Biotech in the new EU Member States


To develop a strong healthcare biotech sector, it is essential to have specific support measures for biotech, as the healthcare biotech companies (especially SMEs) have different growth patterns and resources needs than in other industry sectors, whether traditional (e.g. food, industrial) or high-tech (ICT), due to the approval process for healthcare products.Therefore, companies and academics are encouraged to create biotech associations where these do not already exist, and strengthen the involvement of companies where the existing network is mainly academic. Such a network or association reinforces the visibility of the healthcare biotech sector in the country, provides one voice and point of contact for the sector and facilitate the establishment of biotech-specific support measures. Additionally, an underpinning characteristic or aim of most recommendations detailed thereafter is the need to strengthen cooperation, either between academia and industry or transnational and international. The cooperation between the academic sector (research) and businesses in biotech sector encourages the creation of public-private-partnerships and the technology transfer from academia to existing industry or spin-offs. Despite existing efforts in many countries to facilitate joint research, a certain reluctance of a more traditional academia remains to engage in joint projects with industry.  

Promoting international cooperation and encouraging partnerships development at EU level or globally in the field of biotech also helps many of the new Member States and candidate countries , where  the local markets are sometimes very small due to lack of existing developed industries, to achieving critical mass. 

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