UVU Bio Hosts AI In Biotech Seminar, A Catalyst for Collaboration and Innovation

Woodstock, South Africa – On September 21st, 2023, UVU Bio, in partnership with Bio Safety, set a pioneering milestone by hosting the first of its kind, AI In Biotech Seminar at the UVU Africa Innovation Hub. This unique event drew participants from diverse backgrounds, including business, research, and government, both locally and internationally, with notable attendees such as the Chinese Consulate in Cape Town. The seminar ignited in-depth discussions and laid the foundation for potential future collaborations in the realm of AI in biotechnology. 


The event commenced with opening remarks by Chief Executive Officer of UVU Bio, Dheepak Maharajh, who set the stage for an intellectually stimulating day. The keynote address, titled “AI in Biotechnology: Current Landscape and Future Prospects,” was delivered by Loretta Tioiela, Founder & Managing Partner of Next Sequence Venture Capital Firm, who boasts over 12 years of experience in Cloud and AI technologies, including significant roles at industry giants such as Samsung and Huawei. 


The seminar continued with a captivating guest lecture, “Medical Technologies Evolution with AI – Future of Doctors without Stethoscopes,” delivered by Professor Sudesh Sivarasu, the visionary leader of the UCT MedTech laboratory. Prof. Sivarasu is widely regarded as one of the foremost figures in the field of medical device innovation, both nationally and internationally. His exceptional contributions to the field have earned him the distinction of being named a prolific inventor by UCT Research Contracts and Innovation. 


Throughout the seminar, participants engaged in thought-provoking panel discussions, including “Impacts, Benefits, and Ethics of AI in Biotechnology” and “Future Directions and Collaborations, particularly in South Africa,” exploring the transformative potential of AI in biotechnology. These panels included a number of industry experts and thought leaders, including the likes of Dr Jason Hlozek (UCT), Rory Moore (Von Seidels), Dr Kirsten Miller-Duys (Hyrax Biosciences), Sipho Dikweni (SA Artificial Intelligence Association), Brett Thompson (Newformfoods), Ian Merrington (UVU Africa) as well as Stuart Mesham and Shane Acton (InstaDeep/BioNtech) 


Dr. Hennie Groenewald, Executive Manager of Biosafety South Africa, who gave the closing address, articulated the profound significance of AI and biotechnology collaboration. “AI and biotechnology form a symbiotic relationship that could catalyze transformative innovation and enable South Africa to progress towards substantial prosperity,” he said. “By harnessing AI and biotechnology in a safe and viable manner, we lay the foundation for a secure and ethically guided transformative future.” 


UVU Bio Lab Manager Dr. Anesu Moyo, echoed this sentiment, urging stakeholders to join the AI in biotechnology movement. “We need to unlock the untapped potential of AI in biotechnology to drive innovation. By working together, we can ensure that AI is used ethically and responsibly to unlock new discoveries and breakthroughs in research.” 


The AI In Biotech Seminar marked a significant step towards fostering collaboration and innovation at the intersection of AI and biotechnology, promising a brighter future for South Africa’s bioeconomy. UVU Bio and BioSafety expressed their commitment to future seminars to continue nurturing this transformative partnership. 


To view the seminar highlights follow the relevant link below:

Application of AI In Biotechnology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhWVSZp6xZM

Future Directions & Collaborations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bsBTNXXyU8

Future of Doctors without Stethoscopes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJtp2DAcde4

Impact, Benefits and Ethics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B64F2evBq-g&t=79s

Fiona Tabraham

Fiona Tabraham is a strategic workforce development expert with a career founded on a resolute commitment to inclusivity, talent nurturing, and societal impact. Chief Executive of CAPACITI Digital Career Accelerator, Fiona’s passion for equity has charted pathways across numerous organisations, guiding bespoke Talent Initiatives, Future Leadership Development Programs, and transformative Career Pathway Development. Her tenure at Network Rail bore inclusive talent strategies, STEM advocacy, and innovative Graduate, Apprentice, and Internship initiatives. A trusted partner to a number of governmental, corporate and impact driven entities, Fiona empowers individuals and organisations, fostering diverse recruitment practices and innovative talent strategies. Fiona’s impact transcends the tech sector, positioning her as a leading voice for inclusive digital career initiatives.