On April 2019, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo signed the Institut Pasteur de Shanghai a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim to generate joint scientific projects, training researchers and developing mixed units. The ceremony —the III Meeting of the Joint Uruguay-China Commission (COMMIX) on Science and Technology— was held in Beijing as part of the official visit to China of the Uruguayan Minister of Education and Culture, Dr. María Julia Muñoz.
During her visit, the minister held meeting with Chinese authorities in Beijing, Harbin, Changchun and Qingdao. The official delegation that travelled with her included the ambassador of Uruguay in China, Fernando Lugris; the general director of International Cooperation Affairs of the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emb. Gustavo Pacheco; the National Secretariat of Science and Technology, Dr. Eduardo Manta; the Vice Chancellor of the State University, Dr. Álvaro Mombrú; the president of the Institute for Agriculture Research (INIA), Dr. José Luis Repetto; the advisor of Uruguayan Technology University (UTEC), Dr. Rodolfo Silveira; the coordinator of International Relations of UTEC, Rafael Alvariza, and the director of the IP Montevideo, Dr. Carlos Batthyány.
The Institut Pasteur Shanghai (IPS) is the first international institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). An independent, non-profit life sciences institute, it was founded in 2004 by CAS, the Institut Pasteur and the Shanghai Municipal Government.
IPS-CAS has developed research related to infectious diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis B and C, respiratory viruses and virus-induced cancers. With academic and industry partners, the goal of IPS-CAS is to develop diagnostic, vaccine and therapeutic products to treat hand-foot-mouth disease that has affected more than 8 million Chinese children since 2008; HIV / AIDS and its associated tumours (which are the leading cause of death from infectious diseases in China); acute respiratory infections (such as influenza, SARS, etc.) and viral hepatitis, caused by hepatitis B and C, which in China affects 140 million people.
Like the IP Montevideo, the IPS.CAS is member of the International Network of Institutes Pasteur (RIIP), which brings together 33 research institutes in 26 countries on five continents.
With this background, IPS-CAS and IP Montevideo decided to sign a memorandum establishing cooperation in the fields of immunology, virology, vaccines, structural biology, emerging diseases, human and animal health and development of applied solutions. Under the agreement, they will create mixed units to generate scientific, educational, cultural and academic exchanges, submit scientific research projects together, organize conferences and training courses, and cooperate in academic publications.
At the ceremony, Professor Hong Tang, general director of IPS-CAS; Professor Yaping Zhang, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, among other Chinese authorities, expressed their appreciation for the close cooperation between the two institutes in scientific research and welcomed the signing of the memorandum.
Battyhány —who became director of the Uruguayan institute in December 2018— congratulated China’s efforts “for advancing towards a knowledge-based society not only as an economic goal but to seek real solutions for society.”
“In this new stage of IP Montevideo, we have defined as an strategic action the consolidation of this type of understanding with other prestigious international institutions that allow us to enhance the founding missions of our institution and open new horizons for young Uruguayan scientists,” he stressed.