German Biotechnology Days 2018: Federal Economics Minister, BDI President and BMBF State Secretary recognise the role of biotechnology
The German biotechnology industry received a significant boost from politics and industry at the opening of the ninth edition of the German Biotechnology Days in Berlin on 18 April. With more than 1,000 registrations, the two-day event set a new record. The high-calibre program covered all major research and development areas in the industry sector.
In his welcoming speech, Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, reiterated the important role of biotech and the bioeconomy in the German economy and in strengthening the social market economy. “The focus will be on the industrial bioeconomic platform and tax incentives for research, both of which are anchored in the coalition agreement. We must succeed in transforming the economy into a sustainable bio- and biologically-based economy. We will engage in a dialogue with the industry and with social stakeholders.” The Federal Minister announced that after the summer break, he would organise a workshop with industry representatives to develop measures to strengthen biotechnology.
At the opening plenary, Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, said: “The BioRegio Competition sparked a wave of biotechnology start-ups in the 1990s. As the latest development figures for the German biotechnology sector show, sales and employment figures are steadily rising. But we have to work harder. With the biotech start-up initiative ‘GO-Bio’, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is ensuring that the influx of promising start-ups will not be interrupted. And with the ‘Five Point Programme’ to increase new entrepreneurship, we want to motivate more researchers to start a business.” Following his speech, Schütte recognised this year’s winners of the GO-Bio start-up funding programme.
In the plenary session, Dieter Kempf, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), emphasised how important more successful high-tech start-ups, such as those in the biotechnological sector, are for Germany. In addition, Kempf highlighted the need to foster a new era of entrepreneurship and innovation culture.
Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, commented: “At the ninth German Biotechnology Days, we will once again show how innovative and forward-looking this key technology is for nearly all areas of life. The many presentations and discussions clearly illustrate the enormous scientific and economic potential of this key technology. It has also become obvious how framework conditions need to be changed in order to really leverage this potential. Now we need political support in the form of an agenda ‘from biology to innovation’, as announced in the coalition agreement.”
The German Biotechnology Days are an annual industry event for the biotech sector. Representatives from the worlds of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, science, business, government and media met in the Berlin Congress Center | bcc. More than 120 speakers presented the latest work conducted in biotechnology research and development. The journalist Hajo Schumacher discussed the political framework conditions required for a successful innovation policy in Germany with members of the German Bundestag as well as with representatives from civil society and industry. In addition, 42 exhibitors presented their products and services.
The ninth edition of the German Biotechnology Days was organised by BIO Deutschland and the Council of German BioRegions. The Health Capital Berlin-Brandenburg was the network partner. The next German Biotechnology Days will be held on 9 and 10 April 2019 in cooperation with BioM, the Biopark Regensburg, the Bavarian Biotechnology Cluster and IGZ Würzburg in the Würzburg Congress Centre.
More information on the German Biotechnology Days can be found at: www.biotechnologietage.de/en/