With EU and UNIDO support Tbilisi hosted the International Conference “Biopharma 2023 Georgia”
With the support of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), under the EU-funded project on “Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia”, UNIDO, in close cooperation with the Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster, organised an international conference on the topic of “Biopharma 2023 Georgia” at Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace. The Conference brought together both national and international stakeholders working in the field of Biopharmaceuticals and Biotechnology.
The conference was opened, and welcome remarks were delivered by Mindy Bojkova, Attaché, The Delegation of the European Union to Georgia; Giorgi Andguladze, The UNIDO National Project Coordinator; Rati Golijashvili, Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster Board Chairman; Avtandil Kasradze, Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency; and Levan Gogiberidze, President of the Association of Pharmacists of Georgia.
The conference, focusing on “Biopharmaceuticals and Biotechnology in the Pharmaceutical Sector,” aimed to position Georgia as a pivotal international hub, fostering collaboration among scientists, innovators, research organisations, policymakers, regulators, and key decision-makers.
Besides the cluster and its members, the conference was attended by the representatives of the EU, UNIDO, educational and research institutions, the regulatory agency for pharmaceutical activities, high-level representatives from the Georgian Government and other relevant agencies and experts in the field of Healthcare and Biotechnology. “Biopharma 2023 Georgia” was dedicated to exploring advancements, technologies, innovations, and regulations in the Biopharma industry. The conference invited participants worldwide to attend, share insights, and discuss recent developments in pharmaceutical sciences and biotechnology. It aimed to facilitate knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and partnerships within the biopharmaceutical industry, addressing critical healthcare challenges such as antimicrobial resistance and complexities associated with herbal medications. The main focus of discussions revolved around three topics: EU and UNIDO support for the Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster, biopharmaceuticals and antimicrobial resistance, and the production of herbal medicines. EU and UNIDO support were explicitly discussed in the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance framework, which aims to bring the cluster closer to European standards. The participants agreed to extend their efforts to collaborate and foster technology transfer into the foreseeable future, aiming at better openness and integration in the Biopharmaceuticals value chain.
The Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster brings together Georgian manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, but mainly the producers of bacteriophages, herbal medicines and generics. Institutions and organisations in the related and supporting sectors, such as the Lugar Center for Public Health Research and the Regulatory Agency for Pharmaceutical Activities, play a key role in shaping the context and the enabling environment for pharmaceutical companies to function and thrive. More information about the cluster is available on the website of the Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster.
Both bacteriophage and herbal medicine production have a long history in Georgia, dating back to the Soviet times, based on extensive Research and Development (R&D) in pursuit of innovative biopharmaceutical solutions. The historical context allows today’s producers to build on their experience and create a well-crafted narrative about their capabilities based on solutions and results achieved over decades of research and scientific exploration. Now is the time to discuss the recent developments in the Georgian Biopharmaceutical sector and to pave the way to future innovation, modernisation and progress. This is true, especially after the contribution of the EU and UNIDO to help manufacturers of pharmaceuticals establish grounds for implementing an international standard of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), thus bringing the cluster closer to the European standards.
“The European Union is proud to support innovation and enterprise in Georgia. The Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster is one example of the European Union’s support of Georgian businesses under its ENPARD and EU4Business programmes. The innovative efforts of the cluster pave the way for the production of pharmaceutical products in compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMP), bringing the cluster closer to European standards. We hope the Biopharmaceutical Cluster’s success will be an inspiration for other companies to advance knowledge-intensive and high value-added production in Georgia, and in line with EU standards,” stated Mindy Bojkova, Attaché, Program Officer for Private Sector Development and Trade Facilitation of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
“The event marks the first attempt to present Georgia as an international space for innovators, experts and bright minds to engage with one another, exchange ideas and share their knowledge. With the EU and UNIDO support Georgian producers are now better positioned to lead the initiative towards further integration and better coordination between different cluster stakeholders across the globe.” said Giorgi Andguladze, UNIDO National Project Coordinator.
“The conference will trigger discussions and dialogue to raise awareness about various concerns related to biopharma technology, specifically in the Bacteriophage and Herbal Medicinal clusters. The conference will also help address recent regulatory developments in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing sector, particularly concerning Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP),” stated Rati Golijashvili, Board Chairman of the Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster.
The support programme for the cluster is organised under the project on Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia. The programme is funded by the European Union with a budget of Euro 6 million and implemented by four UN agencies – the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).