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FEATURE STORY July 7, 2020

From Bio-sludge to COVID Testing: Transforming Businesses to Address a Pandemic in North Macedonia

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BioEngineering, LTD, is a small, engineering firm based in Skopje, North Macedonia, specializing in research and development of new products, systems and innovative technologies in the field of ecology and industrial biotechnology. When the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting people’s health and well-being and threatened to overwhelm the country’s healthcare systems, Ivan Kungulovski, BioEngineering LTD CEO, recognized the potential his business had to help in this time of crisis.

Co-funding from the Fond for Innovation and Technological Development, through the World bank Skills Development and Innovation support project, enabled the company to expand their work in the field of molecular biology, which allows it to perform routine microbiological and meta-genomic analysis.

“Part of the equipment in the laboratory was converted and transferred to the genetics laboratory to boost existing capacity for the increased need for COVID-19 tests,” said Ivan Kungulovski. “Our laboratory was the first to start doing these tests in the country at the end of January 2020. By transferring the biosafety level 2 working cabinet, we managed to get a laboratory with biosafety level 3 protocols that are needed for work with this virus.”


"At the moment, we are improving and expanding the COVID-19 testing, and we started the first sequencing of the genome of this virus in the Balkans"
Ivan Kungulovski
CEO, Bioengineering LTD, North Macedonia

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Ivan Kungulovski, CEO of Bioengineering LTD in North Macedonia, recognized the potential his business had to help in this time of crisis.


With the conversion and procurement of new equipment the company managed to increase capacity to 400 COVID-19-related tests per day. In parallel, the company is working on the latest antibody detection technology and will also begin conducting these tests. 

Speaking about this work, Mr. Kungulovski said, “At the moment, we are improving and expanding the COVID-19 testing, and we started the first sequencing of the genome of this virus in the Balkans. We procured additional equipment, and we have master’s students and PhD candidates that help us in these situations. “

BioEngineering LTD is one of a growing number of firms in North Macedonia redirecting their usual operations in novel ways to help the country meet the moment in this time of crisis. The Angor-AG technology firm, based in Struga, for example, is offering its HEALTH eGuard - an integrated system for preventive health care and detection of cardiovascular disease – to health professionals for free, allowing them to monitor the health of their patients without having to go to their offices. Another health firm, Innovation DOO, has also offered free services during this pandemic, donating 10 Electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors and providing free software so that doctors can monitor patients remotely without physical contact.

Health firms in North Macedonia are not the only companies developing unique solutions to help assist people during the unprecedented disruption caused by the pandemic. The Skamper Educational Center in Skopje is offering free educational materials for children between the ages of 3 and 6 and providing additional resources to parents, while the Marjanonvic Center has provided free courses and educational material for people interested in learning web design and web development.

All these firms have been able to redirect funds from the Skills Development and Innovation Support Project to better serve their fellow citizens during this time of crisis. They are also connected as part of a broad support network that has formed during the COVID-19 pandemic to help people cope during uncertain times – from bolstering healthcare systems to providing educational opportunities.

“We are working around the clock, but we are very pleased with the results we have achieved,” Ivan Kungulovski concluded.


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