ICGEB 26th session of the Board hails new Member States, global collaboration for funding and partnerships

ICGEB HQ, Trieste: 18 and 19 November 2020, more than 110 delegates from across the globe review and discuss ICGEB’s Biotech research initiatives, its efforts in the battle against Covid19, developing partnerships and capacity building for sustainable development.

The response of the scientific community to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how science can actually accelerate solutions for a global challenge.” The opening statement by Min. Fabrizio Nicoletti, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, advocated “working hard to foster international cooperation to make science more accessible, democratic, transparent and beneficial for all.

His words resounded with Mr. Victor Smirnov, President of the Board, Governor from the Russian Federation, who affirming that “the Centre sets out key directions and priorities for the future.”

With Governors from 49 ICGEB Member States in attendance, Lawrence Banks, Director-General, presented the research activities and programmes of the last year, together with Roger Beachy, Chair of the Council of Scientific Advisers (USA), the Directors of New Delhi, Dinakar Salunke (India), and Cape Town, Luiz Zerbini (South Africa), whose appointments were renewed during the course of the session.

ICGEB Scientific Coordinator, Vittorio Venturi (Italy) presented the international collaborations and projects that are spearheading grants for global research and technology transfer activities across the ICGEB constituency.

Dr. Yili Yang, newly-appointed Director of the ICGEB Regional Research Centre, located in China Medical City, Taizhou, China’s Leading Biopharmaceutical hub, outlined that it “aims to become a centre of innovation, combining high-level scientific research with technology commercialisation, and world-class new drug development.” Scientist from the NIH and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Yang was appointed following a world-wide competitive recruitment process and will now be working to establish an international, multidisciplinary team of scientists to conduct high-quality original research.

More than 12 nations from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America were present as Observers. During the session, Angola’s accession to the Statutes was announced, and it will become a full Member State on 16 December. The delegates from Djibouti and the Dominican Republic updated the Board on their countries’ actions to accede to membership, and developments from Rwanda were also announced.

Giovanni Coppola, President, Chamber of European and International Affairs, Italian Court of Auditors, reported on the Financial statements and accounts of the ICGEB.

Observers from 17 Multilateral Organisations, partners of ICGEB, were in attendance, including the European Commission, FAO, IAEA, ICRISAT, IILA, IRRI, TWAS, UNICRI, UNIDO, UNOSSC and WIPO. From Trieste, delegates from CEI were also present, as was the company President of ILLY.

The next session of the Board is scheduled to take place in May 2021.