Like other countries, Algeria has established a national strategy through significant human and material efforts in combatting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic within the first few weeks of its appearance. Several public institutions of a scientific and technical vocation have heavily involved in this national operation to deal with this public health problem.  Thus, many actions have been taken from the production of solutions and disinfection equipment to virus diagnosis.

Within the scope of its statutory tasks and national dimension, the Biotechnology Research Center (C.R.Bt) under the auspices of the Directorate-General of Scientific Research and Technological Development (DGRSDT), was the first national research institution for quickly undertaking several different actions, services and R&D for participation in the national plan to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Indeed, the C.R.Bt put its infrastructure and expertise to work for screening activities by hosting a branch of the Pasteur Institute of Constantine as a regional screening center. Up to now, more than 45000 PCR tests have been carried out.

More significantly, the biosecurity and biosafety service of the C.R.Bt has drawn up an emergency action plan to make available its expertise related to the biological risk mitigation in the laboratories of COVID-19 screening, many national laboratories installed across the country.

Beyond the proposed services, the C.R.Bt put in place an interdisciplinary team consisting of researchers, engineers and PhD students to submit concrete research and development projects (R&D) corresponding to current and future needs. As an example, the team, in collaboration with the screening laboratory, has developed a massive screening strategy at a lower cost by RT-qPCR of individuals infected by COVID-19 virus in a cohort with a close professional connection (constituted bodies, medical community…).

Another R&D proposition aimed to a new technology transfer and development based on genetic engineering, which would enable the renewal of our skills and competences, and consequently the consolidation of our economic growth by promoting a competitive and innovative industry internationally.

In conclusion, the C.R.Bt had not failed to fulfill its commitments- as a public institution- to better serve citizens by research, particularly during this critical period. As well, the Center has contributed and continues to do nationally and internationally by proposing real solutions within the provided means.