Moscow, Russia and Baltimore, Maryland are separated by language, culture and nearly 6,000 miles, yet similarities emerge within each city’s concentration on the life sciences industry.
Thanks to a recently signed memorandum of understanding between Russia’s Pushchino BioTech Cluster and the BioMaryland Center, common ground between life sciences companies in Maryland and regions across Russia is expected to grow. The Pushchino district, in the suburbs of Moscow, represents Russia’s second largest in terms of academic research, with 100 laboratories and 2500 research scientists working in the field of biotechnologies and bio-pharmacology. Likewise, Maryland is home to more than 500 life sciences companies, 59 federal labs and several additional academic and research institutions.
The signing followed a three-day visit by the Innovation Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, created by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Innovation Working Group members—led by the Russian Deputy Minister of Economy Oleg Fomichev and Special Representative for Business and Commerce of the U.S. Department of State Lorraine Hariton—gathered on April 26 to visit the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark to explore opportunities for collaboration. They were joined by leaders from the Pushchino BioTech Cluster, several representatives of Maryland and Russia biotech firms and Evgeny V. Chuprunov, the rector of Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod.
Dr. Bruce Jarrell, Chief Academic/ Research Officer, Senior Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, Baltimore; and Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs, welcomed the delegation. Dr. E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, Distinguished Professor, and Dean UMD School of Medicine also spoke to the delegation during a special reception.
The program on April 26 included several presentations and tours of the BioPark facility and Maryland Forensic Medical Center.
“We are very pleased to welcome the Innovation Working Group to Maryland, and have the opportunity to showcase our world-class universities and expanding life science community, as well as share approaches to economic development,” said Dr. Judith Britz, Executive Director of the BioMaryland Center, said in a statement. “As a global bioscience leader, Maryland is looking forward to collaborating with the Pushchino BioTech Cluster to identify opportunities for partnering together on joint research and economic development initiatives.”
“We are very elated to see that one of the Innovation Working Group initiatives has come to fruition,” Svetlana Infimovskaya, Deputy Executive Director, Association of Innovative Regions of Russia, said in a statement. “Collaboration of Pushchino BioTech Cluster and BioMaryland Center will open an opportunity to join efforts in research and economic development.”
“We are proud to have the BioMaryland Center and Pushchino as partners in the U.S.-Russia Innovation Working Group,” Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative of Commercial and Business Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, said in a statement. “These types of partnerships between regions in the United States and regions in Russia exemplify the very best of the Bilateral Presidential Commission. We hope that the BioMaryland Center-Pushchino memorandum of understanding will serve as a model for other regions.”
Find highlights from program’s presentations in the above video.