During the pandemic, Serbia demonstrated its potential not only to successfully monitor innovations coming from more developed countries, but also to create solutions on its own that can be among the best (and why not say ‘the best’) in the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the potential for global scientific cooperation at a level never before seen – the joint struggle for the health of humankind included doctors, pharmacists, biologists, geneticists, but also experts in the field of artificial intelligence and other ICT fields, as well as public services around the world that were extremely quick to adapt their regulatory environment to the emerging situation. This has resulted in the development of drugs accelerating significantly, also including new techniques for the development of biological treatments that have, and will have, applications in the treatment of some of the most serious diseases that have tormented us for decades and even hundreds of years. All of these activities are also accompanied by unprecedented levels of investment in healthcare, as well as in the fields of biomedicine and biotechnology.
In such a global situation, it is becoming clear that the closer associating of biological and computer sciences will lead to great changes in the field of medicine, but also in the fields of agriculture, food, energy, the green economy and – as the new virus has shown us – in the field of national security.
The state has clearly recognised the importance of this biotech – or perhaps more properly bioeconomic – revolution over the years and decades to come and initiated major investments in this area
During the pandemic, Serbia demonstrated its potential not only to successfully monitor innovations coming from more developed countries, but also to create solutions on its own that can be among the best (and why not say ‘the best’) in the world. These include, for example, systems that have enabled exceptionally fast and impeccably organised vaccination and testing processes for COVID-19, which have been recognised worldwide and had a significant impact on improving the country’s international repute. In parallel with this, but less publicly, local scientists are participating in international working groups to combat this disease, and our healthcare system has the latest drugs to emerge at its disposal (and is among the first in the world). The Sputnik V vaccine is already being produced in Serbia, while preparations are also underway to produce the Sinofarm vaccine, which only a small number of countries around the world can be boast of achieving.
The state has clearly recognised the importance of this biotech – or perhaps more properly bioeconomic – revolution over the years and decades to come and has, accordingly, initiated major investments in this area. The focal point of Serbia’s bioeconomy will be represented by the BIO4 Campus, construction of which will soon begin in Belgrade, with the aim of developing the fields of biomedicine, biotechnology, bioinformatics and biodiversity, and becoming one of the motors of the future economic development of Serbia, with its multidisciplinary orientation towards innovation. This and other examples of investments in this area show that Serbia has this time achieved timely recognition and is utilising new trends and global opportunities that are opening up to us. Just as we have utilised, and continue to utilise, digitalisation in the best possible way by developing our e-government, infrastructure, education and business environment for the knowledge economy, so we are now continuing with the ambition to compete with the best and develop innovations in Serbia that will be used worldwide. And these activities will provide enormous health and economic wellbeing gains for the citizens of Serbia.