Review BIO-EUROPE 2008
The 14th annual edition of BIO-Europe, which toke place in Mannheim, strengthened its claim to being the world’s largest stand-alone partnering event with the participation of 1,250 biotech, pharma and professional service organizations. The program features 190 company presentations and a series of workshops and panels.
Close to 10,000 meetings between life science executives were confirmed even before the doors opened for BIO-Europe 2008 in Mannheim-Heidelberg on November 17, an increase of 25% over last year’s event.
While participation increased 5% to a record 2,400 delegates attending the three-day event, it was the extraordinary growth in the number of meetings per delegate that distinguished this year’s event.
“Biotech and pharmaceutical executives are clearly demonstrating a bullish attitude despite the sour economic mood touching other industries,” said Carola Schropp, President of EBD Group that produces the landmark industry meeting.
“When you think that only 15 years ago biotech partnering did not even exist, we have all come a long way,” said Schropp in her comments welcoming delegates during the opening plenary session.
In her presentation, Schropp paid tribute to the man responsible to driving the growth of biotechnology in Germany, Alfred Mueller, and dedicated this year’s event to his memory.
In welcoming delegates to the conference, the Lord Mayor of Mannheim, Peter Kurz, the host for the event, noted that the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region in September received research funding totaling EUR 80 million from Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research for two excellence clusters, one for Biotechnology and the second for Organic Electronics.
"This investment of 40% of Germany’s total funding for advanced research recognizes the region’s outstanding concentration of high level universities, special research institutions, industry and start-up businesses", said Kurz.
In the panels, the current situation at the financial markets has been critically discussed. Shaun Grady, Vice President for Strategic Planning and Business Development at AstraZeneca, said, "When we sit down to meet with biotech companies, the first half hour of the discussion is no longer devoted to product but to cash management issues. We are there to do a deal, but with far greater scrutiny of the asset than before."
For the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the BIOPRO Baden-Wuerttemberg GmbH participated at the conference and supported the BIO-Europe 2008.