Latvia signs MOU with one of the world`s largest genome sequencing companies – BGI for developing a Life Science and Technology Center

On 27th November in the capital city of Hungary – Budapest, the annual 16+1 summit took place. Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis also participated in the event.

During the summit 23 cooperation agreements were signed and among them was a Memorandum of Understanding between one of the world’s biggest genome sequencing organisations – BGI, Wuhan National Bio-industry Base construction Managment Office and Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia on building a Latvia-Biolake-BGI Life Science and Technology Center. The center will improve economic transformation and people’s livelihood and serve as an innovation and cooperation platform for life science enterprises and research institutions of both countries, providing state of the art equipment, mentorship and commercialization. From Ministry of Economics side the Memorandum was signed by Deputy State Secretary Raimonds Aleksejenko.

Mr. Aleksejenko emphasized that the signing of this document is a serious step towards the creation of a European scale life science and technology park and also cooperation with such partners will enable Latvia to become one of the leaders in Europe in the life sciences field.

16+1 is a Chinese government initiative to facilitate cooperation with 11 EU member countries 5 Balkan countries in investments, transport, finance, science, education and culture. The first 16+1 summit took place in Warsaw, Poland, in 2012.

About BGI

BGI, as a world-leading genomics organization, was founded in 1999 with the vision of using genomics to benefit mankind. BGI’s goal is to make state-of-the-art genomics highly accessible to the global research community and clinical markets by integrating the industry’s broadest array of leading technologies, including BGI's own BGISEQ sequencing platform, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources.

In July 2017, BGI Genomics, a division of BGI Group, has carried out an initial public offering on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Current market capitalisation has reached 10 billion euro value.

About Wuhan National Bio-industry Base

The Wuhan National Bio-industry Base, also known as the Biolake, is China's second largest state-level biotech industrial base in view of overall strength, located in Wuhan East Lake High-tech Development Zone.

With the support of Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and Ministry of Economics of Latvia, BGI has choosed to develop the project in Latvia. Main reasons include Latvia’s highly developed R&D capabilities in the life science sector, established manufacturing infrastructure, highly competetive workforce and strategic geographic location.