17 Februar 2015

Not all innovative businesses begin in a garage

They often start as biotech SMEs, and EuropaBio will reward the most innovative among them

Brussels, 9 February 2015: While some of today’s most successful business giants may have started from luminaries experimenting in humble settings, over the years highly innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe have developed novel ways of meeting our societal, technical, and environmental problems through the application of biotechnology. EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, invites such SMEs to apply for the 6th edition of its Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award – a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society in Europe.

The winner is…

EuropaBio wants to award 3 companies and 3 ‘runners-up’ in 3 categories: healthcare, agricultural and industrial biotech applications. The diversity of European biotechnology warrants nothing less.

Who decides?

Experts  who are involved in biotech and see the big picture, from the science to the funding realities to the political framework and who truly believe and understand the potential of innovation and SMEs for Europe’s future. They are:

  • Tom Saylor, CEO of Arecor and Chair of the EuropaBio SME Platform;
  • Kay Swinburne, Welsh Member of the European Parliament with a PhD in Medical Research, King’s College London, and MBA and a career in international healthcare and finance.
  • Philippe De Backer, Belgian Member of the European Parliament with a PhD in Biotechnology, Ghent University and a career in investment in biotech.
  • Jos B. Peeters, Managing Partner at Capricorn Venture Partners with a PhD in Solid State Physics from the University of Leuven and a career at Bell Telephone Manufacturing Cy, PA Technology and BeneVent Management before starting Capricorn Venture Partners in 1993;
  • Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio with a Bsc in Biotechnology & Biochemistry from St Andrews University and 20 years working experience with the biotech industry and institutions.

Their privilege will be to analyse each application carefully, discover incredible new science, discuss, debate and select two nominees and a winner for each of the three categories.

What is at stake for the applicants?

A €10,000 cheque plus two years free membership of EuropaBio for each winner. Extending the latter to the runners-up is only fair.

What else? A fancy awards dinner?

No, exposure. Mainly to EU media and top-level policy makers since the award ceremony will take place during the EuropaBio Benefits Event: Solutions for Europe’s Growth & Sustainability on 23 June 2015 at the European Parliament. This is a high-level event showcasing the benefits of biotech in Europe. It will include keynotes from the European Commissioners for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis and from the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, as well as elevator pitches from company CEOs and testimonials from people who have benefited from biotechnology.

Deadline to become part of the story

SMEs interested to enter the competition are invited to apply by 6 April 2015. They can do so via the online application form, or by sending the offline Word-based form via email to Cosmin Popa (c.popa@europabio.org)



Cosmin Popa
Communications and National Associations Manager, EuropaBio
Tel.: +32 2 739 11 73
Mob.: +32 499 906 129
E-Mail: c.popa@europabio.org


Note to Editors

Quote from Tom Saylor, Chairman of the EuropaBio SME Platform

“Raising the profile for innovative biotech companies in Europe both collectively and individually offers the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous potential of our entrepreneurs in this sector.  Finalists not only enjoy the benefits of EuropaBio membership including the most extensive network of companies in the biotech sector, but also the chance to showcase their capabilities to potential partners, investors and collaborators.  Past finalists have shown that this award can provide a platform for access to resources and exposure that can contribute to ongoing success in the future.”

Why an award for biotech SMEs?

According to the European Commission, “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s economy. They represent 90% of all businesses in the EU. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU.”[1] In other words, SME matter and the leaders in innovation should be recognized and rewarded.

Biotech embodies the way in which science and scientific breakthroughs can be applied to current problems. From new therapies that can address unmet medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feed stocks instead of crude oil, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers around the world to feed more people under ever-harsher climatic conditions, biotechnology pays economic, social and environmental dividends.


About EuropaBio and its SME Platform

EuropaBio is the European Association of BioIndustries. Our members are involved in research, development, testing, manufacturing and commercialisation of biotech products and processes in human and animal healthcare, diagnostics, bioinformatics, chemicals, crop protection, agriculture, food and environmental products and services. EuropaBio also counts a number of National Biotech Associations in its membership who in turn represent more than 1800 biotech SMEs.

EuropaBio’s SME Platform focuses its activities on highlighting challenges and financial constraints that biotech SMEs face, and developing policy recommendations to optimise EU and member state funding instruments for biotech SMEs. The SME Platform brings together CEOs of SMEs, National Biotech Associations, Venture Capitalists and private banks, European financial institutions, representatives from the EC, and other interested stakeholders.

Source: EuropaBio, press release, 2015-02-09.


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