Call for Fair Market Conditions for Biotech SMEs
BIO Deutschland called for improvements in academic excellence in the natural sciences and the promotion of fair market conditions at the Federal Economic Ministry’s eighteenth SME Innovation Day, which took place at the end of June. This can only be achieved if science concentrates on research and existing resources in the economy are included in the best way in the research process.
“It does not make sense to promote innovative companies if this potential is not subsequently applied in the best way or if it is even counteracted,” said Peter Pohl, a member of the board of BIO Deutschland. The chairperson of the association’s Working Group on Competition and Regulatory Policy further explained that it is particularly important to optimise existing performance reserves in advanced technology so that the best possible results in science and the economy can be achieved for a strong research and economic location in Germany. BIO Deutschland therefore suggests ten points for improving cooperation between science and the economy in Germany in its statement, “Wirtschaftliche Exzellenz durch faire Marktbedingungen” [“Economic Excellence through Fair Market Conditions”].
Scientists’ working strength should be used for research questions. Routine activities can be outsourced to commercial suppliers, which are generally able to work more rapidly and efficiently and thus at a lower cost, without a decrease in quality. This increases excellence in research and means that scientists can concentrate on more qualitative research. When services are provided by academic research, there should be a strict separation between scientific and commercial activities so that the latter are not subsidised by research funding. Furthermore, full cost accounting should be introduced in all scientific institutions. Efficient resource deployment is only possible in the research scene if standardised full cost accounting is introduced, as it reveals possible hidden costs. In addition, representatives of industry should always be included in expert committees in order to increase transparency as regards fair competition.
The statement is available (in German) at www.biodeutschland.org/positionspapiere.html.