The South African Medical Research Council and Thermo Fisher Scientific enter into a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a Centre of Excellence in South Africa

SAMRC and Thermo Fisher Scientific Memorandum of Agreement

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to collaborate on the establishment of a Centre of Excellence and training programme in the field of molecular biology and life sciences in South Africa.

The purpose of this collaboration is to address the challenges faced by the African continent in upskilling graduates and laboratory personnel, particularly in the areas of practical applications and exposure to the latest technologies in molecular biology and life sciences.

The Centre of Excellence, which is expected to launch in September 2024, will be based in Pretoria and will focus on providing accredited learning modules and training programs in general laboratory practice, theoretical science, bioinformatics, laboratory management, finance processes, and soft skills development.

MoA“By bringing together the resources, expertise, and knowledge of both SAMRC and Thermo Fisher, the Centre aims to accelerate the development of skilled laboratory professionals and build capacity within the continent,” says Prof Glenda Gray, SAMRC President and CEO. ​

Under the terms of the agreement, Thermo Fisher will provide the necessary consumables and instruments for the Centre of Excellence. ​ SAMRC, on the other hand, will enlist and support student attendance at the Centre, including financial assistance and accommodation where applicable. ​ Both parties will collaborate on the development of a certified training program curriculum, utilising Thermo Fisher’s technical skillset in the sector.

“This collaboration is part of Thermo Fisher’s Global Health Equity (GHE) initiative, which focuses on strengthening infrastructure and addressing public health concerns related to infectious diseases in low and middle-income countries. ​ By partnering with key stakeholders like SAMRC, Thermo Fisher aims to positively impact the lives of young scientists in Africa and change the training landscape and laboratory expertise on the continent,” says Urmi Prasad Richardson, Thermo Fisher’s President for Europe Middle East and Africa.​

About the SAMRC

The mandate of the SAMRC is to improve the health and quality of life of South Africans, realised through research, development and technology transfer. Established in 1969, the scope of the organisation’s research projects includes tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular and non-communicable diseases, gender and health, and alcohol and other drug abuse. With a strategic objective to help strengthen the health systems of the country, the SAMRC is a research council under the National Department of Health. Website:

About Thermo Fisher

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue of over $40 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, increasing productivity in their laboratories, improving patient health through diagnostics or the development and manufacture of life-changing therapies, we are here to support them. Our global team delivers an unrivalled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, Patheon and PPD. For more information, please visit

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