The 24th session of the ICGEB Board of Governors was held in Trieste and brought together Government Representatives and high standing scientists in the field of Life Sciences from across its 60 Member strong constituency.
The annual meeting of the Board reached a record of participation in Trieste, with over 100 delegates from 50 countries presiding: a clear indication of the worldwide interest in the activities of the Centre.
The session was opened by the President of the Board, Victor Smirnov of the Russian Federation, Mr. Philippe Scholtés, Managing Director of UNIDO, Vienna, Fabrizio Nicoletti, Head, Bilateral and Multilateral Scientific and Technological Cooperation Unit, DG for the Promotion of the Country System, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mauro Giacca, ICGEB Director-General, with guest speaker, Prof. Stefano Fantoni illustrating ESOF2020: Trieste European City of Science.
Breaking news from the Board included the presentations of the new Regional Research Centres (RRCs) of the ICGEB: to be located in the China Medical City science park, Taizhou,China (the park already comprises more than 800 companies working in the biomedical sector, including the subsidiaries of several large multinational pharmaceutical companies), where ICGEB will be the catalyst for research in the field of innovative pharmaceutical therapies for cancer and degenerative diseases. The second, in Panama City, also located within a new science park, INDACASAT AIP, supported by the Panamanian Government thanks to income originating from the Panama Canal and where research will focus on the use of molecules deriving from natural resources of the country to develop new pharmaceuticals against infectious and degenerative diseases.
Other developments included the presentation of the advancing proposal for an RRC in Sri Lanka, membership in the ICGEB by Zimbabwe and the renewed expression of interest by Brazil to explore an RRC proposal.
During the Board a collaboration Agreement between the ICGEB and EU JRC was signed by the DG and Elke Anklam, Director, Health Consumers and Reference Materials of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Science Hub, the largest research institute, of the European Commission. Under this Agreement, the ICGEB and the JRC will develop communal projects applying biotechnology in medicine and agriculture, with a view to harmonising the use of biotechnologies in Europe and Africa.
The Director-General announced his intention not to request renewal of his mandate beyond 2019, in order to dedicate activity exclusively to the pursuit of his scientific research. He will leave ICGEB for an academic posting at the School of Cardiovascular Medicine, King’s College London, UK, where he will head a research team on the development of novel therapies for infarction and cardiovascular disease. The Board expressed great appreciation for his work and the wish that his association with the ICGEB continue, albeit in a different capacity. The Board has activated the procedure, on an international scale, to seek a new Director General for the organisation for the next five year term: 2019-2024.
23 May 2018
24 May 2018
Audio statement by Mr. Philippe Scholtès, Managing Director, UNIDO Vienna at the ICGEB Press Conference