More than 120 invited guests came to Stuttgart on 2nd May 2012 to discuss the potential of biotechnology in Baden-Württemberg – and to celebrate! Speakers praised BIOPRO and entertained the audience with anecdotes about the last 10 years as well as congratulating Dr. Ralf Kindervater, CEO of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, for the committed and sustainable work his organization has done over the last ten years.
Prof. Ralf Reski from the University of Freiburg was the second to congratulate BIOPRO on their success. Ralf Reski has been working with BIOPRO since its inception; he is a member of the company’s supervisory board and was also one of BIOPRO's fathers and midwives. Back in 2002, the former Baden-Württemberg government went on a delegation trip to the mecca of biotechnology – California – in order to find inspiration. Over a cocktail, the Baden-Württemberg visitors discussed the situation back home and they all agreed that it was worth investing to make the state’s profile more visible than it had been in the past. Following their return, a working group consisting of members of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and led by Prof. Konrad Beyreuther agreed to set up BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH.
Prof. Konrad Beyreuther, former state councillor for the life sciences, is very happy with the result: “Over the last ten years, the BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg team led by Dr. Ralf Kindervater has accompanied quite a few people on their way to founding their own company, set up numerous partnerships between successfully established companies and biotech companies and brought many young people into contact with biotechnological research and innovation. If BIOPRO had not already been set up ten years ago, we would have to set it up now.”
Rainer Fischer from fischerwerke and Prof. Peter Kunz from the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences took the visitors on a personal trip into the past talking about their own unique experiences with BIOPRO. In Fischer’s amusing review, Kindervater even became the star of a cartoon that was specially drawn for the occasion.
The panel discussion was more serious. Everybody agreed that a lot has been achieved in the Baden-Württemberg biotechnology sector, which although economically small, is highly important due to its huge innovative power, which creates a good environment for success. However, innovation cannot be achieved without money. It is crucial that efforts are supported by internationally competitive start-up conditions, possibilities for company growth in the form of capital as well as adequate legal conditions related to the approval and reimbursement of drugs, which is one of the most important markets for biotechnological products. It is worth noting that other German states have more capital available for such purposes than Baden-Württemberg.
Dr. Ralf Kindervater concluded the celebrations by thanking his team for their high level of commitment and creative efforts in dealing with the tasks at hand, which all plays a major role in the success of BIOPRO. He was delighted with the number of former staff members who accepted the invitation to come to Stuttgart and be part of the celebrations.