EuropaBio SME Platform Newsletter, May 2013
Dear Members of SME Platform, dear friends of SMEs,
In this edition we continue to place the spotlight on one of the most important issues currently facing SMEs in Europe: Access to Finance. EuropaBio is undertaking a number of initiatives to address the financial pressures facing SME’s, including working closely with the European institutions to develop policies making funding programmes more accessible to SME’s. It is a critical time in Europe for Horizon 2020 - the European Commission Funding Programme for Research and Innovation which will replace the Framework programmes. With the European Parliament due to vote on the budget before the summer, it is essential that the incentives for facilitating participation of SMEs included in the Commission proposal are not forgotten. Administrative burdens have been greatly reduced for SMEs, as well as, a reduction in the number of cross-border partnerships necessary for participation. Also, the Commission has proposed an increase in funding for industry led proposals. It is imperative that these promises are carried through. We are also looking closely at alternative funding streams from the private sector that can benefit
innovation. In this newsletter, EuropaBio member, Dr. Peter Heinrich, Managing Director of Sinfonie Life Science Management and President of BioDeutschland, describes the changing landscape in funding for European biotech companies, outlines some of the new funding streams, and recommends policies necessary to ensure a viable community of European SMEs in biotechnology.
EuropaBio is also dedicated to raising the public profile of innovative biotech SME’s and the role that they play in our economy. Increasing public awareness contributes to greater public support and potentially, greater investment in biotech SME’s. We recently launched two exciting new initiatives for in support of biotech SMEs and the biotech industry at large. Firstly, is the Annual Most Innovative Biotech SME Award, now in its fourth year. Applications are now open until June 10th. More details on the application process can be found within the newsletter. An interview with one of last year’s winners, Global Bioenergies, is also featured in this newsletter.
Secondly, the first ever European Biotech Week will take place throughout Europe during the first week of October. A number of events have already been arranged from science cafes open to the public to career seminars for students and symposiums for members of parliament. Biotech Week offers something for everyone- expert or non-expert- wanting to learn more about how biotech impacts their everyday lives.
Finally, EuropaBio is seeking to strengthen the environment for biotech entrepreneurship in Europe by collaborating with Ernst & Young on research into tax, financial and regulatory issues facing biotech start-ups and SMEs. The first edition of the joint report ‘What Europe has to offer biotechnology companies’ was widely requested by investors, regulators and big-pharma companies globally. The second edition of the report is due for publication in early 2014. In this regard, we want to encourage your comments and advice as we shape our priorities to strengthen the environment and opportunities for small and medium biotechnology enterprises in Europe. A short survey regarding the report can be found below. I encourage you to respond as soon as possible.
Thomas Reese Saylor, Chairman Europabio’s SME Platform for Europe, CEO of Arecor