Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
|Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants|
|Director||Prof. Anil Kumar Tripathi|
|Location||Lucknow, Uttar Pardesh, India|
||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (June 2013)|
Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) is a research institute of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) with its headquarter in Lucknow. It is engaged in the field of science and business of medicinal and aromatic plants. CIMAP has four research centers situated in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pantnagar and Purara (neat Bageshwar, Uttarakhand).
Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, popularly known as CIMAP, is a frontier plant research laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Established originally as Central Indian Medicinal Plants Organisation (CIMPO) in 1959, CIMAP is steering multidisciplinary high quality research in biological and chemical sciences and extending technologies and services to the farmers and entrepreneurs of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) with its research headquarters at Lucknow and Research Centres at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pantnagar and Purara. CIMAP Research Centres are aptly situated in different agro-climatic zones of the country to facilitate multi-location field trials and research. A little more than 50 years since its inception, today, CIMAP has extended its wings overseas with scientific collaboration agreements with Malaysia. CSIR-CIMAP has signed two agreements to promote bilateral cooperation between India and Malaysia in research, development and commercialization of MAP related technologies.
CIMAP’s contribution to the Indian economy through its MAPs research is well known. Mint varieties released and agro-packages developed and popularised by CIMAP has made India the global leader in mints and related industrial products. CIMAP has released several varieties of the MAPs, their complete agro-technology and post harvest packages which have revolutionised MAPs cultivation and business scenario of the country.
Role of the lab and positioning
CIMAP is a unique lab of its kind in the entire globe, way ahead of its time even at the time of its establishment. As a ripple effect of CIMAP’s success and contribution, other research establishments have now started seriously considering MAPs in their portfolio. While conserving the plant genetic resources systematically and undertaking world class research work in plant science, CIMAP is equipping the nation with high-tech agriculture linked to industrial processing of MAPs. CIMAP is equipped with state-of-the-art multidisciplinary laboratories, ultra-modern instrumentation facilities and scientific expertise in agriculture, genetics and plant breeding, molecular taxonomy, molecular and structural biology, plant biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, bio energy and chemical sciences, apart from development of herbal products. CIMAP, Lucknow houses the National Gene Bank of medicinal and aromatic plants, in addition to seed gene bank, tissue and DNA bank. Further, Field Gene Bank of different varieties of MAPs is maintained at CIMAP Lucknow and its four research centres situated across the country.
Major research areas and flagship research programmes and infrastructural facilities
CIMAP is focusing on research projects which include gene bank utilization strategies, conservation, evaluation and cataloging of selected high value medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), conservation of bio-prospecting genes/molecules/products; new molecules of therapeutic significance, metabolic pathway studies in selected MAPs, genetic enhancement of obligate asexual and sexual medicinal and aromatic plants, process and synthetic chemistry technology for phytomolecules and plant products; enabling high value agriculture in low value underutilized lands and cropping systems, anti-malarials from MAPs, prospecting bioresources of commercial potential, development of standardized herbal formulations for better health, development of analytical processes and diagnostic tools, survey, inventorisation and technology dissemination of MAPs, genotype designing for speciality/opportunity crops in MAPs and basic research towards path breaking MAPs science..
CIMAP is also involved in two national network projects as nodal laboratory under XII Five Year Plan that include i) pathway engineering and system biology approach towards homologous and heterologous expression of high-value phytoceuticals (artemisinin, picrosides, morphine, withanolides, podophyllotoxin) and ii) biological and chemical transformations of plant compounds for production of value added products of therapeutic/aroma value. Besides, CIMAP is a participating laboratory in seven national network projects on i) exploitation of India’s microbial diversity; ii) remediation/eco-restoration and cleanup of contaminated ground water and water resources; iii) discovery, development and commercialization of new bioactive and traditional preparations; iv) comprehensive traditional knowledge digital documentation and library; v) project on neem and vii) artemisia. CIMAP is successfully running a flagship rural development program on strategic rural income enhancements by Medicinal and Industrial Plants based technologies with special focus on North-East, women and tribals. Establishment of Artemisia annua bio-village by CIMAP involving farmers and industries has emerged as a replicable model of public-private partnership (PPP) in MAPs and other industrial crops.
