23.01.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

SEE PhytoChemNet - Southeast European Network on Phytochemistry and Chemistry of Natural Products for Green and Sustainable Growth

©SEE PhytoChemNet

In the frame of the International Year of Chemistry 2011, nine countries from South-East Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey) created in 2011 the Southeast European Network on Phytochemistry and Chemistry of Natural Products for Green and Sustainable Growth (SEE PhytoChemNet). The network, established with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office, is open to any other country in the region. The Advisory Board of UNESCO International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) and the Division of Basic and Engineering Sciences of the Natural Sciences Sector of UNESCO have encouraged and welcomed this initiative.

The Balkan Peninsula is located in a climatically favourable environment and has a rich variety of plants with a high potential, not only in pharmacology but also in numerous other fields. For relatively poor countries with insufficient organic and inorganic deposits in their soils, the phytochemistry and the chemistry of natural products offer a chance to develop a sound economy based on knowledge with high added value. Taking into account the dependence of the properties of plants on climate and on other geographical characteristics, the complementariness among countries in the region, between them and other regions, may be exploited usefully.

The Southeast European Network on Phytochemistry and Chemistry of Natural Products for Green and Sustainable Growth (SEE PhytoChemNet) was officially launched on the occasion of a regional meeting of experts titled “South East European Network in Phytochemistry and Chemistry of Natural Products. Contribution to a Regional Strategy for Growth and Jobs Creation” held at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia (Bulgaria) from 30 September to 1 October 2011. 

The strategic goal of SEE PhytoChemNet is the utilization of the local biodiversity to search for biologically active compounds for applications (biomedical, cosmetic, functional food etc.) and commercialization. Its scientific aims are to elaborate a strategic vision based on the better utilization of the endogenous capacities to develop the phytochemistry and the chemistry of natural products as generators of new technologies for products and services to advance the health and well-being of people; and, to concentrate human potential, competences and efforts with a view to perform design and syntheses of compounds and structures for biomedical applications using intra- and inter-regional synergies.

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