BIO Deutschland at the BIO International Convention in Chicago

Evita Diasilua from the German Consulate-General in Chicago giving a speech at the German Pavilion.

Evita Diasilua from the German
Consulate-General in Chicago giving
a speech at the German Pavilion.

Chicago, the “City of Big Shoulders”, was the venue for this year’s biotech world forum, the BIO International Convention. From 22 to 25 April, over 13,000 participants from 47 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and 62 countries attended the partnering trade fair at the exhibition centre at McCormick Place.

Once again, Germany was the third largest of the international delegations. The German Pavilion measured 382 m², putting Germany in third place behind Canada (first place) and the UK (second place). In total, over 1,700 exhibitors – US companies and international pavilions – had stands covering an area of almost 17,000 m². The exhibition partnering service, which was introduced in 2012, was also available this year and organised 5,400 meetings, an increase of 25 per cent over last year. The number of partnering meetings organised as one-to-one sessions also reached a new record this year, with over 25,000 meetings held between 2,800 companies and over 167 company presentations. Once again this year, the partnering took place in the exhibition area, which was helpful for the exhibitors.

BIO Deutschland provided support to the German Pavilion, this time as a reporter on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Many visitors praised the association’s display and the German Pavilion had a higher number of visitors than it did in 2012.

BIO Deutschland had its own stand, where it presented its objectives and the measures it undertakes to promote biotechnology. The association also showed presentations on 43 of its member companies, which had sent in information, on a large screen.

The BIO International Convention was also the venue for a large number of satellite events, including symposiums on special topics and many networking events.

Once again this year, BIO Deutschland attended the international meeting for the heads of national associations. This year’s meeting took place on the Sunday before the official opening of the trade fair. Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO, presented a new internet platform for internal communication among the associations, as well as the important political and regulatory topics of the past year, to the 20 participants. The agenda also included discussion on establishing closer collaboration, for example in an international federation, in order to be able to speak with one voice on major global biotech topics.

The Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, Peter Heinrich, held several promising talks with US venture capitalists, whom he informed about the attractive investment opportunities available in Germany.

BIO Deutschland also attended the meeting of the National Associations Council of EuropaBio. The agenda included a guest lecture by Glenn Cross, chief operations officer of AusBiotech, Australia’s biotechnology organisation, as well as discussion on the Biotech Week scheduled to take place in Europe in the first week of October 2013 ( and the current state of the biotech sector in the various countries. New video material on the bioeconomy aimed at the general public was also presented at the meeting.

Next year’s BIO International Convention will take place on the West Coast, in sunny San Diego. The 2014 event will take place somewhat later in the year, from 23 to 26 June.

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