Jo Bury is managing director of VIB, the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology. VIB is a life science research institute where 1.300 scientists (in 76 research groups) study the molecular mechanisms of growth and development of different organisms (human beings, plants, micro-organisms) in normal (health) vs abnormal (disease, stress) conditions. The focus is strategic basic research with potential applications (in the long term) in molecular medicine and molecular farming. VIB is a multisite institution, integrated within the campuses of the universities of Ghent, Leuven, Brussels and Antwerp, based on a joint venture agreement of VIB with these 4 partner universities. Through the performance of its scientists, VIB has become a center of excellence in life science research in Europe.
Through its technology transfer activities VIB promotes the translation of its research results into products for the benefit of the consumer and the patient and contributes to new economic activity. This activity results in research collaboration and licence agreements with industry worldwide, based on knowledge, technology and intellectual property, produced at VIB. In addition VIB actively develops technology platforms as a basis for starting up new biotech companies in the close proximity of its research departments. VIB start-up companies include Ablynx (public since 2002), Devgen (public since 1997, acquired by Syngenta), CropDesign (acquired by BASF), ActoGenix, Multiplicom, Pronota, Agrosavfe, … These companies employ over 600 employees in Flanders.
VIB provides science-based information about different aspects of life sciences and its biotechnology applications to a wide audience in Flanders.
Jo Bury has a Master’s degree in Pharmacy and carries a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (University of Gent). He took an MBA degree at the Vlerick School for Management in Gent. After performing scientific research in the field of atherosclerosis during several years, he has made a career in science policy. He previously held the post of Operational Director of VLAB (Flanders’ Action Programme on Biotechnology) and science advisor at federal and regional granting bodies.
Outside VIB Jo Bury is – or has been – a board member and chair of NERF (Centre for neuro-electronic research Flanders), Temasek Life Sciences Laboratories (Singapore), Seghers Genetics and Nutrition NV, Vitamex NV and Oystershell NV. Jo Bury was also the chairman of the Review Committee of the Horizon Programme of the NGI (the Netherlands’ Genomics Initiative). Now he is SAB member of CISS (strategic advisory board) of Genome Quebec (Canada), member of the FRWB (Federale Raad voor Wetenschapsbeleid) and chair of the international research advisory board of ORCIM (the Orpheus Research Centre in Music). He has been member of multiple international review committees to review research centres, institutions, core facilities, programs and initiatives to promote excellence in life sciences and tech transfer.