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Posted: October 12, 2007
BIOTECHNICA 2007 Consolidates Position as European Leader
(Nanowerk News) BIOTECHNICA — the flagship trade fair for the European biotech industry — continues to consolidate its position as a leader, and the outstanding quality of exhibitors and trade visitors at this year’s event surpassed all expectations. The show was even more successful than the prior event, attracting a total of approx. 13,000 trade visitors (up from 12,043 in 2005). “These results reveal that the realigned BIOTECHNICA is on the right track. All three indicators — exhibitors, display space and attendance — were up over the previous event”, stated Stephan Ph. Kühne, Member of the Deutsche Messe Managing Board. And Kühne is quite clear about the major strategic achievement of the event: “BIOTECHNICA 2007 has successfully laid the foundations for making this trade fair an annual event from now on. This is an essential step on the road to BIOTECHNICA assuming a seminal function for the European biotech industry.”
Today’s market is characterized by an increased pace of innovation, an ever wider field of applications for biotechnology, and a proliferation of niche events in the sector. According to Stephan Kühne, “BIOTECHNICA is proving to be an effective instrument for consolidating the market, with the bottom line being greater efficiency.”
Exhibitor numbers at this year’s BIOTECHNICA climbed to 863 (2005: 849), from 32 countries (30 countries in 2005). The total display space was 13,029 square metres, up from 12,568 square metres in 2005. “1.6 percent more exhibitors, four percent growth in display space and visitors also up by eight percent — BIOTECHNICA has once again proven its significance as the central business platform for the European biotech industry”, said Kühne.
More visitors from southern Germany
The jump in visitors was mainly attributable to increased attendance from the south and southwestern regions of Germany (from the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria), which was up 30 percent. This underscores BIOTECHNICA 2007’s much stronger appeal for the southern German market. On the whole, foreign attendance was on a par with the previous event, although there was notable growth from the Middle East and Central Asia as well as from European Union countries, with the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands making the largest contribution here.
Visitor quality on the rise
BIOTECHNICA 2007 also confirmed the trend towards a higher level of professional expertise amongst visitors to the event. The biggest upswing was noted among the categories of entrepreneur, shareholder, freelancer and researcher. An increase was also noted in the number of visitors working in the production and purchasing/procurement spheres.
The focus of BIOTECHNICA 2007 was again squarely on innovations, and its function as a showcase for new developments was the main drawing card, according to the visitors surveyed.
Increased exhibitor participation from Germany and abroad
This year’s fair featured 589 exhibitors from Germany (2005: 581). The strongest representation was from Baden-Württemberg (103 exhibitors), followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (93) and Lower Saxony (67). There were 274 exhibitors from abroad, up from 268 in 2005. The highest number of foreign exhibitors was from Switzerland (40), the United Kingdom (36) and the United States (28), followed by Russia (27) and France (15). The highest rate of increase was registered by two of Germany’s European neighbors, the United Kingdom and France (each up 10 percent). Companies from a total of four continents were represented at the show.
Comprehensive conference program
The nature of the biotechnology business is changing, with a stronger focus on consulting, knowledge transfer and networking. Accordingly, this year’s BIOTECHNICA featured more conferences and presentations than ever before. The program included over 20 forums and 400 presentations by international experts from 14 countries, along with numerous company presentations. This provided an outstanding communication platform for specialists from the research, industry and political spheres. A total of 2,700 experts attended these events.
Professional business matchmaking
One of the highlights at the show was the first BIOTECHNICA Partnering Forum. The Partnering Forum was aimed at arranging meetings and setting up business contacts, and proved to be an ideal vehicle for building strategic networks for future cooperations. The objective of most participants was on drug/device combination therapies, i.e. putting implant manufacturers in touch with companies who make drug delivery systems. The combination of these two technologies could open the way to “intelligent implants”, i.e. devices which also release the required active ingredients — for hip prostheses and stents, for example. Over 100 specialists from the research sector, industry and venture capital companies — including Boston Scientific, Novartis, GE Healthcare, Sanofi-Aventis and Procter & Gamble — participated in the BIOTECHNICA Partnering Forum.
EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD presented for the fifth time
Also featured at the fair was the fifth installment of Deutsche Messe’s EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD. The award is given in recognition of European biotech and life science companies which have developed pioneering products or services while at the same time demonstrating novel business approaches. The award consists of cash and non-cash prizes carrying a total purpose of EUR 100,000. There were 27 entrants in 2007; first place was awarded to the British biopharmaceutical company Renovo Group Plc, which took away a package of non-cash benefits and a check for EUR 20,000. Second place went to the Danish biotech company Genmab A/S, and third prize was awarded to the biopharma firm Bavaria Nordic A/S, also from Denmark.
Trends and products in the biotechnology sector
BIOTECHNICA 2007 provided a comprehensive overview of the latest products, trends and R&D innovations for visitors from the biotech industry and biotechnology research institutes from around the world. The main focus this year was on “white” biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, regenerative medicine, environmental biotechnology, nanotechnology, microsystems technology, equipment, services and food technology. Displays included new sequencing systems that can decode genetic material (genomes) 100 times faster than just a few years ago. These systems are used primarily in cancer research and the analysis of hereditary disorders. Exhibits in the field of regenerative medicine featured complex culturing methods for three-dimensional cell cultures for cultivating bone tissue, for example, as well as for growing body organs in the not-too-distant future. Also on display were German-made devices that were used in the experiments of the latest winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, including imaging processes for in vivo cell analysis in real time. These processes allow the tracking of transport processes within the organism, so that experiments can be conducted without the need to kill any animals. Exhibitors from the industrial biotechnology, or “white biotechnology” sector presented new processes for generating energy carriers from renewable raw materials. Other displays from this sector featured enzymes, the backbone of industrial biotechnology, from their design and production through to practical applications.
New BIOTECHNICA offshoots in growth regions around the world
Besides consolidating its position as the leading industry gathering within Europe, BIOTECHNICA is also focusing on other major biotech regions of the world: BIOTECH AMERICA will be held in Philadelphia from 26 to 28 March 2008, followed by the second BIOTECH CHINA event in Shanghai, from 28 to 30 May 2008.
The next BIOTECHNICA will take place again in Hannover, running from Tuesday, 7 October, to Thursday, 9 October 2008.