In addition to priorities in the healthcare, industrial and agricultural biotech sectors, EuropaBio works on a number of initiatives to strengthen biotechnology in Europe. These include supporting and raising awareness of biotech SMEs, global industry collaboration through the International Council of Biotech Associations, and outreach projects to raise the profile of European biotech among policymakers and the broader public.
The 2016 European Biotech Week, organised between 26 September and 2 October, broke new records building on the success of 2015. Not only did it feature in the first ever Global Biotech Week, but it also set a new record with 16 European countries involved, including 3 newcomers: Austria, Norway and Sweden. 135 activities and events organised across Europe involved thousands of Europeans and ranged from open door days, symposiums, round table discussions and competitions, to hands-on experiments and theatre shows.
The awards ceremony was the highlight of a top-level European Biotech SME Forum attended by 12 CEOs and many other industry leaders. One of the Forum’s key outcomes was the launch of the Call to Action for Biotech SMEs in Europe.
In addition to celebrating these exceptional SMEs, the 2016 awards were ground-breaking in other ways too:
With the ‘Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards’, now in their 7th year, EuropaBio recognises exceptional small and medium-sized companies in Europe that have developed novel ways of addressing our societal, technical, and environmental problems through the application of biotechnology. The 2016 winners were:
Plant Response Biotech, a Spanish company developing novel natural products to confer resistance and enhance plant responses to biotic and abiotic stress.
OxyMem, an Irish company aiming to revolutionise biological aeration for industrial and municipal wastewater plants.
The runners-up in the industrial biotech category were Biosyntia and MetGen.
Cellectis, a French biopharmaceutical company developing adoptive immunotherapies for cancer.
The runners-up in the healthcare biotech category were Oryzon Genomics and TiGenix.
We marked the anniversary with a unique Charity Gala Dinner entitled ‘Back to the Biotech Future’. Attended by 150 guests from industry, member companies and associations, EU Institutions, academia, as well as former staff members, the event both looked back at the evolution of the European biotech industry over the past twenty years and looked forward to what the future holds. Thanks to their generosity, over 20.000€ was raised through a silent auction for an EMBO fund covering short-term fellowships for talented researchers and their studies on systems biology and genomic and computational science.What else happened?
The dinner ended with award-winning doctoral student Jyaysi Desai and her team explaining the complex science of her PhD research through a memorable dance performance.
In 2016, the International Council of Biotech Associations, of which EuropaBio is an active and founding member, organised the inaugural Global Life Sciences Ministerial-Industry Meeting entitled “How to Boost Socio-Economic Benefits of Biotech Innovation – Domestic Policy and Global Competition”. It was attended by the Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block, the European Medicines Agency's Executive Director Guido Rasi, and many other high-level representatives from governments and biotech industries worldwide.