The ultimate test for any technology is whether it is of any benefit to the common man, N. Vasudevan, Registrar of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, has said.

He was addressing the winter school on ‘vistas in marine biotechnology' organised by the Marine Biotechnology Division at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute here on Tuesday.

Mr. Vasudevan said the country has been consistent in its stance that the application of science should benefit the common man. Attempts should be made to enhance the income of the poor through the effective use of technology.

Stating that there could be a convergence of space, environmental science, marine biotechnology through biotechnology and nanotechnology, Mr. Vasudevan said scientists can also discover the potential of the sea, if we treat it with caution. The new developments in the field have opened up new possibilities. “We need to capitalise on these developments,” he said.

Explaining that there is an ever-increasing demand for ‘GMe' (Green Mussel extract), a neutraceutical product developed by the Marine Biotechnolgy Division of the CMFRI, Syda Rao, director of the institute, said that the transfer of technology for the product is very difficult. There is a huge demand for the product. “We require thousands of tonnes of mussel meat to manufacture it,” he said.

Recommending the need to ensure continuous supply of drugs and raw materials, Dr. Rao said the technology for mussel culture is available. However, people are not ready to take up mussel culture.

K. K. Vijayan, director of winter school; E. V. Radhakrishnan, head of the CFD at CMFRI; P. Vijayagopal, and P. C. Thomas, coordinators of the winter school, spoke. Nearly 25 scientists and researchers from across the country are participating in the 21-day winter school funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The objective of the programme is to provide exposure to the participants in biology, fisheries and agricultural sciences and to update them in the field of marine biotechnology.