From CIMAP lab to market CIMAP has been documenting and creating scientific knowledgebase relevant to MAPs for its efficient utilisation, facilitating the lab to market journey of medicinal and aromatic crops (MACs) through several important publications. Farm bulletins on various economically important MACs (e.g. Mint, Lemongrass, Palmarosa, Geranium, Withania, Artemisia, etc.) in Hindi, English and regional languages, Training manuals - ‘Aus Saathi’ and ‘MAPs Companion’, Crop calendars, a composite research journal ‘Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Sciences (JMAPS)’ covering research papers, and trade related information on MACs are published by CIMAP. Major impact making patents which resulted in major marketable technologies from CIMAP are Artemisia cultivation method (US 6,39,376), CIM-Arogya herb processing for artemisinin (IN 176679), development of arteether (IN 173947), artemisinin extraction process (US 5,955,08), CIM-Arogya - genetically tagged high yielding variety of Artemisia annua and its cultivation technology (US 6,393,763), cultivar Himalaya and Kosi of menthol mint (PP 10935, PP 12426) and method of producing mint plant Kushal (US 6,420, 174).
Sharing of expertise and knowledge, technical consultancy and setting up of national facilities
CIMAP Gene Bank established in 1993 as a follow up action taken in the summit of G-15 countries held at Caracas is one of the three National Gene Banks of the country that focuses on the conservation of MAPs of India in the form of seed, field, tissue and DNA banks.
CIMAP has been designated by PPV&FRA (Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Authority) as Nodal laboratory for developing National Test Guidelines for plant varieties protection and DUS (distinctiveness, uniformity and stability) testing of medicinal and aromatic plants and seed species.
CIMAP Bio-village Mission is currently expanding the industrial cultivation of appropriate medicinal and aromatic plants nationwide from North to South India, and in Uttar Pradesh, from Lucknow in all directions.
National Biodiversity Authority of India has recognized CIMAP as a Designated National Repository (DNR) under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, to keep in safe custody, specimens of different categories of biological material.
Patent profile (in-force patents only)
CIMAP has an IP portfolio of more than 135 foreign and Indian patents granted in major medicinal and aromatic plants including molecules and bioactives (17), improved new processes (52), new methods and techniques (13), formulations and compositions (36) plants varieties (23) and cell cultures/enzymes/strains (06).
National and international linkages
CIMAP has been recognized as Focal Point for South East Asia by International Centre for Science and High Technology- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (ICS-UNIDO). CIMAP has scientific collaboration with Bulgarian Academy of Science for Rose oil technology. At National level CIMAP has established alliances with Indian Institute of Agriculture Research (IIAR), Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and North East Institute of Science & Technology (NEIST), Jorhat (Assam) for multiplier effect for its endeavour in western and North East Region, respectively.
Internationally too, CSIR-CIMAP, Special Innovation Unit (UNIK) Corp, Malaysia, Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Monash University, Sunaway Campus, Malaysia have entered into scientific agreement. The agreements envisage establishment of a Joint Innovation Accelerator Centre with expertise of CSIR-CIMAP in Malaysia to carry out research on areas of mutual interest such as green technologies, medicinal and aromatic plants and other innovative technologies. Both CSIR-CIMAP and UNIK will also explore and develop the use of herbs, plants, flowers and fruits for medicinal and aromatic purposes in Malaysia by way of improving extraction techniques, modern processes and herbal products.
Academic alliances – mentoring young minds
To share a common desire to explore, extend and strengthen the functional relationship between Universities and National Scientific Institutes/ Laboratories of CSIR, CIMAP has signed MoUs with several universities including JNU, GB Pant University of Agriculture & Technology (GBPUAT), Pantnagar, Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology (CSAUAT), Kanpur, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Universities of Allahabad and Lucknow among others.
Towards the mission of bringing scientific excellence through University-Research Institution joint efforts, CIMAP has been recognized by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, as its centre for research and academic activities in the field of Life Sciences.
Other programs conducted regularly towards human resource development include entrepreneurship development programs, CIMAP Winter School (CWS), CIMAP Summer Training (CST), CIMAP Winter Training (CWT) on techniques and tools of biotechnology and bioinformatics, CIMAP Summer School (CSS) on molecular technologies in bio-prospection and biodiversity analysis, CIMAP training on Advanced Instrumentation and Analytical Techniques (AIAT), etc. CIMAP, Lucknow and its Research Centres regularly organizes training programs, entrepreneurship building programs, need based industrial trainings and awareness programs all over the country