BCSIR Laboratories Chittagong is a subsidiary institution of Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), directed by Ministry of Science and Technology – Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. It is located 10km away from Chittagong beside the Rangamati – Chittagong – Nazirhat highway across the large areas of the South Paharthali near the village of Chittagong Cantonment.
Pre-History: In 1960, under the proposal of UNESCO a high-powered committee was formed by the Government of Pakistan during the establishment of “Institute of Herbal Medicine and Research” making the Nobel winner professor Dr. Finn Sandsborg as chief of the institution. In that committee, Dr. M. Qudrat-i-Khuda was the only member from Bangladesh Served as Member Secretary. The Committee made a survey to the entire area of East Pakistan and finally proposed Chittagong for Land Acquisition. In the light of the recommendations of the government of Pakistan took command of the land. Later, Western regime played an adverse role in building such an international organization for East Pakistan and hence, the Master plan goes under parish.
Pre-Liberation Background: In 1961 after completing the initial work including the collection of land needed the current institution was emerged under the pressure of the Pakistan Government as a subsidiary institution of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR). Mr. Ahmed Mohammed, a senior official of the education department was appointed as project officer by the former PCSIR. He took responsibility on 8 February, 1962 and started development of infrastructure including primary responsibility if lab. He set up the project office in a rented house at O.R.Nizam Road Chittagong and started the implementation of the project approved by the National Economic Commission (NEC). This laboratory was initially house in the Chittagong Government College till 1967 and later, it moved to its present site near the cantonment area. Until the development of the War of Independence and research continues to work. This laboratory is now known as the ‘BCSIR Laboratories ‘ Chittagong’.
Post-Liberation Background: Due to Liberation War in 1971, all development activity was stopped. In early 1972 after independence, the under construction main laboratory building was owned by the International Red Cross refugee camp in Pakistan refugees. In early 1974 after the transfer of refugees, the building was handed over the International Red-Cross officials. In 1973 the first five-year plan of Bangladesh Government for the Laboratory development project was approved including the construction of new Human Resources, Research facilities that are going to work on. The following development of the project continued until the year 1982 and the development of a full-fledged laboratory research and the overall research program was initiated.
Research Background: Bangladesh is abundant with many medicinal and aromatic plants. Here, there are thousands of species of medicinal plants. The identity of the immensity of medicinal plant is found in the Scriptures of ayurvedic and Unani system of medicine. Traditional folk medicines play an important role in the early stages of life for almost 80 percent poor people of the country. The scientist of BCSIR Laboratory Chittagong, aims to create a new herbal medicine by the modernization of common herbs which was used as medicine. Beside this, it is also working to develop a variety of methods for processing the accumulation of organic materials from oils, fruits, vegetables and marine sources.
Area: The Laboratory is stood upon 92.5 acres land which is bordered by the fence. The entire campus is divided into three blocks. KPI block is the place where main research laboratory including the construction infrastructure of research activity in located. In plantation block, in addition to plantation, there is aromatic and medicinal plants plantation program. In addition to residential building, there is Jumah Masjid, recreation club, guesthouse, high school playground at the residential block. The whole campus decorated with the pleasant environment.
Advantages Infrastructure: The KPI block of the main laboratory building is a second floored building with the sign of modern architecture. It has 70 thousand square feet of floor space. The activities are being conducted in the laboratory with 8 divisions. It has a lot of small and large establishments for the development of the pilot plant, workshop, general store, engineering, and chemical store, modern greenhouse including plant extraction. This is one of the structures under government KPI.
Human resource: During the approval of organogram by Enam committee, in 1984 almost 232 people within the framework of the authorized manpower were initiated for BCSIR laboratory Chittagong.
Institutional setup: The overall research activities of Chittagong laboratory is conducted by eight research divisions such as, (1) Chemical Research, (ii) Pharmacology Research, (3) Industrial Microbiology Research, (4) Phytochemistry Research, (5) Industrial Botany Research (6) Medicinal Plant Research (7) Fruits and vegetables research and (8) soil Management and Agronomical Research.
MPhil / P.H.D Program: The scientists of the laboratory assist students of the different university for their research activities and MSc (thesis), MPhil and Ph.D. program. Moreover, specialist scientists served as external examiner in the different university.
Library Facilities: There is a library for the scientist of the laboratory. Many reference books based on science and technology is reserved there. Many valuable publications with backed volume and different journals exist for the research activity. At present, it becomes possible to enhance the library and create the way of getting information of different DISIPI journals by linking with the external world through website.
IT – Internet access: Currently the laboratory is connected to a fiber optic broadband Internet connection through the on- line. Through the new information and technologies as well as through the data collection and the science-based study of the scientists a new era of research has opened up.
Lab Facilities: BCSIR laboratory Chittagong is maintained with all modern equipment that is required to fill up the lab facilities.
Research and Development Program: Different research and development project activity is in progress under the research lab of different division by the approval of BCSIR. The scientists have contributed through their research articles, patent, and formulation and created a link to a new level of research by the help of their project research results and data of their research.
Tissue Culture Lab: Meanwhile , new tissue culture lab has been set up in the laboratory. Through the lab by the help of growth chamber plant breeding is done for the extinct species of medicinal plants.
Marine Resources Research: The research activity on moss and fossil of Bay of Bangle is on processing in the libratory of Marine Biology and department of aquatics. Already a study shows that the algae derived from St. Martin’s Island is rich with high-powered protein and minerals. This Commercial use and expansion of the research will add a new dimension in Bangladesh.
Lab-Animal Breeding Center: Chittagong Laboratory Animal Breeding Center have launched a modern lab. The toxicity of the food and drugs is examined by the animals.
Provide services to educational institutions: Besides research activity, the director of BCSIR Laboratory Chittagong has many contributions to the universities of Chittagong. The head of the institution is the senate member of the University of Chittagong by the president. Moreover, a member of the Academic Council of Chittagong University , Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, CCC member of the Development Committee, authority and a member of the advisory of Chittagong customs house Chittagong Port, BSTI member of the Technical Committees.
Tree Planting Program: The entire campus looks beautiful like the botanical garden as trees are planted to the entire area and preserved & maintained carefully.
Rangamati Research Epicenter: Under the laboratory of Chittagong a substation is launched upon 1.64 acres of land on the Rangamati Hill Tracts districts. The sub-stations were established during the project financing of Hill District development Board is adopted. The substation of hill districts is currently working on herbal, medicinal and aromatic plants. Already for the socio-economic development and poverty alleviation of hill district an France-NGO has taken an initial plan to create markets in abroad for fragrant oil extracted from aromatic plants. MoU will be signed soon with them
Institutional school activities: in year 1989 the BCSIR Laboratory High School is conducted which is covered by 3.86 acres of land of the laboratory area. The number of students is about 800 (eight hundred).SSC results of the School are very satisfactory. In the last two years, cent percent passed including GPA-5.
Science and industrial technology fair: BCSIR Laboratory Chittagong organizes science and industrial technology fair to encourage the study of science and technology-based science to build a happy and prosperous Bangladesh. Basically, the fair is organized for scientifically meritorious students in various schools and colleges.