The speed dating format is no longer just a popular and simple dating method for lonely hearts, but has also become a rewarding way for establishing new business contacts and connections quickly and efficiently. BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg chose speed networking, as speed dating is called in the corporate world, for its recent Meet & Match event on pharmaceutical process technology, which took place on 15th March 2016 with the support of Bosch Packaging Technology in Crailsheim.
It was the first time that a Baden-Württemberg company hosted a Meet & Match event. On 15th March, Robert Bosch GmbH’s Packaging Technology business gave the ten companies that had accepted BIOPRO’s invitation the opportunity to meet on its premises in Crailsheim. Among them were Rentschler Biotechnologie GmbH, Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH, TRACE Analytics GmbH, HB Technologies AG, the start-up company candidum and Sartorius Stedim Biotech GmbH from Göttingen.
The event focused predominantly on pharmaceutical process technology and the challenges of innovative biopharmaceuticals and active substances for industrial production and filling facilities. Another area discussed was the requirements of industry and science for successful scale-up from laboratory to industrial production.
The networking meeting was opened by Prof. Dr. Ralf Kindervater, CEO of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg, and Christian Treitel, head of business development, product management and marketing in Bosch Packaging Technology’s pharma business unit.
After Kindervater and Treitel’s welcome and introduction to the main theme of the meeting, Prof. Dr. Ralf Takors from the Institute of Biochemical Engineering at the University of Stuttgart provided insights into current market figures for biopharmaceuticals and future trends in bioprocess production. Takors explained that according to a study published by Aggarwal et al. in 2012, monoclonal antibodies generate around 20 billion dollars per year, the largest share of all biopharmaceutical sales in the USA. He also believes that the future of biotechnological production lies in what is known as continuous production in bioreactors with small volumes. Single-use applications also seem to be increasingly entering the focus of the pharmaceutical production industry.
Christian Treitel then provided information about Bosch Packaging Technology’s pharma business unit and cooperation opportunities with Bosch. He also gave an overview of the various product and service areas, including processing equipment for liquid pharmaceuticals, bioprocess and ultra-pure media systems as well as aseptic filling machines and systems, which are complemented by different track & trace software solutions and qualification and validation services.
Before lunch, all attending companies had the opportunity to give short presentations about their activities and priorities as well as possible starting points for cooperation in order to prepare the speed business meeting and get to know each other. After lunch, all attendees were given eight minutes to meet one another in turn, present their company and talk about opportunities for joint projects or exchange experiences.
The speed networking meetings were followed by a hands-on demonstration of selected Bosch plants and a tour of the company’s production hall. Amongst other things, the visitors were shown a fully automated bioreactor for research and pilot batches in the order of magnitude of 10 to 50 litres, which can be used for high quality production of any kind of biopharmaceuticals, giving excellent process results both at small laboratory and clinical trial scale.
The visitors were also shown a laboratory system with a user interface (HMI), a filling and weighing module and a needle movement for the safe filling of injection solutions in the pilot scale.
In the final feedback session, attendees gave their impressions and opinions of the event. They all very much liked the speed networking format and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the discussions which gave rise to different, previously unimagined, starting points for potential cooperation. The Meet & Match meeting gave all participants the opportunity to look beyond the boundaries of their own business and establish contacts quickly and efficiently.