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University of Belgrade

Transformation of the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering - IMGGE


Serbia Accelerating Innovation and Growth Entrepreneurship (SAIGE project)

With the intent to maintain excellence in science, as well as to ensure long-term quality of scientific research through the strengthening of Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering (IMGGE), the Institute has started transformation process through the Serbia Accelerating Innovation and Growth Entrepreneurship Project (SAIGE Project), Loan Agreement number: IBRD 90290YF, adopted through the Law on Loan Agreement Ratification (“Official Gazette RS - International Agreements”, no. 3/20), and in accordance with the Law on Science and Research ("Official Gazette of RS", No. 49/2019). Full support is delivered through the SAIGE Project implementation Unit.

The objective of SAIGE project is to improve (i) the relevance and excellence of scientific research, and (ii) innovative entrepreneurship and access to finance for enterprise growth, as a way of contributing to Serbia’s growth and competitiveness. Relevance of research refers to the potential of research results to be commercialized on the market, thus contributing to the economy, while excellence refers to international recognition of the quality of the research.

The project has three components.

(1) Research sector reforms component

(2) Enterprise acceleration component

(3) Project implementation, monitoring, capacity building component. 

Transformation of IMGGE

Transformation plan is based on the external assessment of the IMGGE. It aims to turn the IMGGE into a regional centre of excellence which operates in accordance with similar methods and principles as the leading RDIs in the EU and delivers substantially greater economic and social value to Serbia. By implementing this plan, IMGGE will (a) adopt best in class R&D and innovation management practices, (b) raise diverse and high-quality R&D and innovation funding from national and EU sources, and (c) identify and invest in the development of high value strategic S&T targets and related initiatives that create substantial economic outcomes and social impact.

The transformation plan will also guide IMGGE to adopt a strong and dynamic organizational framework and culture, effective corporate strategies, mechanisms and tools, resource-efficient infrastructure operations, and well-established partnerships with stakeholders in the local and national research and innovation ecosystems as well as within the European Research Area.

As a public RDI, the success of IMGGE largely depends on the quality and effectiveness of the national policies, policy instruments and legislative framework in Serbia. IMGGE will actively collaborate with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MoESTD) and the other RDIs to create the conditions required for achieving research excellence, high-value innovations and their transfer to the economy and society. It is important that IMGGE’s efforts

at the institutional level are supported by the Serbian Government and necessary improvements are made in the legislative and policy framework for full implementation of this plan. 

  1. The purpose

This document presents the transformation roadmap of IMGGE is based on the external assessment findings and recommendations. It was prepared jointly by IMGGE and INOMER.

With this plan, IMGGE is embarking on a transformation to become a regional centre of excellence, increase its relevance and impact in Serbia, and to become an active member of the European research and innovation ecosystem. This document lays out the transformation process at two stages: near-term (up to 3 years); longer term (after the 3rd year).

This transformation plan is intended to be a living document that will evolve over time and be adapted to contextual changes. 

  1. Transformation vision of IMGGE

IMGGE management and staff developed and agreed on the following vision statement to guide them through the transformation journey:


We will become a highly valued regional leading flagship institution, globally recognized for the quality of science and innovation in the field of biomedical sciences and biotechnology, driven by a cutting-edge research based on a culture of knowledge dissemination, innovation and excellence.

We are the place where inquisitive and talented researchers shape society’s future through innovative ideas, breakthrough discoveries and translation of multidisciplinary deep technology into health care, environment protection, industry and economy, leading to a better life for all.

  1. Transformation principles

The principles shaping the transformation plan of IMGGE are the following:

  • The management and governance of IMGGE are highly committed to transform IMGGE into an impactful institute and are dedicated to proactively and collectively lead the change.

  • Transformation is only possible with the active engagement and participation of IMGGE staff at all levels. Thus, the transformation of IMGGE puts the staff at the centre of the change process and ensures direct and clear communication at each step of the journey.

  • The transformation vision is the ultimate target to be achieved in 10 years through rigorous implementation of the plan outlined in this document.

  • A complete transformation is not possible without improvement of the Serbian R&D and innovation policy and legislative framework. Therefore, the IMGGE leadership will proactively work with the MoESTD to create a national framework conducive to change and supportive of growth, similar to the EU.

  • Considering the interdependence between the RDI performance and the performance of the Serbian R&D and innovation ecosystem, for successful transformation, IMGGE will proactively invest in strengthening its linkages with all types of stakeholders in the ecosystem from the start of the process. In this process, close collaboration and communication with the other RDIs that are implementing their transformation plans will be particularly important and be given high priority.

  • A successful transformation requires sufficient resources. To this end, IMGGE leadership will ensure that sufficient level of funds is raised from national and international sources, and the existing resources of the institute are used effectively and efficiently to implement this plan.

  • If endorsed, the resources to be provided by the MoESTD from the World Bank funded ‘Serbia Accelerating Innovation and Growth Entrepreneurship’ (SAIGE) project will be used effectively to ensure that the transformation is leads to desired results and the IMGGE achieves its transformation vision.

  • These transformation principles are in agreement with near to long term IMGGE science and technology transfer and development strategy and in line with the governmental strategic orientation towards BioMed and BioTech development in Serbia. Namely, there is strategic decision to bring together the key players in the field of biomedicine and biotechnology (IMGGE, Institute of Biological research Sinisa Stankovic, Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera Torlak, Faculty of Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Incubation and acceleration Hub and BioTech companies and Industry) in Serbia around “BIO4 campus: Biomedicine, Biotechnology, Biodiversity and Bioinformatics”. BIO4 campus will be a driving force to establish the functional DEEP Technology pipeline and to position Serbia on global scientific and knowledge-based economy scene.


In order to facilitate the effective transformation, the IMGGE engaged a variety of international experts. Two key players are the International Institutional Consultant (IIC) and the International Advisory Board (IAB). 

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