The annual ”Networking Breakfast” was held at the Chicago Club on 23rd April 2013 on the occasion of the 2013 BIO International Convention, the global event for biotechnology. As part of the event, Heidelberg Technology Park (HTP) and the University Technology Park in Chicago unveiled an expanded partnering programme. Around 70 participants from 12 countries, including the CEOs of biotech and pharma companies, the operators of technology parks, business developers, lawyers and marketing experts, used the exclusive setting to make new international contacts, renew old ones and exchange thoughts on cooperation possibilities.
Heidelberg Technology Park CEO Dr. André Domin and his counterpart David Baker, Executive Director of the University Technology Park at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), signed a cooperation agreement designed to facilitate the entry of companies in their respective parks and clusters into the European and US market, thereby supporting company growth and success.
According to Domin, each park has agreed to provide up to one week of matchmaking support for companies that make the trip to the respective facilities to connect with potential customers, research collaborators, or strategic partners.
"We will strenghthen the matchmaking prodess for company personnel through a close collaboration of UTP and HTP/International Partner Port," said Domin. “David knows the biotechnology and pharma cluster in the greater Chicago area like the back of his hand and can put our Heidelberg-based companies into direct contact with important stakeholders. On the other hand, I can put the companies of the University Technology Park at ITT in contact with relevant specialists in Heidelberg. This helps us achieve our goals more quickly, thereby making valuable time- and cost savings.” The week-long programme includes intensive support for matchmaking with potential partners and each company is given its own workspace in the park. All free of charge. Participating companies just need to pay their own travel expenses and accommodation.
“We have long promoted informal exchanges through our International Soft Landing Center of Chicago. But this formalizes the process through an exciting offer that provides real value to the companies" said Baker. "It is similar to André’s PartnerPort in Heidelberg. The one-week programme provides companies with the assistance they need and helps my tenants find their way around Heidleberg rapidly, something that would otherwise be quite tricky,” David Baker added.
Dr. Ralf Kindervater, CEO of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, also welcomed the guests and reported on the positive developments in the field of biotechnology in Baden-Württemberg and the increased use of biotechnological developments through innovative SMEs. “As a 100% state affiliate, we promote the use of biotechnology for innovations in classical Baden-Württemberg industries,” Kindervater says. “But we also involve society as a whole. Bioeconomy prospects and innovations can, for example, be successfully demonstrated by participating in trade fairs like the recent “Hannover Messe” where we presented how biobased materials can be used in 3D printers. The presentation of such innovations is rather impressive and convinces people about the opportunities offered by a new bioeconomy.”
BIOPRO is the prime contact for life sciences companies and research institutes in Baden-Württemberg.
The BIOBreakfast was organised by the Heidelberg Technology Park, the University Technology Park of the Illinois Institute of Technology, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH and Baden-Württemberg International.