From April 24-26, a delegation of employees and students from the UT Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) visited the branch of the international biotechnology corporation Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics located in Vilnius.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics UAB is part of a large international corporation with 120,000 employees worldwide, located near Vilnius. The goal of the visit was to strengthen scientific cooperation, share mutual interests in industrial doctorate and industrial master's programmes, continue and develop the industrial internship for IMCB students, and review the activities of the Mobile Bioclass project. The IMCB and Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics UAB are long-term cooperation partners. In addition to scientific cooperation, Thermo Fisher is one of the most valuable international internships base for IMCB’s master students and it is the main sponsor of the Mobile Bioclass project in Estonia.
A group of 19 people , including employees of the institute, doctoral students from the Biomedicine and Biotechnology Doctoral School, and representatives of the Mobile Bioclass project, visited the company. Mutual interest in the visit emerged in February 2020 when company representatives participated in a Faculty of Science and Technology Career Day in Tartu. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic hampered the visit from taking place in the following years. The idea of the visit was brought up again after the pandemic receded.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics UAB has a large complex of buildings in Vilnius, the newest of which is a ~5,500 square meter production building constructed during the Covid-19 pandemic peak. Completed in just 18 weeks, the production building was built to meet the modern requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. The production facility mainly manufactures ribonucleotides and other components required for mRNA-based technology development, including the mRNA vaccines that were raised into spotlight during the pandemic.
During the visit, an overview was provided of the history, present and future perspectives of Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics UAB, which employs nearly 2000 people.. The program included visits to the R&D departments and production facilities, as well as presentations on the company's management. At the end of the tour, the heads of all the company's major R&D departments presented ongoing projects and development directions.The director of IMCB gave a brief overview of the institute’s diverse research areas. The significance and potential collaboration of the ongoing projects brought excitement to all visitors. Planning a visit of this scale, which included an introduction to production and development buildings, mutual overview of research topics, and broader discussion, was also a first of its kind for the company, demonstrating mutual interest in expanding cooperation areas.
As a result of the visit, possible cooperation was agreed upon in research activities and in industrial doctorate and industrial master's programme. IMCB students' industrial internships in Vilnius and the highly successful Mobile Bioclass project in Estonia will also go on in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics UAB.