The 22nd Session of the ICGEB Board of Governors was held in Cape Town, South Africa this week

H.E. Min. Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology of the Republic of South Africa opened the session on Tuesday 24 May 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, CTICC (Minister's speech).

With 80 delegates in attendance from 39 ICGEB Member States, including 15 African countries and Observers from Ghana and Zimbabwe, the Minister  spoke of the decision to join ICGEB in 2004, its work to ease the infectious disease burden, HIV, tuberculosis and to promote innovative solutions to address these diseases, giving improved attention to  basic science through the work of ICGEB.

She cited ICGEB as an eminent example of how medicine and public health can put few resources to use for the use of the general good, as well as investing capabilities in clinical research and the development of novel technologies in diagnostics and drug development.

H.E. Deputy Minister Lyudmila Ogorodova, of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation also addressed the Board and spoke, in particular, of the importance of obtaining benefit from currently available genomic information.

Member States in attendance at the Board session were from the following Member States: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey.

The President of the Board, Prof. Hamdy Abdel Aziz Moursy, and Prof. Mauro Giacca, Director-General of ICGEB also made opening remarks at the session. Prof. Dinakar Salunke, recently appointed Director of the ICGEB New Delhi Component also conveyed the  message from Prof. VijayRaghavvan, Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India of its full support to the ICGEB.

Also in attendance among the Observer Organisations, Mr. Philippe Scholtès, Managing Director, Programme Development and Technical Cooperation of UNIDO, Dr. Tobias Takavarasha, representing the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO and delegates from IFAD, IRRI and The University of Cape Town.

Dr. Maria Luisa Fichera, responsible for the Legal and Administrative Offices of the ICGEB, provided the Board with a detailed presentation of the ICGEB Accounts and its Five Year Work Programme.

In-depth presentations of the scientific research being conducted in the laboratories in Trieste (as reviewed by the ICGEB Council of Scientific Advisers in Trieste on 17-18 May 2016), in New Delhi and in Cape Town were well received, and detailed scientific presentations by PIs on their current work in the production of biosimilars (Marco Baralle, Trieste), point-of-care diagnostics (Alessandro Marcello, Trieste) and vaccine development activities (Navin Khanna, New Delhi) took place the following day.

Among the most relevant conclusions of the Board were the support for scientific initiatives with industrial and economical value and the proposal to create ICGEB research centres in the Member States conducting biotechnological activities of regional interest.

The 23rd session of the ICGEB Board of Governors will be held in Trieste, Italy from 16-17 May 2017.

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Press Releases:

AllAfrica: South Africa: Minister Naledi Pandor Calls for Science to Be Harnessed for Developing Countries

SA Breaking News: Science Minister wants help from ICGEB

Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Innovitalia: A città del Capo, la XXII sessione del consiglio ICGEB

Russian Ministry of Education and Science: News ensuing from the ICGEB Board of Governors session in Cape Town (in Russian)


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