Successful German Biotechnology Days Held in Cologne
Successful Biotechnology Sector Networking Event Held in Cologne – “Entrepreneurs have learned to do the right things”
On 22 and 23 April, the German biotechnology sector met at its annual networking event, the German Biotechnology Days, in Cologne. This was the sixth time that the sector’s most important forum took place. The event was organised by BIO Deutschland, the Council of German BioRegions and BIO.NRW. Despite the train strike at the time, the event had over 860 registered participants, thus setting a new record for visitor numbers. In his address, State Secretary Matthias Machnig of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy indicated that the chronically underfinanced sector could expect an amendment to the legal regulations on loss carry-forward in the longer term, as well as a new Venture Capital Act during this legislative period. Joachim von Braun, Chairman of the Bioeconomy Council, underlined the need for the bioeconomy to be integrated into higher level processes in order to create the basis for a global agenda process. In her talk, Monika Lessl of Bayer advocated use of her firm’s open innovation strategy. Peer Schatz, CEO of the German diagnostics specialist Qiagen, gave a short presentation in which he showed that big data is the growth engine in the biotechnology sector. Karsten Henco, whom event moderator Tom Hegermann of Westdeutscher Rundfunk described as a “repeat offender” in starting new firms, praised German entrepreneurs, who he said had “learned to do the right things in the meantime, and not just to do things right”.