Belgrade, Serbia, 20 October 2022 – The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, and the President of the World Economic Forum, Børge Brende, today officially launched the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Serbia (C4IR Serbia) as part of the Biotech Future Forum 2022, which was held in the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade.
C4IR Serbia was founded in March as a partnership between the Government of Serbia and the World Economic Forum. The centre is part of the global network of C4IR centres, acting as the foremost global platform for helping leaders anticipate exponential technologies and accelerate their inclusive and sustainable adoption.
With 16 centres across the network, C4IR Serbia is the first to lead on biotechnology and artificial intelligence for healthcare. The centre has already been pivotal in establishing cross-network collaboration and generating international learnings, while supporting the new biotechnology community in the country and helping to position Serbia as a country of new technologies, knowledge and innovation.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić said, “I am extremely pleased and honoured that Belgrade is the host of the first International Conference on the Future of Biotechnology. I hope that this is just the beginning for us, and the first step for Serbia to position itself among the leaders in the field of biotechnology in Europe. Science, innovation, technology, and creativity are our strengths, and thanks to this, Serbia has transformed in the last 10 years. Biotechnology, biomedicine, bioinformatics, and biodiversity will be among the most important priorities of the new Government and will be the focus of the work of the BIO4 Campus.”
Addressing the conference participants, Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum said: “With the establishment of the centre in Belgrade for the Fourth Industrial Revolution earlier this year, the World Economic Forum and the Government of Serbia are committed to supporting the accelerated adoption of emerging technologies in Serbia. Launching the centre at the Biotech Future Forum is a primary example of the contribution the centre already makes in bringing together local and international stakeholders to address critical opportunities and challenges to advance the benefits of biotechnology.”
The Biotech Future Forum, organized by the Government of Serbia, in cooperation with the World Economic Forum and with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), convened representatives of more than 20 countries.
Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme said, “UNDP is supporting the Government of Serbia in the digitalization process and to roll-out a range of digital solutions benefiting businesses and citizens. To help Serbia reap the benefits of biotechnology, not just for itself, but also for the progress of the region and beyond, we have been assisting the work of the new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Belgrade. It is our joint task to create adequate regulation, and ensure that these new technologies are developed, tested, and used for the benefit of the whole society, leaving no one behind.
The conference gathered the three sectors of society that have the greatest effect on the development of biotechnology – the public and private sectors and the academic community – to encourage cooperation and to exchange knowledge and experience. Representatives from five countries within the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network – Brazil, India, Israel, Rwanda, Serbia -shared their experiences in advancing the adoption of emerging technologies, including biotechnology and AI, in their healthcare systems. They highlighted the complex multistakeholder environment of biotechnology and also its massive potential for improving lives, along with the important role C4IR Serbia plays in driving responsible adoption both locally and globally.
The centre will continue to play a pivotal role in leading on biotechnology and the use of AI in healthcare in the growing Fourth Industrial Revolution network.
The World Economic Forum’s global C4IR network is a platform for multi-stakeholder collaboration, bringing together the public and private sectors to maximize technological benefits to society while minimizing the risks associated with 4IR technologies.