AltSU will partner in a long-term project on biodiversity with Norway, South Africa and Russia

8 June 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
The Norwegian government on the official website Regjering announced financial support for 35 projects from 13 Norwegian universities and colleges, implementing joint projects with partners from Brazil, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the United States, and Canada. The total project budget is over NOK 100 million (over RUB 900 million).

The joint project “BioDATA Advanced - DNA Barcoding, Biological Collections and Field Observations for Accelerated Biodiversity Research” was submitted by the Museum of Natural History at the University of Oslo in cooperation with the South African Institute of Biodiversity and Altai State University.

The partner network for the implementation of this project is much wider and strengthened by national nodes GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) in Norway (GBIF Norway) and South Africa (South African National Biodiversity Institute / South African Biodiversity Information Facility,) with the participation of Dmitry Shchigel (GBIF Secretariat, Copenhagen, Denmark). The project leader is Professor Hugo de Boer (University of Oslo, Norway).

The project offers young researchers from Russia, Norway and South Africa, within five years of the program, the opportunity to participate in academic mobility and professional trainings in the study of biodiversity, using modern skills of obtaining, processing, publishing and using open data. In particular, it is planned to implement two intensive courses on biodiversity data analysis and two courses in scientific laboratories. The courses are designed to create a network of exchange between professionals and students through targeted internships and facilitate open access to biodiversity data both in the participating countries and around the world. All teaching materials will be available in English and Russian for reuse free of charge and openly in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the DIKU Foundation for Equitable and Quality Education.

The international project includes a team of botanists from the South Siberian Botanical Garden of the supporting Altai State University: Alexey Vaganov, project manager from Russia, senior researcher at SSBG, Alena Shibanova, assistant coordinator, translator, senior researcher at SSBG, and Alexander Shmakov, Director of SSBG, project administrator from Russia.

The implementation of the program for the period from 2021 to 2025 will be monitored by Diku - the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Improvement of the Quality of Higher Education within the framework of the large-scale UTFORSK program. The UTFORSK program is a key factor in Norway's strategic policy to develop partnerships in higher education and research with Brazil, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the United States, and Canada. The UTFORSK program aims to strengthen the ties of higher education in partner countries to contribute to a sustainable future.

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