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The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will unite science, economy and medicine, was presented in Belgrade. It was founded by the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the World Economic Forum, and is the first of its kind in the Balkans and the third in Europe.

The centre will enable patients to receive a diagnosis faster, doctors to access data at a click, and the state more efficient health care.

The centre started working in March 2022 under the auspices of the Office for Information Technology and Electronic Administration of the Serbian Government with the support of the UNDP. Its focus will be on two priority areas – biotechnology and artificial intelligence in healthcare, areas that have already been recognized as central to the future economic development of Serbia.

The founding concept was to help scientific knowledge to be used quickly in industry, and for Serbia to position itself in the world as an exporter of intelligence and innovation. It will connect science and economics and enable fundamental research in the fields of biotechnology, molecular biology and medicine to be used for economic development

As a first step, Jelena Begović, director of the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, and Dr Mihailo Jovanović, director of the Office for Information Technology and Electronic Administration, signed an agreement on the use of the National Platform for Artificial Intelligence to provide space for storing data of importance for further research.

The institute was given additional IT infrastructure and support in the use of supercomputers, at the National Platform for Artificial Intelligence. This will ensure that the data, which are crucial for drawing conclusions, are processed incomparably faster, saving months of scientific research.

Jelena Bojović, director of the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Serbia

“We are all seeing that science and technology are advancing fast, and we can use them in everyday life to make it simpler and easier. That is the Centre’s role – to connect science, new technologies, knowledge and industry, to help us provide better and more efficient treatments, to have access to new innovative drugs and devices and to live in a healthier society thanks to technological solutions for waste disposal or automatic air pollution meters”, said Jelena Bojović, director of the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Serbia

She added that the role of the Centre is to propose innovative regulations that will facilitate the application of technology while protecting rights, and to create an ecosystem for the development and application of biotechnology and bioinformatics.

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Through cooperation with other centres around the world and the leaders of the World Economic Forum, Serbia has been given the opportunity to use the latest scientific achievements and to enable the promotion of our science, industry and knowledge. The projects that the Centre will deal with include the development of a unique electronic file on patients and rapid diagnosis of diseases, smarter choice of drugs through personalized medicine (it is known which drugs have a better effect on patients with which genetic markers), the use of artificial intelligence in rapid and intelligent diagnosis of rare diseases, the use of new technologies in the pharmaceutical industry, the application of cell and gene therapy and the development of fast-growing high-tech companies in the health sector.

The centre will bring together scientists and researchers, representatives of the state, industry and civil society to create conditions for the development, testing and improvement of new technologies, and will seek to develop cross-sector partnerships to foster innovation for the benefit of society.

Foto: Rade Prelić/Tanjug

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