VIB presents its annual results at BIO2004 in San Francisco

06/03/04

San Francisco, BIO2004; The North American biotech convention 'BIO' has blossomed into the place to be. Every year, the international biotech community gathers together at this mega-happening, which this year boasts 20,000 participants. VIB (the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology) is coordinating the Belgian delegation to 'BIO 2004' in San Francisco, where it will present its newly published annual results. These latest results from 2003 - with the large number of major research breakthroughs, 30 patent applications, and almost 50 agreements with industry - clearly position VIB among the top in the world.

In 2003, VIB scientists achieved 180 significant breakthroughs in a variety of domains such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, inflammatory diseases, human genetics, and plant growth. This figure surpasses that of the previous year, which was already three times as many as at the start of the institute in 1995. This result vaults Flanders' biotechnological research to the top internationally. Also in 2003, VIB expanded its research groups with 3 new ones active in emerging fields in the life sciences. In fact, this is an instance of reverse brain drain, because, after an international search, 3 Belgians proved to be the best candidates and they were eager to return to Flanders after successful careers abroad.

VIB's innovative knowledge is a continuous source of new technologies and inventions that can form the basis for new social and industrial applications, including medical diagnostics and medicines. To bring these applications into being, VIB protects its findings via patents: in 2003, 30 discoveries were sufficiently new and inventive to warrant patent applications. At the same time, VIB entered into nearly 50 collaborative agreements with business and industry. In addition, VIB was the catalyst for the creation of a new network - called 'FlandersBio' - that unites the Flemish biotech industry.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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