Having in mind the expertise and experience of British experts in the field of biotechnology, biomedicine & biodiversity, the C4IR Serbia team, together with the delegation of the Republic of Serbia, spent the previous week on a study visit to the United Kingdom (UK), during which they met with numerous scientists and doctors of some of the most important scientific and research institutions of this country.
The delegation was led by the Minister of Science, Innovation and Technological Development Jelena Begović and, in addition to members of our team, it consisted of representatives of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technological Development, the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications, the Office for IT and eGovernment, the Institute for Molecular genetics and genetic engineering (IMGGE), the Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy (INEP) and NALED.
We were welcomed by the Embassy of Serbia in Great Britain. On that occasion, we met with Ambassador Aleksandra Joksimović and Serbian scientists in London who work for the most prestigious institutions and companies in the mentioned fields, including Oxford.
In order to exchange experiences and learn from examples of good practice, we visited Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Wellcome Genome Campus & Imperial College London White City Campus. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus is the largest center for medical research and health studies in Europe. The symbol of this campus is the global R&D center and headquarters of the global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
The Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton is home to some of the most renowned institutes and organizations in the field of genomics and computational biology, such as our hosts – the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI, the European Bioinformatics Institute.
The White City Campus of Imperial College London, which is among the top 10 universities in the world in the fields of science, engineering, medicine and business, opened the doors of its Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH) to us. Campuses like these are a model for the construction of the BIO4 campus, a new bioeconomic hub in our country and the wider region.
The most important part of the visit were the bilateral meetings with the global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca at their headquarters in Cambridge and the Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation George Freeman, during which further steps in R&D cooperation between the UK and Serbia were agreed.
Additionally, we also met with colleagues from numerous other successful companies in the field of biotechnology and biomedicine, with whom we discussed the innovations they brought to the mentioned fields together with their companies and the challenges they faced along the way, including – Alasdair Thong, one of the founders of Selvedge Venture; Dr. Slaven Steković, chief scientist of the next generation business company Multiomic Health; Dr. Nikola Novčić, director of business operations of Quell Therapeuthics; Dr. Sally Ann Forsyth, CEO of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, as well as Dr. Jennifer Varsnel from the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences.
The study visit was realized through the project UK Excellence Biotech Hub implemented by NALED, with the support of the British Embassy in Belgrade and the Government of the United Kingdom.