By Mehdi Garshasbi

Stem cells industry in full swing

March 28, 2022 - 12:52

TEHRAN – The development of the stem cells industry in the country has gained momentum over the past year through launching six strategic plans by the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology.

Stem cells are the “parent” cells from which all other blood cells develop. These are mainly red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Bone marrow, the factory that produces stem cells, is the soft tissue inside bones like the breastbone or hip bone. 

Stem cells are found in the brain, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, skin, the liver, bone marrow, peripheral (circulating) blood, and the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.

Usually, very severe illnesses like leukemia, other cancers, and hereditary diseases are treated by marrow transplants.

In this line, plans for supporting prioritized products, research, and development, as well as medical equipment and the stem cell industry have been carried out.

Supporting innovation centers, accelerators, and entrepreneurs in science and technology estates are also on the agenda.

Meanwhile, the promotion of knowledge-based products is among the main activities that have helped develop the stem cell industry, especially in the fields of medical tourism.

Boosting links with international centers with the aim of expanding export markets have also been pursued within the framework of the strategic plans.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Technology and Innovation Report 2021 has placed Iran among upper-middle countries in terms of readiness for frontier technologies.

The index yielded results for 158 countries with the United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom receiving the highest scores on a scale of 0 to 1. Based on their rankings, countries are placed within one of four 25-percentile score groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high values of the index.

The report has put Iran in the 71st position with a total score of 0.46, higher than Qatar, Oman, and Morocco.

Iran was also placed 82 in ICT, 74 in skills, 37 in R&D, 130 in industry, and 53 in finance sectors.

Only a few countries currently create frontier technologies, but all countries need to prepare for them. To assess national capabilities to equitably use, adopt and adapt these technologies this report has developed a ‘readiness index’. The index comprises five building blocks: ICT deployment, skills, R&D activity, industry activity, and access to finance.


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