16th CEO & CFO Meeting Held in Schloss Hohenkammer
The 16th CEO & CFO Meeting was held in Schloss Hohenkammer near Munich on 4 and 5 December 2014. Around 100 business people from the biotechnology industry met in the familiar confidential atmosphere of the two-day conference to discuss developments and current trends in the sector, but also to explore possible collaborations.
In his welcoming speech, Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, said that he was pleased about the sector’s recent positive development, but also pointed out that policymakers need to make many improvements to the conditions for biotechnology. Heinrich underlined biotechnology’s potential in new fields of business such as e-health and big data. Here, too, he drew attention to the fact that legislators needed to make improvements on the regulatory side. Heinrich said he was confident that BIO Deutschland would have a positive impact for innovative biotechnology companies through the activities of its new Working Group on Bio IT and Big Data.
The conference opened with a short presentation by Götz Münch, the founder and former managing director of Corimmun GmbH, who is now CEO of advanceCOR GmbH, who spoke about the sale of Corimmun to Johnson & Johnson for US$ 100 million in 2012. Corimmun was one of the first companies to be developed from the funding programme, GO-Bio, by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The High-Tech Gründerfonds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, along with other investors, subsequently provided the seed funding for Corimmun. Münch described his thoughts in the run-up to the sale. These ideas also led to the foundation of the successor company advanceCOR and made him one of the most successful business people in the biotech scene. Later on, Münch took part in the panel discussion on the question of “Exit – new options or new feathers for old hats?” along with speakers from organisations including Deutsche Börse and Nasdaq.
Wolfram Carius of Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH and the just under 40 other business people who gave brief presentations on their companies pointed out the need for firms to be able to develop constantly and to react flexibly to changing conditions. This topic was also discussed in a workshop called “Change management – reinventing your firm and keeping everyone on board”, which was chaired by BIO Deutschland board member Jan Schmidt-Brand. Frank Lucaßen, managing director of Fresenius Kabi Deutschland, also gave a short talk on change management.
In his evening keynote speech, “People, people, people”, Karsten Henco of HS LifeSciences GmbH compared the challenges for personnel management with milestones in aerospace. He described the Apollo programme as a revolutionary goal, to which all those involved and the general population were happy to subscribe, and Apollo 13 as an example of how people can grow beyond their limitations in hopeless situations and find solutions to apparently unsolvable problems.
The CEO & CFO Meeting is held exclusively for managing directors, CEOs, chairpersons of the board and CFOs of biotechnology companies that are members of BIO Deutschland. The annual meeting takes place in a different location each year. The 16th CEO & CFO Meeting received support from the topic sponsors Amann & Hagel OHG, Salans FMC SNR Denton Europe LLP and TPC GmbH.
Participants of the 16th CEO & CFO Meeting at Schloss Hohenkammer near Munich. Photo: BIO Deutschland.