European Conference
February 9 and 10, 2024 | Cambridge, MA

Jelena Begović

Minister of Science, Technological Development and Innovation of Serbia

Jelena Begović is the Minister for Science, Technological Development, and Innovation of Serbia. She completed her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the Faculty of Biology at the University of Belgrade, spending two years of the program at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Now, Dr Begović is the director of the Institute for Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering and scientific advisor at the University of Belgrade. For more than 20 years, Dr Begović has been engaged in research work in the fields of molecular genetics and biotechnology and has published more than 60 scientific papers in leading international journals.

Since 2011, Dr Begović has represented the Republic of Serbia in the Board of Governors—the governing body of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), founded by the United Nations. In recognition of her exceptional leadership in securing financing for scientific projects and education of Serbian students, Dr. Begović was elected by the members of the ICGEB Board of Governors as its Chairperson in 2023, making her the first woman in history to hold this position.

Over the years, Dr Begović has gained experience and knowledge about the complete process of the creation of innovations and their commercialisation, from the laboratory to the market, and as an expert has been involved in a diverse range of projects to boost Serbia’s scientific development and healthcare facilities. These projects include creating state strategies such as the Smart Specialisation Strategy of Serbia, coordinating the construction of the Fire Eye laboratories during the pandemic, increasing Serbia’s Covid-19 testing capacity, and establishing the Centre for Sequencing and Bioinformatics in 2021 to enable Serbia to start forming a national genomic data bank.

Additionally, she is one of the creators of the BIO4 campus project, which was supported by the Serbian government to gather research entrepreneurs and companies around one idea: to develop Serbia through success in biomedicine and biotechnology.

Speaker Schedule

Friday, February 9, 2024

at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS)
5:30pm – 6:30pm
What is the Future of Science and Innovation in Europe? Jelena Begović | Olivier Bogillot | Jo Johnson Moderated by Malgorzata Chalupowski
JFK Jr. Forum
Navigating New Normals: Europe’s Economic Resilience in Times of Change José Manuel Campa Moderated by Victoria Ivashina
Starr Auditorium