EuropaBio has announced the top five candidates that will compete for the Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award 2012. Now in its 3rd year, this year’s award has seen the highest number of entries to date with 37 applicants from across 17 Member States, operating in all three sectors of biotechnology from healthcare to industrial to agriculture.
The top five candidates include: Global Bioenergies (France) which is developing more efficient ways to convert renewable resources such as agricultural waste, sugar and starch into chemical key building blocks and drop-in fuels, drastically decreasing C02 emissions as well as generating new jobs in rural areas; Green Biologics Ltd (UK), an innovative industrial biotechnology company that produces environmentally sustainable biochemicals and biofuels with a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emmissions using advances in biotechnology in the fermentation process; Promethera BioSciences (Belgium) is using innovative technologies to develop cell therapy products that treat very severe genetic liver diseases mainly affecting children as well as acquired liver diseases; ProtAffin AG (Austria) is developing more effective therapies for key global diseases with major unmet need such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD affects an estimated 65 million people worldwide and is the 4th leading cause of death in the West); to-BBB (The Netherlands), who have discovered a new technology to enhance drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier to treat medical conditions such as brain cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
The over-all winner of the award, chosen by an expert judging paneli, will receive a prize fund of €10,000 as well as two year’s free membership of EuropaBio. The award will be presented by Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry & Entrepreneurship, at a high-level European Parliament event – hosted by MEP Kay Swinburne – which is once again expected to attract a large audience of Biotech CEOs, Venture Capitalists, Policy Makers as well as other stakeholders. The event will also feature a highly anticipated keynote address by G.Steven Burrill, Founder and CEO of Burrill & Company.
Commenting on this year’s award, Tom Saylor, Chairman of the EuropaBio SME Platform stated: “The judging panel faced an extremely difficult task in selecting the finalists for this year’s award. Now in it’s 3rd year, the SME award is continously expanding, not only in the number of applicants from various Member States but also in the very high quality of the applications. We have also witnessed the SME Award playing a crucial role in raising the interest of a wider audience of policy and other stakeholders eager to address the issues faced by our most innovative SMEs in Europe.
As the CEO of Arecor, a biotechnology SME, I have a first-hand understanding of the obstacles that SMEs face, particularly the areas of access to finance and intellecual property. Europe has done much to create a sound policy and regulatory framework within which SMEs can operate, but more needs to be done to ensure that these companies and their groundbreaking innovations stay in Europe. These SMEs are vital not only to job creation and our economic stability but also in producing innovative solutions and products that contribute to healthier, greener and more sustainable lifestyles.”
Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio congratulated this year’s entrants by stating: ” We are delighted and honoured to have received such a high number of applications for this year’s EuropaBio Most Innovative Biotech SME Award and the standards of innovation and excellence are truly outstanding. A notable concern once again however is the extremely low number of Agricultural Biotech applicants for the SME Award. Unfortunately this serves to highlight the lack of concrete incentives in place in Europe for the Ag-biotech sector. In South America, the US, Asia and parts of Africa this industry is soaring and we should be very careful in Europe not to miss out on a sector that addresses some of mankind’s most pressing needs as well as contributing to job creation and economic stability”.
EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries, bringing together bioscience companies from all fields of research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. It has 56 corporate members, 14 associate members and Bio Regions and 19 National Biotechnology Associations- representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises across Europe.
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Source: EuropaBio, press release, 2012-08-22.