSIR-Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (New Delhi), CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute (Chennai), University of Madras (Chennai), International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (New Delhi), Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (Mumbai), Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (Faridabad), National Chemical Laboratories (Pune), National Centre for Biological Sciences (Bangalore), National Centre for Cell Sciences (Pune) and National Institute of Plant Genome Research (New Delhi).

The ESRF access program has enabled Indian researchers to publish more than 170 research papers involving basic and applied research in the last five years, in international peer-reviewed journals. Due to this program, a number of researchers, especially PhD students, have been trained in cutting-edge methods in Structural Biology. The program has helped Indian scientists to obtain data that will aid formulation of innovative solutions to problems faced by the nation in the areas of health, agriculture and environment.