From the Director-General – milestones from our July Newsletter

As the world continues to battle the pandemic, and with us witnessing improvements for our colleagues in India but a very concerning deterioration in South Africa, we continue to remember the critical role science is playing in overcoming the current crisis.

Within ICGEB, the laboratories are now fully operational and we are delighted to be welcoming new Fellows arriving from many different ICGEB Member Countries. Indeed this bodes very well for many of the new Fellowship Programmes that have just been launched, including the PACTs Fellowships for LDCs, a very exciting agreement with BECAL and Paraguay for hosting new Fellows as well as our wonderful collaboration with the UNOSSC which will aim to support women scientists from the Global South.

This month also saw the completion of the project in 4 Member Countries in Africa – Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Ethiopia where a new Covid19 diagnostic was trialled in collaboration with NEB and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This LAMP diagnostic technology proved to be highly comparable with regular PCR diagnostics but has the added value of simplicity and low cost which is ideal in low resource settings.

We also witnessed the completion of the new BDU facility in Trieste, which was opened by President Fedriga on 14 May and was also honoured by a visit of the Italian Minister of University and Research, MIUR, on 6 July. The Biotech Development Unit provides state-of-the-art facilities for transfer and training in the production and development of Biosimilars, a vital weapon in the armoury of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals for access to Health and Industrial Development, which, through its actions, ICGEB strives to attain.

A particularly important milestone for ICGEB Trieste was the signing of a Host Seat Agreement with the Government of Italy, thereby cementing ICGEB’s position within AREA Science Park. This brought back vivid memories of Prof. Arturo Falaschi, the founding father of ICGEB, and for whom this event would have meant so much.

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