WANA intl. congress held on biotechnology

May 12, 2023 - 15:48

TEHRAN - The Second West Asia and North Africa (WANA) Congress aiming to address the main challenges in the field of biotechnology was held on May 10-11 in the city of Isfahan.

The event aimed to provide a platform for academic scientists in West Asia and North Africa to encourage the exchange of the latest information on recent approaches and main challenges in the field of biotechnology.

The program included plenary and panel sessions with invited speakers among scientists of the WANA area, enjoying pre-congress workshops, all of which focus on biotechnology and nano-biotechnology bringing the animal farming industry, regenerative medicine, and protein recombinant technology into their core of interest and attention.

Transferring scientific experiences through networking and creating effective connections with other scientific centers, researchers, and scientists of the WANA region around the world, identifying the capacity for cooperation in the countries of the region, and expanding the communication network were among the main objectives of the congress.

It also aimed to develop networking between knowledge-based companies in the region in order to increase communication and interactions and trade of scientific products.

Revitalizing the biotechnology economy and creating regional leadership in the management and guidance of knowledge-based companies in order to develop export-oriented products, and providing a complete chain of knowledge-based services (Total Solution) including training, expert consulting, monitoring, and implementation of large-scale projects in the field of biotechnology were also pursued.

And finally, helping to develop and improve the food security of the country by using new technologies and moving towards establishing the independence of the food economy of Islamic countries as a vital component in the revival of regional power at the global level was a main priority.

Iran is ranked 12th in the world and first in West Asia in terms of biotechnology, as 9.5 percent of the income of knowledge-based companies and more than 60 percent of their exports are related to biotechnology.

The secretary general of the Biotechnology Development Headquarters has said about $1.8 billion have been saved as a result of biotechnological activities in the field of medicine.

“Efforts in the ecosystem of technology and innovation are so great that every year we see a decrease in spending foreign exchange and an increase in domestic production in the field of medicine and treatment,” ISNA quoted Mostafa Qanei as saying.

Products that have been manufactured with the help of indigenized biotechnology have met domestic needs, he added.

“Currently, about 800 knowledge-based companies are operating in the field of biotechnology, and we are trying to increase this number qualitatively and quantitatively by increasing support,” Qanei highlighted.

In January, Qanei said the U.S. sanctions have impeded the country’s ability to acquire a targeted 3 percent share of the global biotechnology market.

Iran is an advanced and developed country in the field of biotechnology and home to outstanding technologists, he added.

“We could easily increase Iran’s share of the global biological market to three percent,” he said.

Considering that Iran has 1 percent of the world’s population, we aimed to gain 3 percent of the world’s biotechnology market, but the sanctions did not allow us to become a good actor in the field of biotechnology at the international level.

The Secretary of Biotechnology Development Headquarters considered financial exchanges to be the main problem in this field.

“In recent years, we have tried to realize this plan, and technologists and knowledge-based companies have also taken steps in this direction, and good successes have been achieved, but we are far from reaching the desired point,” he noted.

Currently, around 30 types of biotech medicines are produced in the country in addition to kits, vaccines, and blood products. Also, 80 percent of biotechnology pharmaceutical items are domestically produced.


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