ScienceBEAT enabled promising students to enter a global network of professional excellence in science and entrepreneurship

  • Thanks to ScienceBEAT, twenty-eight young talents from six countries were offered a unique insight into the trends and challenges of the modern pharmaceutical industry and an opportunity to 
  •  network and learn from top scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs.
  • Keynote speakers were Sir Paul Nurse, British geneticist, cell biologist and Nobel laureate, and Andy Baynes, entrepreneur, innovator, sustainability expert, and former Apple, Google and Nest executive.
  • The four-day event took place in Ljubljana and Lendava and concluded with an award ceremony, celebrating the winning team, an outstanding individual and the recipient of an award for social media communication.
12. 9. 2023

Between September 7 and 10, Lek, a Sandoz company, hosted ScienceBEAT, a world-class scientific and professional event aimed at promising natural sciences and business students from Slovenia and abroad. Over 100 young talents competed for a slot at the event. The selection, based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, as well as professional experience and achievements, resulted in 28 standout participants from 6 countries.

The program brought together the world’s top experts in science and business with the goal to pass their valuable knowledge onto a new generation. Keynote speakers included Sir Paul Nurse, British geneticist and cell biologist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his ground-breaking research on the cell cycle, and Andy Baynes, investor, entrepreneur, sustainability expert and former Apple, Nest and Google executive.

Participants had the opportunity to gain first-hand insight into the work of Lek experts and the inspiring organizational culture of Sandoz, a global pharmaceutical company leading the development and manufacture of biosimilars and generic pharmaceuticals. In Ljubljana, they visited the Development Center Slovenia, Sandoz’s leading center for the development of technologically demanding products, and the Aseptics unit. The program then moved to Lek’s Lendava site, home to the Anti-infectives production facility and packaging of finished pharmaceutical dosage forms. 

At Lek headquarters in Ljubljana, participants were addressed by Matjaž Tršek, Head of the Sandoz Development Center Slovenia, and Robert Ljoljo, President of the Lek d.d. Board of Management and Sandoz Country President Slovenia, whose speech highlighted the key challenges and opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry and the potential of young talents: “The importance of collaboration in the complex world of the pharmaceutical industry cannot be overstated. When facing challenges and making the most of opportunities offered by artificial intelligence, digitalization and data analytics, we can pioneer access for patients even faster with the help of strategic partnerships and interdisciplinary collaboration – principles Lek has championed for decades. We must not overlook the importance of young talent, their fresh perspectives, insatiable curiosity, and drive to explore new approaches. Encouraging their development and giving them a unique glimpse into the pharmaceutical industry at the very start of their career are an important investment into our shared future.”

In addition to expert lectures, workshops and guided tours of Lek sites, the program included a group collaboration on a set pharmaceutical-business challenge, where participants could put their knowledge and skills into practice, as well as several activities aimed at developing their social skills, discovering the local community, and networking.

Awarding standout achievements

The event concluded with an award ceremony. An expert panel selected several standout achievements: the team with the best business solution to the set challenge, the most outstanding individual participant, as well as gave out an award for social media communication. All winners also received a financial award.

Participants, divided into groups, sought solutions to challenges in three separate categories: production strategies, Go-to-Market strategies for biosimilars, and financial planning. The winning team, comprised of Niko Petrović, Ema Čemerika, Anja Vidović, Luka Svet, Xeniya Klokova and Arijan Valar, convinced the expert jury with their project titled Blueprint for success.

At the announcement, Anja Vidović and Niko Petrović from the winning team said: “Our compliments to the ScienceBEAT team for their top-notch organization of the event. We most appreciated being able to combine knowledge from various fields and achieve the winning result. When working on the challenge, each team member had complete freedom to apply the knowledge from our respective fields of study. The final result surpassed even our expectations.”

The jury also selected one standout participant who excelled at combining the scientific and entrepreneurial mindset and left an important mark on the event with their knowledge, expertise and personality. Mateusz Kosiński from Poland was named the winner of ScienceBEAT. He said: “This was an incredible experience and I would like to thank Lek for this award. I would highly recommend the next generation to take part in ScienceBEAT, which is an excellent stepping-stone for one’s future, especially thanks to acclaimed guests like Sir Paul Nurse and Andy Baynes. It is a unique opportunity to meet world-class experts, talk to them and ask them questions that perhaps no one else in the world is able to answer.”

The award for social media communication went to Matej Mivšek from Slovenia, who was most active on social media before and during the event. His enthusiastic participation in posts and discussions, and proactive approach greatly contributed to the visibility and publicity of the event.

At the close of the event, Jure Vajs, Head Strategic Programs at Lek and head of the ScienceBEAT organizational committee, said: “I can say that the event exceeded all our expectations. Young talents, exceptional scientists and successful entrepreneurs were brought together for this unforgettable experience, which promoted learning, development of innovative ideas, and building valuable relationships. Our vision was to create a space where knowledge and curiosity meet, where limits are pushed, and where relationships between generations and academic disciplines are forged. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event’s success through hard work and devotion. Special thanks go to our partners: the University of Ljubljana, the University of Maribor, the University of Primorska, the Ljubljana University Incubator, the SPIRIT Slovenia agency, and the WorkInHealth Foundation. Together, we laid solid foundations for the future.”

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Lek, a Sandoz  company, is the first and longest-standing pharmaceutical company in Slovenia, developing, manufacturing and marketing effective, safe and high-quality generics and biosimilars for patients around the world. Our work is guided by high ethical standards, innovative thinking and breakthrough achievements by our world-class experts. With more than 3700 associates, we have been actively shaping the Slovenian, European and global R&D landscape for decades. We are building a culture of open dialogue and proudly and responsibly hold the title of Slovenia's most reputable employer.

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines covers all major therapeutic areas.

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This press release contains statements and forecasts of future business operations. The forecasts include estimates based on all the information currently available to us. Should these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results of business operations could be different from those expected.

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For further information, please contact:
Gregor Makuc
Corporate Affairs
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Telephone: 01 580 22 43