New Delhi: Nobel laureate and Danish Professor Morten Meldal called on Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh and discussed bilateral cooperation in pharmaceuticals and promoting chemistry studies among schoolchildren, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a press release on Friday.

Professor Meldal was jointly awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the groundbreaking development of 'Click chemistry and bio-orthogonal chemistry'.

He was also accompanied by his wife, Phaedria Marie St. Hilaire, who is a life science business leader, a DEIB Advocate and an angel investor.

Pointing out that Denmark has a vibrant biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry and some of the finest world-class laboratories, Prof Meldal evinced interest in research and development (R&D), academia and business tie-ups during his visit to India

Denmark is home to major international pharmaceutical companies such as Novo Nordisk, Lundbeck, LEO Pharma and ALK. Novo Nordisk alone holds a 50 per cent share of the global insulin market, the Ministry stated.

Prof Meldal said Denmark's biotech and pharma cluster has a global reputation for cutting-edge research, particularly in cancer, the central nervous system (CNS), diabetes care and within inflammatory and infectious diseases. The Nordic nation has one of the strongest clusters in the world when it comes to biotech and life science, based on robust public-private partnerships.

Notably, Prof Meldal has also delivered lectures at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), IIT Delhi and Miranda House in the city.

He further said that he was very impressed with the work done at the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector enterprise set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

Welcoming Prof Meldal's interest in India's biotechnology and pharma industries, Jitendra Singh said the two countries can engage in any sector in the sciences and proposed a long-term plan that could be worked out.

Prof Meldal said experiments are on in Denmark to find an antibacterial and antiviral drug to treat Tuberculosis (TB).

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's five-pronged strategy to curb TB, consisting of Trace, Test, Track, Treat and using technology to eliminate tuberculosis from the country, MoS Singh there is scope for collaboration in India's National TB Elimination Programme (NTP).

Prof Meldal and Hilaire said they are very keen to start a programme to create awareness about Chemistry in young minds - children between ages 5-15 - with the idea of "catching them young."

Pointing out that CSIR has mentorship and INSPIRE Fellowship programmes so that students could realise their aptitude, the S&T Minister said bilateral students and researcher exchange programmes can be chalked out.

Jitendra Singh said India is also looking for technology in renewable energy as the country aims for net zero emission targets by 2070.

Prof Meldal said Denmark is home to world-class companies in several industries, with a particular focus on renewable energy. More than 40 years of ambitious energy policies have helped put Denmark in the forefront of "cleantech," and the country has a goal of being completely independent of fossil fuels by 2050, the Ministry added.

This report is auto-generated from news service agency