First German-Chinese Governmental Consultations
The first German-Chinese governmental consultations, which were held on 28 June 2011 in Berlin, provided the framework for the German-Chinese Forum for Economic and Technological Cooperation, which is chaired by the German Economics Minister, Philipp Rösler, and the Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Zhang Ping. With over 500 participants – half of whom had travelled from China – the very well-attended forum opened with speeches by the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, and the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Wen Jiabao, among others. Afterwards, five different working groups met, including the Working Group on the Medical Industry and Biotechnology.
The Sub-working Group on Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering including Regenerative Medicine and (Molecular) Diagnostics, which is chaired by the BIO Deutschland member Albrecht Läufer (Corvay GmbH), thus met for the fourth time. The members of the sub-working group took the opportunity to exchange views on the results of the cooperation to date and about new projects on the topics covered by their respective groups.
The chairs then reported to all members of the working group on the activities to date and the prospects for further cooperation. Both sides underlined the importance of biotechnology for innovation and competitiveness and emphasised the need for closer cooperation between science and the economy. There was consensus that the field of biotechnology including regenerative medicine and (molecular) diagnostics provides wide-ranging opportunities for cooperation, also under the aspect of sustainability.
Short presentations were given on the biocluster, Clib 21, a suggestion by the company Genovia GmbH on holding user-oriented training courses for biotechnologists in a Chinese biopark, as well as concrete cooperation between the companies Proteros and Hutchinson MediPharma in Shanghai. The invitation to the Chinese delegates to visit Biotechnica in Hanover (11 – 13 October 2011) was reaffirmed.
The presentations by the German side were complemented by a speech by Peer Schatz, CEO of Qiagens, on the key role of small and medium-sized biotech companies in the life sciences’ value added and on Germany’s economic prospects in China.
In their closing comments, the Chinese and German chairs of the working group both stressed that cooperation in the existing sub-working groups had developed extraordinarily positively in the past years, that it has a high potential for further development to the advantage of both sides, and that it should therefore continue to be driven forward.
On 29 June, the Chinese delegation from the working group visited various life-science institutions in Berlin. The programme organised by BioTOP and BIO Deutschland began with a welcome from Ingo Schneemann, Managing Director of the berlinbiotechpark, and an overview of the German biotech sector by Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of BIO Deutschland. This was followed by presentations and guided tours of the companies Noxxon Pharma and Metanomics. The delegation then visited the Berlin-Brandenburg Centre for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) and the German Heart Institute Berlin (DHZB).