German-Danish R & D Collaboration in Biotech is Evolving
On the Picture (by Dirk Masbaum): Elias Zafirakos, Biopeople, hosted a morning session presenting the Danish biotech industry at the annual conference for the German biotech industry, “Deutsche Biotechnologietage” in Hamburg
When the Danish life science cluster, Biopeople, invited members from companies and researchers from universities on a ‘BioMedTech partnering mission’ to Lübeck in Germany, it was the beginning to an exciting journey. The BioMedtech partnering missions where developed in 2012 by Lübeck Chamber of Commerce, Biopeople and the northern German cluster Life Science Nord to strengthen R&D collaborations around the Fehmarn Belt region. The third partnering mission took place in March 2014, and included a visit to Johnson & Johnson Medical European Surgical Institute who trains surgeons from all over Europe in the latest minimal invasive surgery skills. Dirk Hermsmeyer, Project Manager at Lübeck Chamber of Industry and Commerce, is pleased with this growing collaboration: “Overall, more than 94% of participants this year stated that they were pleased with the outcome of the BioTec and MedTec partnering mission in Lübeck.” The next partnering mission to Lübeck is already scheduled for 17 and 18 March 2015.
In addition to the annual partnering missions, several exciting initiatives that are beneficial to the German and Danish innovation environments continue to evolve, thereby strengthening the cross-border collaboration.
New funding opportunity for cross border collaboration
The Initiative ‘Translational Technology Transfer Initiative for Industry and Science in the Fehmarnbelt-Öresund Corridor’ (FBÖ TransTechTrans) supports cross-border collaboration between industry and academia by granting up to € 5,000 to short term staff exchange between industry and academia along the Fehmarn Belt Öresund corridor, including northern Germany (DE), Zealand (DK) and southern Sweden (SE). Next deadline for proposals: 15 June 2014. For more info: www.fbo-corridor.eu
German and Danish biotech meet
A new dimension of the Danish German collaboration was initiated when Danish companies got the opportunity to participate and present themselves at the annual conference for the German biotech industry, “Deutsche Biotechnologietage” in Hamburg. It was the first time a partner country was invited to the conference. Dr. Hinrich Habeck, CEO of the cluster management Life Science Nord, invited Elias Zafirakos, Biopeople, to host a morning session presenting the Danish biotech industry. Habeck explains: “We see ourselves as the stepping stone for Germany to enhance the exchange to the Nordic countries. Hence, we were glad to be able to further improve the ties to Denmark and beyond by having the Biopeople over for this well-attended morning session.” Also, they would work to improve relationships by setting up joint events in the future. ”We are looking forward to meeting old acquaintances and making new contacts at the Nordic Life Science Days in September,” adds Habeck.
“An excellent opportunity to network with German companies”
Lars H. Pedersen from Danish Bioneer presented at the conference, and he was very pleased with this new opportunity. ”Bioneer participated for the first time in ‘Deutsche Biotechnologietage’ and attended many sessions at a very high academic level both in the commercial field and regarding the scientific development in companies. The company presentations were, unlike what you see at various business conferences, very scientifically and technically detailed. The only minor drawback at the conference was that the presentation language was German. Most slides, however, were in English and questions and the dialogue were in English, too,” says Lars H. Pedersen. “This German conference is an excellent opportunity to meet biotech companies, universities and networks from all over Germany and several other European countries. I warmly recommend that Danish biotech companies and CROs use this opportunity to participate next year.”
Strengthened collaboration has now become a strategic focus area for the Danish government
Recently, the Danish government suggested focusing on the innovative excellence of the Fehmarn Belt region: “The government proposes to strengthen international efforts in the Danish innovation networks and cluster organizations to ensure more new innovation partnerships between Danish and foreign companies. The government also proposes to implement a targeted effort to strengthen the innovation environment around Fehmarn Belt.” (Source: The Danish government’s growth package, May 2014).