Sector calls for a change in thinking

So is the glass half-full, or is it half-empty? Germany’s biotech sector couldn’t formulate a clear response to that question at the Biopolitics Conference in the framework of the BIOTECHNICA 2008, but debate between entrepreneurs and policymakers was passionate. Whether financing, tax policies or approval – every biotech company and scientist has problems they think belong at the top of the political agenda. At the Conference, attended by around 200 participants, high level experts discussed a wide range of current issues in 8 parallel workshops and a subsequent plenum. "There hasn’t yet been a big German success story company, but a lot has changed behind the scenes," said Dr. Peter Lange from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and went on to call for a more prominent founding culture. There were also positive signals from the business sector: "German biotechnology is starting to appear on a lot more radar screens in the industry," said Dr. Karsten Henco from HS Life Sciences AG, referring to recent company acquisitions. At the end of the event, which was organised by German biotech organisations and supported by the BMBF, the need for action in different areas was formulated for presentation to politicians. "It’s not about wishing for things, but about assuming a shared responsibility," said spokesman for the German Bioregions Dr. Kai Uwe Bindseil from BioTOP. At the end of the conference, Dr. Stephan Sieber (along with Thomas Böttcher) from the LMU Munich, Prof. Annette Kaiser from the FH Rhein-Sieg and Dr. Tobias May of HZI was awarded the Bioregions’ Innovation Prize.

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