EU brings Czech bio-hub to life
The Czech government has beefed up its investments in biotech with the help of EU structural funds. In February, the country’s Education Minister Josef Dobes gave the go-ahead for the Biocev centre in Vestec near Prague. Although the EU has cut the proposed budget by 30%, the joint project set up by the Czech Academy of Science and the Charles University Prague will receive enough money to build a biomedical research hub within the next two years. “Despite the almost 30% cut in the originally requested subsidy, we have managed to pass from intentions to a real project, while maintaining high quality and intertwined expert programmes,” said Vaclav Horejsi, Director of the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the Czech Academy of Sciences. About 600 researchers will work at the €91.4m biomedical hub, which aims to boost its research programmes in drug development, diagnostics, and regenerative medicine by luring world-class scientists with high wages and moving expenses. Biocev is one of six so-called ‘Centres of Excellence’ that will be funded with a total budget of €834m of EU money. On the biotech side they include the Brno-based €100m centre CEITEC and the International Clinical Research Centre FNUSA-ICRC, which costs around €200m.