This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
AERAP Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Forum, 7 - 10 March 2023
The Forum will be designed to inform and engage with policymakers to ensure that the role and contribution of science, enabled through digital technologies, is reflected in European Union and its Member States’ policies concerning Africa. The meetings will also be designed to increase the level of participation and reinforce the networking by African nations’ with their partners in related EU programmes and science and innovation programmes supported by European Union member states and some associated countries. Digital capacities, existing and new, for expanding science inclusion and citizen participation by all groups in society across Africa, will be explored.
Key policy and programme developments include:
The meeting will address a range of themes, including Biodiversity Health, Medicine, Life Sciences, Geoscience, ICT, Digital Transformation, the Green Agenda, Women and Girls in science, Astronomy, reskilling and upskilling and Agri-food systems. In the Forum, we will examine the feedback loops between scientific funding, education funding, and digital transformation to support evidence for policymakers.

The meeting will also consider how emerging regulations covering data protection, medical devices, in-vitro diagnostics, and other areas impact science in Africa and science and innovation cooperation between Africa and the European Union.

The global context will be considered through the inclusion of speakers from the UN, OECD and other multilateral bodies.

The programme below is still in development so please check it regularly for updates.
Back To Schedule
Thursday, March 9 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
(09329) Plant Molecular Pharming in Africa

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Add to your schedule to access the video stream
Description of the AERAP Science Session
“Plant Molecular Pharming in Africa”

Mr Declan Kirrane ISC Intelligence, Moderator
Dr George Owusu Essegbey Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana, Co-Moderator
Prof Kurt Zatloukal Medicines4Future (M4F) and Medical University of Graz, Austria
Ms Belinda Shaw Cape Bio Pharms, Cape Town, South Africa
Prof Josef Glössl M4F and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Austria

As a result of widespread economic inequities, millions of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) lack appropriate access to medicines because the domestic biopharmaceutical production capacity is limited. High global demand of biopharmaceuticals (vaccines or medicines) leads to a supply shortage, with detrimental consequences for the health of LMIC populations. A route forward to improve accessibility and affordability to medicines in LIMC and the resilience against future global pandemics is to build local medical infrastructure, including manufacturing infrastructure to produce biopharmaceuticals locally and to educate skilled people capable of managing emergency situations in public health.
The COVID-19 pandemic clearly showed that globally centralized approaches to vaccine development, manufacture and distribution were inefficient and unequal. Therefore, new approaches to global collaboration and capacity building are urgently needed. Low- and middle-income countries currently depend on biopharmaceutical suppliers located in a few developed countries. Diversifying biopharmaceutical production into technologies that are less dependent expert staff and specialized infrastructure can reduce production costs and improve the regional independence of these countries from global supply chains.
Plant Molecular Pharming (PMF), a technology platform for the production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, will be highlighted in the session as one such diversifying option. PMF is an innovative and versatile technology platform to achieve a simple, scalable and low-cost yet versatile and reliable production of biopharmaceuticals. For example, therapeutic proteins for the treatment of infectious and non-communicable diseases as well as diagnostic agents can be produced within a few weeks. The potential and challenges of PMF will be reviewed, emphasizing future opportunities to utilize PMF as an innovative technology platform with low entry barriers for dethe -centralized production of biopharmaceuticals in countries where better accessibility to medicines and vaccines at affordable prices is urgently needed. As tangible examples, the South-African based company Cape Bio Pharms, pioneers in plant-based production of recombinant proteins, as well as the concept of the Austrian initiative Medicines for Future (M4F) for developing a modular, scalable container-based manufacturing facility for the production of biopharmaceuticals using PMF will be presented.
Importantly, international equal partnerships between countries for jointly developing manufacturing infrastructure will require accompanying collaborations aiming at the education and training of skilled people for qualifying them as workforce for plant-based pharmaceutical production facilities in low- and middle-income countries. This concerted approach will ultimately lead to the creation of new qualified jobs in these countries. It will also reduce the risk of disrupted supply chains, as experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taken together, the collaboration model to be discussed in the session “Plant Molecular Pharming in Africa” will contribute to enabling low- and middle-income countries to develop their own sustainable and scalable manufacturing capacity for biopharmaceuticals based on innovating drug discovery, leading to lower dependency from global supply chains.

Prof. Josef Glössl, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Austria
Email: josef.gloessl@boku.ac.at;  Mobile: +43 664 544 5282; www.boku.ac.at
Ms Belinda Shaw, CEO and Founder of Cape Bio Pharms, Email: belinda@capebiopharms.com;
Mobile +27 83 456 2760; www.capebiopharms.com
Prof. Kurt Zatloukal, Medical University of Graz, Austria
Email: kurt.zatloukal@medunigraz.at; Mobile +43 664 153 3264; www.medunigraz.at

avatar for Josef Glössl

Josef Glössl

University Professor, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)
Josef Glössl is Professor emeritus of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Austria, where he initiated research on Plant Molecular Pharming (PMP), including glyco-engineering of plants, aiming at optimizing plant... Read More →
avatar for George Owusu Essegbey

George Owusu Essegbey

Chief Research Scientist, CEO/ Chief Research Scientist, CSIR Technology Development and Transfer Centre, Ghana
Dr. GEORGE OWUSU ESSEGBEY, is the CEO/Chief Research Scientist of the CSIR-Technology Development and Transfer Centre. I was the former Director of the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana... Read More →
avatar for Kurt Zatloukal

Kurt Zatloukal

Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular Biomedicine, Director of BBMRI.at, Medical University of Graz
Kurt Zatloukal, M.D. is a professor of pathology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria and is head of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular Biomedicine. His research focuses on the molecular pathology of diseases as well as biobanking and related technologies. He coordinated... Read More →
avatar for Belinda Shaw

Belinda Shaw

Executive Chair & Founder, Cape BioLogix
Cape Biopharms (Pty) Ltd (“CBP”), established in 2018 as a spin-off of Africa’s leading university, The University of Cape Town, is one of the very few early movers in the highly promising and potentially industry disrupting area of “biopharming". Biopharming, also known as... Read More →

Thursday March 9, 2023 2:00pm - 3:30pm CET
Embassy of South Africa, Belgium