Today we meet you with a man who is a combination of two things – a doctor and an entrepreneur. This is Vanyo Vezirov – doctor of medicine and biotechnological entrepreneur. In his first years at the university he began to participate in scientific clubs related to tissue engineering and cell culture. In 2014, he participated in a major science communication competition, Famelab, where he won a bronze medal. The following year he was invited to Famelab All Stars, where he won the BNT award. Since then he has been actively involved in science communication.
“Communication science is a skill and hobby with which you share your experience as a scientist and show how science can be accessible, easy to understand and interesting. I continued to present at the Sofia Science Festival. I have participated in more than 13 scientific conferences. Then science mixed in my mind with the biotech business. So my love of science led me to create a new emerging company and I am currently the CEO of OS IMPLANTS – a company that deals with 3D printing of bones and bone implants. So step by step, with a vision for the future, innovation in science is now my passion. In this way I fulfill my mission as a doctor – to help patients. Because I believe that being a doctor is a meaning and a vocation and you can help and treat patients, regardless of whether you work in a hospital or draw new horizons in medicine.”
Unlike many other specialists in the field of medicine, you will stay in Bulgaria. What are the reasons for this decision, which seems to be less popular among most young people?
“Yes, exactly. At this stage I will develop in Bulgaria. I’m trying to deal with the challenges behind my choice. I am not one of those people who complain about difficulties. I see no problems in staying in Bulgaria and developing here. I see opportunities to catch. Only time will tell where the wind of change will take me.”
Your work on 3D surgical implants began 3 years ago. How did the idea come and how did it developed over time?
“I have always been inspired by the future. I have always been inspired by science and medicine. I am sure that medicine will be strongly influenced by new technologies. Because I believe that medicine needs change, as we know it today. We need new solutions to the old problems. This can happen with a technology that works in practice, to create products that solves our problems as patients. That’s how I created the company OS IMPLANTS. We use 3D printing technology to create customized products for patients.
So far, we have achieved the following:
- We managed to attract an investment of 15,000 euros in the form of a grant from the EIT European Institute for Technology and Innovation in the clean technology division, managed in Bulgaria by Cleantech Bulgaria;
- We did a marketing research;
- We created 3 product lines;
- We created a 3D printing platform with hardware and software parts;
- We sold our first 50 products;
- We have established key partnerships with key organizations in the medical industry;
- We won the award for “Best Startup” according to Innovation Accelerator Bulgaria;
- We won the award “Excellence in Innovation”, presented by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria;
- We won the Innovation in Medicine Award, presented by Ambassador Muriel Berce Cohen to the most innovative country in Europe, Switzerland;
- We have two successful clinical cases with surgical guides;
We believe that through the partners who will support us, through the investors who will finance us, we will make this future more and more clear. Together with the team and the volunteers who believe that the new medicine is highly technological, we will achieve change!”
What makes Bulgaria a suitable place for the development of such an innovative business?
“Bulgaria, as part of the European Union, also has access to European funding. This creates many opportunities for the development of innovations and new products. In addition, some taxes are much lower than in other European countries. Also, a relatively large part of the highly specialized staff is paid, which is lower than the salary of specialists of this rank in other European countries. This is good for the high-tech business.”
At what level do you dream of developing your idea in another 5 years?
“As a company that can produce artificial joints and bone implants for both animals and humans, selling throughout Europe and the Middle East.”
Do you see potential in Bulgaria to be a center for innovation in medicine? Why?
“Rather not. And yet it is difficult to say. In my opinion, very little money is invested in Bulgaria in research and development in the field of biotechnology. Hence the low productivity and disinterest of most professionals. Still, that can change. A matter of policy and desire.”
Finally, share with us a dream of yours for Bulgaria.
“Maybe it’s something simple, but quite important – I dream that in Bulgaria all garbage containers will be hidden underground.”