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EU-financed Biocev scientific centre opens near Prague

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Vestec near Prague, June 16 (CTK) – The Biocev centre of biotechnology and biomedicine, a project for 2.3 billion crowns prevailingly financed from EU money, was ceremonially opened in Vestec on Thursday, six months after its completion and launch of operation.

When the centre was put into operation in January, Pavel Belobradek, deputy prime minister for science and development, said it is a positive experience to see forces being joined in working on similar projects.

The centre focuses on five scientific programmes that are interlinked an narrowly cooperate with each other, its director Pavel Martasek told CTK on Thursday.

The programmes deal with developing new medicines, improving diagnostics methods, structural biology, biochemistry of parasites, virology and other issues.

The EU previously permitted the work on the programmes to start still before the completion of the Vestec complex.

“Over 320 items have been published within the Biocev programmes already,” Martasek said.

Biocev employs 397 people from the Czech Republic and abroad, a half of them being scientists.

“We want to have 400 scientists and 200 students and technical personnel here by 2020,” Martasek said.

Biocev is one of the Czech Republic’s several big scientific projects known as excellence centres, which also include the ELI super laser in the nearby Dolni Brezany.

During its construction, Biocev’s budget had to be reduced by one billion crowns, which is why one wing of the complex remained unbuilt.

It may be completed in future if money is gained for it, Martasek said.

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