Brussels 2 December, 2009
Yesterday 22 CEOs from Member State Biotech companies, together with representatives of 11 National Biotech Associations, converged on Europe’s capital for EuropaBio Brussels Day and a series of meetings with EU decision makers. The aim of Brussels Day is to provide an opportunity to bring these groups and individuals together to meet and network with other stakeholders at EU level.
Tom Saylor, Chair of EuropaBio’s SME Platform and CEO of Arecor, commented: “Biotech SME’s provide a growing source of innovation both for larger enterprises and the health economy in general. But the ability to build a biotech industry in Europe is seriously hampered by a lack of finance which has been recently exacerbated by global economic instability. The SME Platform intends to work closely with national biotechnology associations and other stakeholders to realise Europe’s potential as a global leader in biotechnology. Brussels Day enables us to draw together the collective experience of biotech executives throughout Europe to refine and communicate priorities to EU regulators.”
EuropaBio counts 1800 SMEs amongst its members through 26 national associations. Topics for discussion at meetings held today will include the need to attract more venture capital, to work towards making the European Research Area a reality, and for the commitment of funding at EU level. In addition, there will be a special focus on the need to ensure that the process of applying for funding under FP7 and structural funds becomes simpler, faster and less resource intensive for SMEs, many of which consist of 10 or fewer employees.
Swedish EPP MEP Chrisofer Fjellner who hosted the evening reception for the delegates on 1 December said: “Legislation has to work with, not against, innovative sectors such as Biotech. This sector has great potential to improve quality of life but it’s a highly complex field and one which generates many questions. In many cases the expertise lies with industry itself and therefore it is vital that we keep the channels of communication open”.
Also speaking at the event, Jan Wisse, Chair of the Committee of National Biotech Associations said “Our aim is to make sure that the innovation and development potential of biotech in Europe is greater than the sum of its national parts. We all have our own agendas and Centres of Excellence and that should not change. But only through co-ordinating our efforts and sharing the knowledge that we have within the Member States can we contend with our global competitors in finding solutions to the challenges of an aging population, climate change and food and energy security.”
For further information on Brussels Day, please contact
Willy De Greef
Secretary General, EuropaBio
Tel: +32 2 739 11 71; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna Dupont Inglis
Communications Manager, EuropaBio
Tel: +32 2 739 11 84; Email: email@example.com
Tel: +46 8 21 3601; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries, bringing together bioscience companies from all fields of research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. It has 74 corporate and 8 associated members, 4 BioRegions and 26 national biotechnology associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises involved in research