With the motto “Leadership, Partnership, Breakthroughs”, the BIO International Convention held in Washington from 27th – 30th June 2011 brought together representatives from the international biotech community. BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH and Baden-Württemberg International (bw-i) participated in BIO with the joint German booth where they presented the potential of the many companies and research activities in Baden-Württemberg and analysed the current trends in the biotechnology sector.
As stated by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the event drew 15,626 industry leaders from 48 states and 65 countries. However, the exhibitors had the general impression that there were fewer visitors than in previous years. Due to the parallel organisation of the exhibition, congress and partnering events, fewer visitors found their way into the exhibition hall. However, those who actually visited the booth were extremely interested in the issues and profiles of Baden-Württemberg companies. Companies such as Cellca GmbH from Ulm, who were mainly concentrating on the search for partnerships, were reasonably satisfied with the outcome of BIO.
One of this year’s priorities focused on “emerging markets” in Brazil, India and Russia in particular. Russia had a highly visible exhibition booth where it used a broad range of different platforms to court companies who were interested in coming to Russia. However, the country does not yet have a strong biotech sector.
Major aspects of the congress included topics related to the approval and regulation of services and products, personalised medicine and biomarkers as well as business topics ranging from patenting issues to business development and financing. In addition, the congress dealt with issues from the fields of agriculture, food, bioenergy and biosafety.
At the German booth, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH and bw-i jointly represented companies and research institutions from Baden-Württemberg. The new BiotechGuide, a compendium of the state’s biotechnology companies including company profiles and contact addresses, was in great demand. As an example of Baden-Württemberg’s outstanding science landscape, BIOPRO had put together a special brochure on the topic of systems biology, accompanied by a CD with more than 100 researcher profiles, which also attracted a great deal of attention.The systems biology brochure and CD content can also be downloaded from the BIOPRO website.
Another area where Baden-Württemberg is well represented is “downstream processing”. With companies such as Biberach-based Boehringer Ingelheim, Laupheim-based Rentschler Biotechnologie and others, a number of key players have their headquarters in the Ulm region where they have joined forces in the BioPharmaXX cluster. BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg took up this theme in this year’s competition in which the audience was invited to guess the number of jelly beans in a stylised, symbolic pharmaceutical purification plant.
More than 200 people tried to guess the exact number of jelly beans by calculating the volume, counting and extrapolating. With only one jelly bean short of the actual number, the winner of the Parrot Drone is: William B. Stilley, CEO der ADial Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Charlottesville. Congratulations from BIOPRO.