Board of BIO Deutschland Attends Brussels Day
The BIO Deutschland board members, Rainer Wessel (CEO of GANYMED Pharmaceuticals AG, Mainz) and Jan Schmidt-Brand (CEO and CFO of Heidelberg Pharma AG) represented the sector’s concerns in meetings with European Parliament members at Brussels Day at EuropaBio on 1 and 2 April. At a dinner attended by the national industrial associations, members of the EU Parliament and Permanent Representatives from the member states, current issues were first discussed in a small and informal setting. The following day, the national delegations attended meetings at the European Parliament.
The two BIO Deutschland board members’ main topics in their talks with Alexander Radwan (CDU/CSU), Rainer Wieland (CDU/CSU) and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (FDP) were tax conditions for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe and the obstacles faced by this type of company when they register a patent. The authorisation and the cultivation of GM crops, the use of animals in the development of pharmaceutical agents and the need to include both advanced technologies and entrepreneurship in political discussions and public regard were also discussed.
The two businessmen found that the elected representatives were most interested in their concerns. Wessel said, "I was pleased by how quickly the topic of small entity status in patent registrations was followed up by one of the members of parliament after our meeting." It is possible to discuss other subjects, such as tax conditions, in the sense of best practice on the European level, but they are exclusively a national issue when it comes to their application. "However, the financing of research and development in general and venture capital for innovative entrepreneurs in particular, obviously also in the light of the so-called Lisbon targets, is a central issue in Europe," Schmidt-Brand added. He stressed that it is also necessary to talk clearly about the parameters for equity capital investments if one really wants three per cent of GNP to go to research.
Viola Bronsema, who accompanied the German delegation to Brussels in her capacity as Managing Director of BIO Deutschland, praised the European biotechnology association: "EuropaBio provides an excellent platform in Brussels for the concerns of the national industry associations and their member firms." She explained that BIO Deutschland, as the German sector association, had lobbied for the continuing high priority treatment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and emerging enterprises by European interest groups. This work has paid off very well – the title of this year’s Brussels Day at EuropaBio was "Biotech SMEs: Motors for Innovation in Europe".